Even Magic Can Only Do So Much

Dearest Rachel – I already had a topic to write you about today – in fact, it was already a day behind, about yesterday’s events – but when one wakes up with a certain song in one’s head, and fragments of a dream lingering in one’s mind, one needs to get that written down beforeContinue reading “Even Magic Can Only Do So Much”

Way Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – I know I deliberately retired to the bedroom early last night in order to get up with enough time to get ready and be at church by seven, but I meant to wake up at five. Two a.m. is way too soon. And yet, that’s when I found myself awake, mulling overContinue reading “Way Too Soon”

Wobbly Wake-up

Dearest Rachel – I think it must be a symptom of old age – or at least, of the aging process itself. I either wake up hours before the sun does, or I find myself sleeping in past what I would consider to be a reasonable hour. And some days, like this morning, I manageContinue reading “Wobbly Wake-up”

Silent and Sleeping

Dearest Rachel – Mornings are the best times I’m given to compose something for you; Daniel is still asleep (so I don’t feel compelled to hang out with him, wasting time – although to call spending time with him ‘wasting’ time is more than a little uncharitable. Still, I feel I could be more productiveContinue reading “Silent and Sleeping”

More than Required… Or Not

Dearest Rachel – Maybe it was the six miles. I can’t think of any other particular reason. As I mentioned yesterday, I met Lars yesterday afternoon to walk through a forest preserve. This time, it was in our area, at Busse Woods, since he wanted to see the work that had been done on theContinue reading “More than Required… Or Not”

Up Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – After two days of mostly threatening – or outright raining – the sun is what comes pouring into our room… at 6:30 in the morning. Much as I’d like to sleep in that much longer, that’s just not going to be in the cards. You’d have probably gotten up this early yourselfContinue reading “Up Too Soon”

A Chance to Sleep In

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know about you, since we rarely ever used the phrase, but I always thought the expression ‘thank God it’s Friday’ was just a little shy of blasphemous. Maybe it was just profane. Sure, it could appropriately be applied to Good Friday, but an ordinary Friday? Not so much. And yet,Continue reading “A Chance to Sleep In”

So Much Nonsense

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know what my brain was trying to process last night, but it certainly was working overtime in generating dreams. Mostly, however, the dreams it was creating were both fairly realistic (that is, nothing to psychedelic or dreamscape-y), and at the same time, illogical enough for me to recognize them asContinue reading “So Much Nonsense”

Notes from the (Unplanned) Experiment

Dearest Rachel – I would almost expect that your first reaction would be to read that title, turn to me, and ask “Wait, wasn’t it your plan all along to sleep upstairs in the yellow room during the construction?” Well, yes, that’s true… sort of. You see, I had assumed that the operation would beContinue reading “Notes from the (Unplanned) Experiment”

Hard Reboot

Dearest Rachel – I know you would consider me as such, but I would deny that I’m really a ‘morning person,’ except by default. That is, I’m clearly not a night owl – I would rarely stay up past midnight, even back in college, and would usually be in bed by 10:30. But that wasContinue reading “Hard Reboot”

A Strange Slow Morning

Dearest Rachel – Well, it so happened that my concerns about the end of silence were a little bit premature. I’ve been slow-walking the day, since I’ve nowhere to go, and nothing to do until my doctor’s appointment just before noon. Daniel’s been asleep the whole time, despite my rattling about in the kitchen, polishingContinue reading “A Strange Slow Morning”

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…”

Messages in the Morning

Dearest Rachel – It’s six-thirty in the morning; I need to get up and prepare myself for the day. It’s ironic that it’s the weekend in which I have to wake up and be somewhere, while during the week, there’s never any rush (although I always feel the need to let the folks know whenContinue reading “Messages in the Morning”

Birdsong and Burglar Lights

Dearest Rachel – It’s still quite dark when I’m woken up by the sound of the birds in our backyard yelling at each other to stay out of their territory. It’s a welcome sign of spring, to be sure, but there are sometimes when I wish it wouldn’t be so loud so early. Don’t knowContinue reading “Birdsong and Burglar Lights”

The Darkness of the Morning

Dearest Rachel – For all that I claim to like it as dark as possible when I’m trying to sleep, this is really something else. When I take the key card out of the little slot by the room door, all the lights go out – and I do mean all the lights. Were atContinue reading “The Darkness of the Morning”

Arrant Nonsense

Dearest Rachel – Of all the earworms to have going through my head, this is the one I wake up hearing? I’ve been Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored.I’ve been John O’Hara’d, McNamara’d.I’ve been Rolling Stoned and Beatled ’til I’m blind!I’ve been Ayn Randed, nearly brandedA Communist, ’cause I’m left-handedThat’s the hand they use… well… never mind.Continue reading “Arrant Nonsense”

Preparing for Takeoff

Dearest Rachel – Were this any other morning, I would probably be making a big deal out of the fact that this is the four hundredth day in a row that I’ve written to you. That’s right; I’ve been letting you know what’s been going on with me, and what’s been happening on the planetContinue reading “Preparing for Takeoff”

Candy Floss and Soundtracks

Dearest Rachel – There are mornings when you try to put together the dreams from last night, only to find yourself holding a paper cone of candy floss (okay, cotton candy, if you must) that’s been out in the hot sun for the last two hours. It may not have been that long ago thatContinue reading “Candy Floss and Soundtracks”

The Volatile Speed of Thought

Dearest Rachel – I fell asleep in the rocking chair while watching YouTube videos with Daniel last night. That hardly counts as news, of course, but it leads to certain… issues… that affect the rest of the night. Because eventually, I find myself waking up only a little later than I would otherwise be goingContinue reading “The Volatile Speed of Thought”

Distance and Silence

Dearest Rachel – Sunday mornings are a challenge for me these days. Well, every morning is a bit of a challenge, but the weekend is particularly difficult. While I think I’m starting to get accustomed to the fact that the bed – and the room – are empty apart from myself, and you’re not goingContinue reading “Distance and Silence”

Ask You No Questions

Dearest Rachel – I guess I should thank you for showing up last night (this morning?), despite the fact that I can’t seem to stop myself from asking you questions and breaking the spell. So if the dreams you appear in are all too short, I guess that’s on me. Anyway, I should get toContinue reading “Ask You No Questions”

Shades of Morning

Dearest Rachel – I’ve begun to acclimatize myself to the fact that Daniel is awake and in his rocking chair by the time I’ve showered and gotten dressed in the morning (especially since, these days, I’ve taken to writing to you as I dry off from said shower). I’ve convinced myself that it’s partly dueContinue reading “Shades of Morning”

Dakimakura

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if you remember it, but even before we were separated, I recall looking at websites that offered to create a custom dakimakura, or body pillow. You know the type I’m talking about; there’s always at least one or two vendors in every anime convention dealer room hawking these things.Continue reading “Dakimakura”

Of Reindeer Skins and Dreams of Summer

Dearest Rachel – I found myself dreaming of summer last night. Nothing special, no remarkable scenes I can remember or tell you about. Just warmth and… yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think it comes from too many reindeer skins. You know what I’m talking about. It’s been a long-standing family joke, ever since myContinue reading “Of Reindeer Skins and Dreams of Summer”

I Never Dealt with Nightmares

Dearest Rachel – I should tell you upfront that Daniel does not seem to approve of Ruby. Every time the phone ‘thrums’ to indicate a message from her when he’s in earshot, he gives me a sideways glance as if to ask ‘her again?’ even if he doesn’t always say it aloud – which heContinue reading “I Never Dealt with Nightmares”

Muscle Massage Memories

Dearest Rachel – The late Betty White (don’t know if you’ve seen her up there, or if you could find her. While I’d admit that Rose had that ‘faith of a child,’ similar to how your mom was during her last few years, I’d wager that Sue Ellen wouldn’t be remotely interested in religion; andContinue reading “Muscle Massage Memories”

from Rachel: Growing Through Temptation

Question to consider: What Christlike character quality could I develop by defeating the most common temptation I face? “May 18 “Faithfulness: my biggest temptation and pitfall is not being willing to end the evening at a reasonable hour and go to bed. Then I can’t get up at a normal time and have a fewContinue reading “from Rachel: Growing Through Temptation”

In Need of a Jump Start

Dearest Rachel – You’d think, that after nodding off in the recliner sometime between nine and ten last night (I don’t remember exactly when; after all, I was asleep), I wouldn’t have any problem getting up early this morning. you think I wouldn’t have the need to slap the snooze button three times in aContinue reading “In Need of a Jump Start”

Staring at the Ceiling

Dearest Rachel – Even now, it’s almost too early to get up, but I’ve been awake for almost three hours, just staring up at the ceiling that we woke up to for the past twenty-five years. The sun has begun to show its face and shine its light after I’ve been lying in these hoursContinue reading “Staring at the Ceiling”

More Sabbath than I’d Intended

Dearest Rachel – Considering I’ve been silent since the first thing this morning, you would think that nothing happened all day. And to a certain extent, you wouldn’t be that far wrong. At the same time, there’s a sort of thought that’s what we’ve been asked to do, to take some time and rest. ThatContinue reading “More Sabbath than I’d Intended”

Too Early on a Saturday

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if it’s that I haven’t acclimatized myself to the time zone, or just that I fell asleep too early while Daniel and Logan were in the family room watching this or that. Maybe it’s just the wind, whipping around outside the bedroom; since there are windows on three sidesContinue reading “Too Early on a Saturday”

No Great Surprise

Dearest Rachel – So here it is, three in the morning, and I’m lying in bed awake. Considering that I nodded off in the rocking chair yesterday, and then went to bed at a quarter to ten, this really should come as no great surprise. Of course I should still be adjusting to the timeContinue reading “No Great Surprise”

Getting My Ten Cents Worth

Dearest Rachel – I probably shouldn’t do this, but boredom – and the ability to move about – can cause one to make some, let’s say, questionable financial decisions. Of course, they weren’t particularly big deals, especially in comparison to all the spending that I’ve been doing in the last two days (not all ofContinue reading “Getting My Ten Cents Worth”

In Darkest Night

Dearest Rachel – It’s almost funny. I finished my dinner in darkness, returned to the hotel in darkness, settled my bill and went to bed in that same darkness. All fairly normal. But in that self same darkness, I’m waking up, taking a taxi, flying to Amsterdam, and will land there in that same darkness.Continue reading “In Darkest Night”

Not Quite Soundproof

Dearest Rachel – Last night wasn’t the soundest sleep I’ve ever had in my life. Sometimes I forget that, while hotel rooms are built to individualize each guest’s experience, they aren’t completely soundproof, either. Thankfully, that isn’t to say that other guests have disturbed my sleep. I will hear the occasional knocking about in theContinue reading “Not Quite Soundproof”

I Can’t Send You Anything

Dearest Rachel – I guess it’s a bit of good news that I managed to sleep straight through last night. I sacked myself in just before before midnight (yes I realize that’s five p.m. ‘our’ time, but I’m getting used to the time zone here), and didn’t wake up until almost half past nine. IContinue reading “I Can’t Send You Anything”

Falling Night, Rising Wings

Dearest Rachel – Between the time we board the plane and the moment of liftoff, the sky fades from the edge of twilight to nearly pitch darkness. This is how things are as we approach winter, after all. The cabin steward, noticing my coughing (although at first he confused it for a sneeze and offeredContinue reading “Falling Night, Rising Wings”

They Can’t All Be Gems

Dearest Rachel – I know I have permission to skip a day or two now and again, but that wasn’t how life was like when you were still here. There was rarely a day that went by that we didn’t talk to each other. I mean, there were occasions when you were out of town,Continue reading “They Can’t All Be Gems”

Restless Leg Syndrome

Dearest Rachel – The others tell me that this is perfect weather for this kind of running. And while it’s quite true that whatever form of precipitation the heavens might see fit to drop upon us has finally ceased, I continue to question their definition. I do understand the desire for cooler temperatures when exertingContinue reading “Restless Leg Syndrome”

Eyes Wide Open in the Pitch Black

Dearest Rachel – Since I needed to get an early start on the day today, I made a point of getting to bed as close to 10:30 as possible. Apart from not having fallen asleep in the rocking chair while watching videos with Daniel during the lead up to that hour, nothing seemed out ofContinue reading “Eyes Wide Open in the Pitch Black”

Can’t Get Too Comfortable

Dearest Rachel – I swear, honey, I have got to learn – or perhaps, rather unlearn – about falling asleep in the rocking chair. Namely, that I really shouldn’t do that. It messes up my sleep schedule, breaking the night in half. The trouble is, it’s too comfortable in that chair. I watch videos withContinue reading “Can’t Get Too Comfortable”

Run Over By Karma

Dearest Rachel – Every so often, when I wake up, my body has this way of telling me that I’ve done everything wrong. Woke up cold and sore today, not because I’m coming down with something, but because I left the ceiling fan on (it was warm last night), and I fell asleep flat onContinue reading “Run Over By Karma”

Paying Down My Sleep Debt

Dearest Rachel – Shortly after getting home from the folks last night, I found myself getting sleepy what we were watching one video or another, and I decided that, rather than heading off to bed at the ridiculously early (even for me) hour of nine p.m., I would simply close my eyes and catch aContinue reading “Paying Down My Sleep Debt”

A Still, Dark Night

Dearest Rachel – I haven’t taken everything down, now that Chompers is with you. There is a lot to wash and pack up that belonged to him that we’ll never use again, and I’m in no mood to go through it all right away. But one thing that I did remove almost immediate is theContinue reading “A Still, Dark Night”

Sudden Drop

Dearest Rachel – Under circumstances that seemed less dire, I’d probably be soundtracking this letter with Citizen King’s “I’ve Seen Better Days,” because the bottom seems to have dropped out all of a sudden. But – since the bottom has seemed to have dropped out all of a sudden – I wonder if that wouldn’tContinue reading “Sudden Drop”

What Am I Becoming?

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know how you did it, honey. And I don’t know how I’m going to be able to continue doing this. Or for how much longer. It may well be simply because this is a night when I need to wake up early; I’ve got to shower, change and be outContinue reading “What Am I Becoming?”

The Only Thing That’s Never Empty

Dearest Rachel – While I’d be more than willing to admit there are so many things I’d like to have back, I would settle for being able to hear your voice, and converse with you back-and-forth. I’ve mentioned not so long ago about how I wish I could compare notes about how you dealt withContinue reading “The Only Thing That’s Never Empty”

Trying to Think at Three a.m.

Dearest Rachel – There are some questions in my life that I can no longer give a straight answer to. “How are you doing?” Well, do you just wanna exchange pleasantries, or would you like an actual answer? “Can I help you?” Wow, do you really mean that? “Do you always respond to a questionContinue reading “Trying to Think at Three a.m.”

Resisting Resuming Responsibilities

Dearest Rachel – So I open my eyes this morning, and look at the alarm clock: it’s a quarter to seven. And I have to admit, I do not want to get up just yet. I won’t go so far as to say it’s been a grueling weekend, but I’ll allow that it wasn’t exactlyContinue reading “Resisting Resuming Responsibilities”

Unsatisfying Vengeance

Dearest Rachel – It wasn’t all that long ago (as recently as the wee hours of Sunday morning, in fact) that I would take Chompers out at what I considered to be late at night – which is, as you know, anytime after 10:30 – and prepare him for bed, with all the usual bedtimeContinue reading “Unsatisfying Vengeance”

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”

A Touch of Nervous Energy

Dearest Rachel – What with having woken up before six o’clock on a Saturday to shower and tend to the dog (although in fairness, I actually managed to do the former without waking up the old guy! Huzzah!), making a point to attend this morning’s Bible study, followed by running about on errands until aboutContinue reading “A Touch of Nervous Energy”

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”

Sleeping In Denim

Dearest Rachel – It seems there are a few memes out there about people who sleep dressed, specifically while wearing jeans… Not sure I understand what the fuss is all about. Between showering after walking home, and therefore changing afterwards (look, it’s August in Chicago – why should I stay in those sweaty clothes anyContinue reading “Sleeping In Denim”

Running From the Void

Dearest Rachel – It’s two o’clock in the morning. Chompers has been silent for nearly an hour. And I am lying here, somehow unable to fall asleep, with a host of nebulous thoughts whirling through my head, none of which are quite concrete enough to set to text. But if I don’t do something, ifContinue reading “Running From the Void”

A Bullet for the Critic

Dearest Rachel – Midnight! Two! Six! What is with this dog, that he can’t tell me a decent nights sleep?! After all, if Daniel is to be believed (and he’s never been a very good liar), the old boy sleeps plenty soundly during the day. Okay, maybe I have my answer, there. And to beContinue reading “A Bullet for the Critic”

Can’t Get Used to It

Dearest Rachel – After getting Chompers settled last night, and staying up till just shy of midnight to ensure that he’s at least gotten himself comfortable – if not fallen asleep – I drop myself into bed and lose myself in a fitful sort of sleep; one colored with images inspired by AI’s artist guest,Continue reading “Can’t Get Used to It”

A Few Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Dearest Rachel – Normally, the two of us would be scrambling to get everything put together and out to the car before we headed out to the sponsor brunch. this was basically because we needed to check out by noon, and we would probably barely be finished with brunch by then. Not because we ateContinue reading “A Few Impossible Things Before Breakfast”

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”

Missing Dawn

Dearest Rachel – After pausing wonderingly through a vision in which I meet Sylvester McCoy (who greets me warmly and asks if I’m ‘still at that charming place,’ which I take to mean our house. He talks about it in glowing terms, as if he’s seen it, but appears unaware that you’re no longer withContinue reading “Missing Dawn”

The Algebra of Nighttime

Dearest Rachel – So I was napping in my recliner last night, as I tend to do when I realize that Chompers is, when I was awoken by the old man barking. He had woken up, and he needed… something. Fine. That’s more than fair. So I get up to head to the kitchen andContinue reading “The Algebra of Nighttime”

For the Briefest of Moments

Dearest Rachel – It all felt so real. You were there, in my arms. I could touch you; my arms were around your neck, and draped over your shoulders. You seemed so bewildered as to why I was sobbing so, and holding onto you like a life preserver, as if I would die were IContinue reading “For the Briefest of Moments”

Birthday Plans Gone Awry

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I wish I was better at writing at certain hours. The early mornings, in particular, are fairly conducive to the process, as there’s nobody up but me and the dog. Even on our busy thorough fare, cars are few and far between at this hour. I have theContinue reading “Birthday Plans Gone Awry”

Passing in His Sleep

Dearest Rachel – The other day, I got tired of waiting for Chompers to fall back asleep so that I could leave for the ‘office,’ so I just left him lying on the blanket in the sunroom, in the hopes that he would eventually find a comfortable position and go to sleep without disturbing DanielContinue reading “Passing in His Sleep”

Dreams of Summer

Dearest Rachel – This letter is going to be shorter than most, more’s the pity. But I have to move fast and thank you before the sandcastle in my mind loses shape and collapses. Yes, I said thank you. I’ve complained before some times about how Daniel claims to have seen you in his dreams,Continue reading “Dreams of Summer”

The Wee Hour Sleeping Pill

Dearest Rachel – It seems that so many of these letters are written to you in the wee hours of the morning, and they’re almost always about the never-ending struggle to get Chompers to bed. Well, for what it’s worth, it’s not intentional. It just so happens that in that hour or more that IContinue reading “The Wee Hour Sleeping Pill”

What Size His Domain?

Dearest Rachel – For all the time he spends asleep, it’s amazing how hard Chompers resists being put to bed at night time. there are times when it’s an absolutely titanic struggle to get him to find a place where he’s comfortable enough to curl up and go to sleep. Considering how he has veryContinue reading “What Size His Domain?”

The Brokenness of Morning

Dearest Rachel – Morning has broken like the first morningBlackbird has spoken like the first bird Eleanor Farjeon, “Morning Has Broken,” 1931 You and I are both familiar with the concept of the mondegreen, that weird phenomenon where you hear music lyrics – or more to the point, mishear them. Perhaps the most famous exampleContinue reading “The Brokenness of Morning”

The Very Opposite of a Gift

Dearest Rachel – I suppose it’s my own fault for letting Chompers sleep so much during the day. But you know the old saying about sleeping dogs: I don’t want to disturb him. Particularly since Logan’s been over since we got back from Kevin’s place. I figured that Daniel and he can keep an eyeContinue reading “The Very Opposite of a Gift”

Things I Never Dreamed I’d Do

Dearest Rachel – I’m gonna nudge the fourth wall yet again tonight, as I wait for Chompers to fall asleep, I’m going to mention the fact that any time I talk about the old boy, I seem to get a lot more people actually reading my post. I don’t know why; this whole series ofContinue reading “Things I Never Dreamed I’d Do”

Faded Glow

Dearest Rachel – Some nights, getting Chompers to bed isn’t so difficult. Give him his pill, take him out, he pees, bring him in, set him down, give him his bedtime treats, and let him position himself (I am starting to learn that, regardless of what he’s truly capable of, he’d prefer to at leastContinue reading “Faded Glow”

Parkinson’s Law as Applied to Dogs

Dearest Rachel – One of the results of my working (slowly and carefully, to be sure – I’ve no intention of throwing out anything you’ve written on that’s less trivial than, say, a one-time shopping list) on clearing… stuff… from your your side of the bedroom, is that the amount of room that Chompers hasContinue reading “Parkinson’s Law as Applied to Dogs”

Vet’s Day

Dearest Rachel – I’d like to think I’m starting to get the hang of dealing with Chompers (I’m probably wrong, though). As problematic as last night was, at least I got a fair amount of rest on both sides of that two-hour, fourteen-checkup nightmare. So basically, I’m adopting a rule of “sleep when he sleeps,”Continue reading “Vet’s Day”