On Being ‘The Grenade’

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spoken to certain people who find themselves amused at some of the stories I tell you about my life lived after you, particularly those having to do with finding a successor to you (if you’d want to call her that). It offers a measure of comfort to me that, if IContinue reading “On Being ‘The Grenade’”

Back On the… Horse?

Dearest Rachel – Usually, after dinner at their house, Daniel and I will follow Dad into the family room to chat for an hour or so. You probably remember those days well enough when we would be invited over, although you’ll understand that it’s on more frequent – and regular – occasion these days. ForgiveContinue reading “Back On the… Horse?”

Rich Fools

Dearest Rachel – I will always remember the story that you used to tell about your mom‘s father, who worked for the SEC in its early days. It was a fairly lucrative job as I understand it (working for the government often is), and most of his colleagues were both younger than him, and decidedlyContinue reading “Rich Fools”

Keep the Bar Low

Dearest Rachel – In all the letters that I’ve written to you since I’ve started doing this, I’ve mentioned several times about your parents’ astonishingly low expectations for the two of us; how they were afraid that ours was no more than a ‘starter marriage,’ whatever that is, and how they were pleasantly surprised atContinue reading “Keep the Bar Low”

Making the Most of Last Call

Dearest Rachel – So this is it. Effective the beginning of next week, the law comes down, not only in Chicago itself but throughout the entire county: no one may go out in public unless they have proof of vaccination. What that means is that Daniel will not be able to go out to aContinue reading “Making the Most of Last Call”

The Plans That We’d Made

Dearest Rachel – I’ve already talked about a couple of Christmas-adjacent songs that talk more about staying inside and avoiding the worst of the weather, that either leave me envious of the couple that can do just that together, or make me worry if I have to become some kind of creep in order toContinue reading “The Plans That We’d Made”

The Devil in the Details

Dearest Rachel – Yes, I told you I was going to continue to make that pun every time the folks from Detail Kitchens work with me on the remodeling of the kitchen and the laundry room. Consider yourself lucky I didn’t make such a pun that time we went shopping for appliances. Besides, it’s aContinue reading “The Devil in the Details”

Sounds a Little Different

Dearest Rachel – Things sound a little different in a hotel on the weekends. This isn’t exactly the tourist section of Basel; I’m of the understanding that the Pullman is rather closer to the industrial center of town, while the museums and the shopping district sit on the other side of the river. But everybodyContinue reading “Sounds a Little Different”

Bearable Together

Dearest Rachel – Even as I lay awake, processing last nights nightmare, I found myself wondering what this little adventure would be like had it been the two of us, rather than just me. What would be different about it, and what would be the same? In all likelihood it wouldn’t have even happened, orContinue reading “Bearable Together”

An Extra Level of Difficulty

Dearest Rachel – Well, it took a couple of shots of Nyquil to do it (one at nine-thirty when I went to bed, and again at about three-thirty with a sinus cavity that had been filled with rubber cement), but I managed to get at least ten hours of sleep last night. And while I’mContinue reading “An Extra Level of Difficulty”

Traditions No More

Dearest Rachel – I honestly thought I could do it. I thought I could just get through the details and activities of the Thanksgiving holiday without being ambushed by your loss. I kept myself so busy, between the work in the booth for the Thanksgiving Eve service the night before, and the preparations for theContinue reading “Traditions No More”

The Fear of False Positives

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned to you in a few other earlier letters about how I’m trying not to get too excited about my upcoming trip. For one, although it takes me to a lot of places I’ve never been to, I’m doing this completely on my own, and I can’t say I’m really lookingContinue reading “The Fear of False Positives”

Settling For Less

Dearest Rachel – So, last night, the girls came over – probably for the last time for the next month. Since I had fixed a meal last time (well, sort of; I’d heated up a bunch of stuff that I’d gotten from Costco and whatever), I suggested that once we were assembled at the house,Continue reading “Settling For Less”

Before I Change My Mind

Dearest Rachel – I keep forgetting whether I’ve told you about this or not. I know I mentioned the possibility, but there are people that I meet that are surprised when I tell them about what I’m about to do. So maybe I haven’t given the specifics to you yet – I can never keepContinue reading “Before I Change My Mind”

Missing This Appointment

Dearest Rachel – It honestly feels like this particular dream is so mundane as to hardly be worth relating. On the other hand, you used to tell me about your dreams in the mornings we were together without too much thought as to whether they were interesting or not, and were always vaguely disappointed that,Continue reading “Missing This Appointment”

More Enthused Than I

Dearest Rachel – Not too much to report in the way of dreams this morning. Just some snippets of trying to rent transportation to get to Akihabara and Comiket, only to get some kind of FaceTime call from you and Kevin(!), indicating that the two of you were already wherever I was trying to getContinue reading “More Enthused Than I”

Steampunk Living

Dearest Rachel – You’ll have to understand, I hadn’t intended to have anyone over today. I left the office early because I needed to drop something off at FedEx (the bank had me sign some papers for the estate) and get a few accessories for my costume on Saturday (the ‘suspicious astronaut’ costume – IContinue reading “Steampunk Living”

And I Say, “It’s All Right”

Dearest Rachel – Well, after two whole days of barely acknowledging us, it seems that the sun is back, and it’s nice to see him. Even if he is in my face in either direction that I walk. Not that that’s a complaint I’m ever going to take up with my grandchildren: “You kids haveContinue reading “And I Say, “It’s All Right””

Good Men and Rules

Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many. The Doctor (Matt Smith), Doctor Who S06E07, “A Good Man Goes to War” Dearest Rachel – In the days when your beloved Doctor was “all teeth and curls,” as a previous incarnation snidely put it, he wouldContinue reading “Good Men and Rules”

Woefully Unprepared

Dearest Rachel – I imagine that this a sensation you were quite familiar with in your day; I woke up this morning realizing I haven’t done my homework for a long time – well, at least for this week. And as a result, I’m going to show up at the Bible study woefully unprepared forContinue reading “Woefully Unprepared”

Almost Caught Flat-Footed

Dearest Rachel – Before I start on the topic at hand, I need to show you this, apropos of absolutely nothing else. This was the entirety of the mail today: Needless to say (did you ever notice that any time someone says that, they go ahead and say whatever it is anyway? Not that I’mContinue reading “Almost Caught Flat-Footed”

If You’re Wrong…

Dearest Rachel – I sort of knew it was going to happen. I arrived at the airport before one in the afternoon, and Luke advised me to try and get my name on the ‘standby’ list. And in fact, there were two flights scheduled to ORD before mine, one at 3:45 and another at 5:50.Continue reading “If You’re Wrong…”

Wondering if the Chains Will Hold

Dearest Rachel – When I was a little kid, I really wasn’t much for roller coasters. The idea of being spun around and inverted at those dizzying speeds, suspended at heights that, were I to fall from, would undoubtedly kill me (and that was merely the drop itself; never mind the metal mechanisms and trackContinue reading “Wondering if the Chains Will Hold”

Getting Started When You Can’t

Dearest Rachel – My morning starts at ten ‘til six; that’s when I find myself waking up organically. Some wag on the Internet has made the assertion that one’s alarm clock represents one’s theme song, because that’s how you begin most every episode of your life. If that’s the case, then it would seem thatContinue reading “Getting Started When You Can’t”

Filling In the Details

Dearest Rachel – Look, I warned you that I would be using the ‘detail’ pun for most of these early iterations regarding the kitchen and laundry room remodelings. I may stop by April or May, when the contractors are here day in and day out, but for now, the occasional nature what’s being done allowsContinue reading “Filling In the Details”

from Rachel: Made to Last Forever

“4/23: I should stop staying up past midnight, so that I may be able to start getting up earlier to have some quality time with my Lord. Thus, I should also start reading from the Bible every day and praying diligently and earnestly for family, friends, church, neighbors, etc.” Dearest Rachel – It’s a fairlyContinue reading “from Rachel: Made to Last Forever”

The Wide and Lonesome Road

Dearest Rachel – Look, this is not the proof-of-concept, can-I-travel-on-my-own venture that you might think it would be. After all, I’ve driven more or less nonstop to Tennessee earlier this year, and that was twice the distance and length as this trip. I’ve said it before, but it needs to be reiterated; it’s not thatContinue reading “The Wide and Lonesome Road”

What To Do About VidCon?

Dearest Rachel – So, the news has come down the pike… they’re actually holding VidCon this year. It’s going to be in October this year, rather than June or July, but it’s still happening. I wonder how that’s going to fly with its core audience, which seems to be kids who otherwise ought to beContinue reading “What To Do About VidCon?”

The Liberation of Surrender

Dearest Rachel – So just last night, I was observing how difficult it was for me to follow my own advice, and simply (and completely) give up on the possibility of finding another life partner like yourself. This morning, on the other hand, I find myself considering just how much better off I am, nowContinue reading “The Liberation of Surrender”

Trying to Take My Own Advice

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure by now that you’ve noticed a lot of my letters to you seem a little bit disjointed and disorganized. They do tend to bounce around from thought to thought within the alleged confines of the topic I’ve decided to cover in the letter (and even then sometimes it’s hard toContinue reading “Trying to Take My Own Advice”

Problems With My Parenting

Dearest Rachel – So the folks have developed this routine of inviting us over almost every Thursday night. It’s really not unlike back in the days when you would be visiting your parents for a week, or those times you would go on women’s retreats, or any other point in which you were away fromContinue reading “Problems With My Parenting”

Waking Up Is Hard To Do

Dearest Rachel – There are still some mornings when I wake up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the world and everything in it. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, God’s in his heaven and all’s well with the world. I can’t remember when the last time was that IContinue reading “Waking Up Is Hard To Do”

Dreams of Future Passed

Dearest Rachel – To say that the events of the past few years have upended my plans would be rather a gross understatement. Hey, look, kids, check it out – it’s the latest installment of the adventures of Marvel’s newest superhero, Captain Obvious! Or would he be a DC type of character? I don’t know…Continue reading “Dreams of Future Passed”

Pennies From Heaven

Dearest Rachel – So yesterday, after Mike and Linda came by to measure the kitchen for remodeling, Jan also came by to work more with me on the office. Bear in mind that this isn’t the first day we’ve been working in the office; we did get started on Monday, and spent a full dayContinue reading “Pennies From Heaven”

Measuring For The Makeover

Dearest Rachel – I haven’t forgotten that this is the five-month anniversary since your departure. It is going to be a long time (if ever, let’s face it) before I forget about the significance of the twenty-third of the month. What’s interesting about it, is how often I have something going on – and moreContinue reading “Measuring For The Makeover”

Road Trip

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s that time of year again. Memorial Day, and we would be heading down to Tennessee to visit Kevin, and just hang out at his place, watching television and YouTube, playing video games, and just enjoying each others’ company. And we’re still doing that this year. It’s just that there’s aContinue reading “Road Trip”

In Lieu Of…

Dearest Rachel – I’m really not entirely sure if this is the week that Anime Central was supposed to happen. However, since the annual celebration for the church is happening today, I’m going to assume it was. After all, the church had a knack for holding the annual celebration on the same weekend as ourContinue reading “In Lieu Of…”

The Golden Rule, Inverted

Dearest Rachel – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s one of the core tenets of most every major religion, at least in terms of dealing with other people (obviously, not necessarily a basis of salvation, since nobody reaches perfection in this life – and even if they were toContinue reading “The Golden Rule, Inverted”

The Temptations of Travel

Dearest Rachel – So at the risk of acknowledging the fourth wall a bit, I’ve been asked where and how I come up with topics to discuss with you every single day (and then some). And it’s a fair question, really. Much as I enjoy the little dopamine hit that tells me “Congratulations! You’re onContinue reading “The Temptations of Travel”