A Wish to Return

Dearest Rachel – Last night, I found myself dreaming about our trip to San Antonio, and wishing we could go back there. I’m not entirely sure why. Oh, don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of good reasons to want to. The place we stayed at was really quite something, with its expansive room andContinue reading “A Wish to Return”

The Modesty of a Child

Dearest Rachel – It’s something of a shame, but it sometimes seems that it requires a special occasion for the family to get together at a restaurant after church these days, when that used to be a weekly tradition. Then again, this is the second week in a row that we’ve been able to doContinue reading “The Modesty of a Child”

Digging Out From Under

Dearest Rachel – Back in my relative childhood, when the local mall was actually an everything-under-one-roof-mall rather than an open-air shopping center, and bookstores were actually a thing (and the Amazon was nothing more than a really big river in South America), the place included a Kroch’s & Brentano’s that was so big it neededContinue reading “Digging Out From Under”

Musgo

Dearest Rachel – It’s one of the stranger reasons I have to contact you this evening; most meals fly under the radar, unless it’s one I put together (and while the kitchen is all but finished, I’ve not yet gotten to the point where I feel comfortable actually cooking in here, particularly when the pots,Continue reading “Musgo”

Between Comedy and Tragedy

Dearest Rachel – It’s been years since I’ve been here at Walker Brothers’ pancake house. I’m pretty sure that the last time we were here (and yes, it was definitely ‘we’ at the time), it was for a similar reason; we had taken my car in to have it looked at. That’s what happens whenContinue reading “Between Comedy and Tragedy”

Making Sure He’s Remembered

Dearest Rachel – Some days, I find myself focusing on myself – actually, that’s most days. I doubt it’s unique to me. For all that we’re forced to admit to being self-centered and blinkered when it comes to our perspective in life, the fact of the matter is that it’s the only perspective we have.Continue reading “Making Sure He’s Remembered”

The Old Way Home

Dearest Rachel – For all my talk about taking a different way down here, you might think it’s strange that I return to our normal course of action for the trip home. After all, there’s no more reason for us to leave in a hurry than there was for us to show up down hereContinue reading “The Old Way Home”

The Whimper of Chance

Dearest Rachel – It’s not exactly axiomatic, but it should go without saying that it’s the misadventures in life that make some of the best stories. This wasn’t the kind of misadventure where the worst possible thing happened, so it won’t be the most ripping of yarns. And yet, it had all the potential toContinue reading “The Whimper of Chance”

The End of the Road

Dearest Rachel – I’m beginning to wonder if my running shoes should have come with an odometer, or some other means to indicate when I’ve gotten to the end of their useful life. They still cover and protect my feet from the elements, both above and beneath, but I can feel the difference in supportContinue reading “The End of the Road”

I Wish I Had Taken More Pictures

Dearest Rachel – So, last night we met the girls for dinner. I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a fire drill; not gonna specify, either, because I’m not sure which nationality applies here – Chinese, Bavarian, or some other – and regardless, it’d probably be racist, or at least ethnist, to doContinue reading “I Wish I Had Taken More Pictures”

It’s Never ‘Just Lunch’

Dearest Rachel – I really kind of expected it to be a shorter day, in terms of being out of the house, than most, since all I had planned for the day was to meet Lars for lunch in his neighborhood. Granted, the trip to his neighborhood required budgeting the better part of an hourContinue reading “It’s Never ‘Just Lunch’”

It’s Just Dinner…

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been led to understand that there is a dating service in the area called ‘It’s Just Lunch’, which is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin – a means for singles to get together with each other and just have lunch, without necessarily anything else to be behind it.Continue reading “It’s Just Dinner…”

Who Was That Tomato?

Dearest Rachel – During my final year in college, I took both a business class in marketing, and an art class in graphic design. I’m not entirely certain, therefore, which class introduced me to the Wolfschmidt Vodka ad campaign. Dating from either the late 50s or the early 60s, it was one of the firstContinue reading “Who Was That Tomato?”

Pocket Veto

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been told that one way to keep a marriage fresh is to continue to treat each other as though you were still dating. Make an effort to keep winning your partner over; behave as if you were still young (to the best of your ability, of course – some things areContinue reading “Pocket Veto”

Rubbing It In

Dearest Rachel – I’ve said more than enough times how weird it is to be traveling on my own these days. Yes, you have the freedom to go wherever and whenever you want to at any moment, I’ll not deny it. But it still doesn’t feel right, especially since leisure travel, in particular, seems toContinue reading “Rubbing It In”

Goodie!

Dearest Rachel – It’s the sort of thing that gamblers at the craps tables always talk about needing, and it’s the last of my Christmas presents – at least, until such time as some girl comes into my life to take your place in our home and family (although I suspect that will be anContinue reading “Goodie!”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part three)

Dearest Rachel – I hadn’t anticipated writing a third part to this, but the way certain parts of my life have come full circle – and so many all at once – it’s a wonder I don’t get dizzy. The folks even pointed it out to me as they extended the invite last night. EvenContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part three)”

Bluffing With Cards in Hand

Dearest Rachel – Well, sometimes these things resolve themselves. It turned out that, while Erin and Ellen weren’t going to be available, I got a text from Kerstin asking whether we were getting together Friday night – guess she was getting used to it being a weekly thing, for which I don’t blame her. SinceContinue reading “Bluffing With Cards in Hand”

Dodging Bullets

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I come up with better titles than I do letters. There’s not nearly that much to say about Daniel’s adventures, except that we’ve gotten away with a lot more than I expected we would. I won’t say that I’ve been fretting all week about it, but it’s beenContinue reading “Dodging Bullets”

“Drives Through Storms”

Dearest Rachel – I think it must’ve happened while we were still courting; probably after we were engaged, but definitely while you were still living with your parents. I had planned to drive down to see you, despite reports of severe weather between the Chicago area and Macomb. I don’t think it was serious whereContinue reading ““Drives Through Storms””

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”

Getting Malled

Dearest Rachel – I suppose it serves me right for trying to play Postmate for Daniel and myself. You’d probably have compared my little excursion last night with the time we were on our way to choir practice before the service, and I decided to stop in at a place we rarely bothered to visit;Continue reading “Getting Malled”

Cheap Eats, If You Need Them

Dearest Rachel – So I’m back to the hotel yet again this morning, and it’s barely ten. This time, at least, I’ve gone through the antigen test (there was nobody in line! It pays to wait!) – turns out, they only needed to swab one nostril rather than the two we had to do backContinue reading “Cheap Eats, If You Need Them”

Basel Street Food

Dearest Rachel – So this isn’t really part of the series as such; but, since one still needs to eat, I might as well tell you about the food on the streets. It’s not as if I’d gotten ravenously hungry over the course of my wanderings this morning, but, with all the passing by thisContinue reading “Basel Street Food”

from Rachel: Created to Become Like Christ

“May 14 “Just when I had almost caught up, I come to two days too full to do more than read a page or two. Wednesday included a trip to the DMV and finishing my last BSF lesson. Thursday was my next-to-last BSF day, and then getting ready for the weekend because ACen begins today!Continue reading “from Rachel: Created to Become Like Christ”

Last Supper Here

Dearest Rachel – Just to set the record straight, I put the word ‘Here’ in the title because well, it is the last time I’m going to bother with room service, especially considering I’ve gone through basically anything on the menu that’s interesting (okay, I admit to debating about two entrees tonight, but we’ll getContinue reading “Last Supper Here”

And Then There Was One

Dearest Rachel – Like you, I grew up with the understanding that one needed three square meals a day: the whole breakfast-lunch-dinner thing. I was a card-carrying member of the Clean Plate Club, and always tried to get my money’s worth out of the meal plan back in college. My point is, I come byContinue reading “And Then There Was One”

Relaxing the Rules

Dearest Rachel – This is the fourth in our serious on life – specifically, eating – in quarantine. So for today’s story about the things I’m eating, I have to issue a confession. I assumed that, under the American breakfast, I was only allowed to choose one of each category. You know, one of beverages,Continue reading “Relaxing the Rules”

A Little Lighter Fare

Dearest Rachel – It seems I am being encouraged to continue writing about my meals as I go from day to day. So you can consider this a third in the series. It may not be the most exotic of food, but some of it is not likely to cross my plate if and whenContinue reading “A Little Lighter Fare”

On Today’s Menu

Dearest Rachel – Since for now, the only thing that changes around here from day today is the food that I’m eating, I might as well keep you up-to-date. So, consider this to be part two of the series; part one, if you skipped over it (it was pretty long – sorry about that, that’sContinue reading “On Today’s Menu”

At Least My Tongue Can Travel

Dearest Rachel – Since I’ve now been confined to this hotel room for the next week and a half, there isn’t going to be much to report as far as actual goings-on are concerned. For all I know, you may get to read about me going stir crazy as I either convalesce from this cold-that’s-not-a-cold,Continue reading “At Least My Tongue Can Travel”

NYC It Ain’t

Dearest Rachel – It’s one of those things you don’t necessarily think about while planning, but is absolutely imperative. In fact, it almost goes without saying, although by doing so, one runs the risk of forgetting just how necessary it is to bear in mind, so I might as well point it out: much asContinue reading “NYC It Ain’t”

The Foggy Dark

Dearest Rachel – It’s barely 5 o’clock, and it’s gone completely dark. We’ve just reached the next checkpoint; the first one where people riding in my van will be taking up the baton. Well, not literally… As it turns out they’re using several snap wristbands to pass on from runner to runner as each legContinue reading “The Foggy Dark”

NOW I Remember

Dearest Rachel – It turns out that one of the runners – or maybe he was just from the place where the group rented the vans from – was from the place we donated Daniel’s old used VW just a week or two before the accident. He was telling Jim and me about he hadContinue reading “NOW I Remember”

Empty Reminders

Dearest Rachel – It doesn’t really follow to mourn a place you never patronized, but we always agreed it was said to see a business leave the area, regardless. Every empty restaurant, even one that we never got around to visiting, is still a blight on the landscape for sitting vacant. And let’s not getContinue reading “Empty Reminders”

Gotta Go Slower

Dearest Rachel – It’s been about a week and a half since the last time I walked to the office. Most of last week, of course, has been because Kevin has been over, but it isn’t as if I walk every day when I actually cross town, either. Yesterday, I was concerned about the threatContinue reading “Gotta Go Slower”

Chick Magnet

Dearest Rachel – I doubt it’s only because he’s in town, but if I thought the girls would come over more often because he was, I’d invite Kevin to come back to the Chicago area on a more frequent basis. After all, this is the second time in a week they’ve been over, whereas it’sContinue reading “Chick Magnet”

Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?

Dearest Rachel – One of the things they talked about at Grief Share last night was the difference between actively pursuing suicide, and the simple desire to no longer live. The latter is an attitude of “if you were to take me, too, God, I wouldn’t mind,” and is a fairly normal reaction to theContinue reading “Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?”

Shooting Elk

Dearest Rachel – Don’t worry; even though I’m probably the only non-hunter in the entire group, we’re hewing to the current dictum when dealing with nature: “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.” So, photographs it is. Assuming we can find any elk to shoot. The last couple of days, we’ve only seen aContinue reading “Shooting Elk”

Knowing Your Limits

Dearest Rachel – So the better part of today was spent hiking one of the trails up here in the Rocky Mountains. We started in Glacier Gorge, with the intent of going to Sky Pond. Sounds like a plan. The only thing is, that plan involves hiking 4 1/2 miles in either direction, and toContinue reading “Knowing Your Limits”

Not the Best of Hosts

Dearest Rachel – Well, the girls came over last night. It’ll be the last time for the better part of a month, as Ellen will be out of town visiting her mom next week, and then I’ll be in Colorado on this men’s retreat the next. So, three weeks until next time. Clever me, IContinue reading “Not the Best of Hosts”

Late for Dinner

Dearest Rachel – “You can call me anything you want; just don’t call me late for dinner!” It was probably one of the first jokes I was ever told by my grandfather as a little kid, and one that I never really got at that age (“what kind of name is Late For Dinner, andContinue reading “Late for Dinner”

Ce N’est Pas un Rendez-vous

Dearest Rachel – Since both your parents were university art professors, I know you had a thorough grounding in the fine arts, including history and the like. And given your dad’s fondness for dada and surrealism, you’re undoubtedly familiar with Rene Magritte and his work. And at the moment, I’d like to call attention toContinue reading “Ce N’est Pas un Rendez-vous”

All the Same, All Around the World

Dearest Rachel – You know how our Boy with the Blaze, Simon Whistler, loves to talk about how ‘the past was the worst.’ Heck, he’s even made T-shirts with the slogan on it. He’s hardly wrong. I didn’t save too many of the books that we brought back from your folks (again, that merciless diktatContinue reading “All the Same, All Around the World”

Waiting for a Table

Dearest Rachel – Since I woke up this morning with little to no memory of last nights dream (which, come to think of it, is more how things used to be when you and I were together nights), I figure I might as well instead relate the events of last evening to you as partContinue reading “Waiting for a Table”