That Could Have Gone So Much Worse…

Dearest Rachel – That title pretty much sums up last night’s dream, honey. Don’t know where it came from; as cold as I may have felt, I did sleep in my clothes to mitigate the chill, so I shouldn’t have been feeling it in my unconsciousness. And as for the rest of it, well, IContinue reading “That Could Have Gone So Much Worse…”

Where You Don’t Want to Go

·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], when you were younger, you ·tied your own belt [dressed yourself] and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands and someone else will ·tie [dress] you and take you where you don’t want to go.” JohnContinue reading “Where You Don’t Want to Go”

If I Could See My Way Clear

Dearest Rachel – Well, it could’ve happened at a worse time. Barely an hour before Jenn was supposed to pick me up so that we could drive to cousin Jim’s memorial service in the Twin Cities area, I get the bright idea to clean my glasses. Just as I start to rub the lens withContinue reading “If I Could See My Way Clear”

It’s That Much Worse If You’re There

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned a little while ago about a dream I had that might have been based off of a plan I was trying to make for yet another trip – and at the time, I didn’t bother to tell you about the details, partly because it was still up in the airContinue reading “It’s That Much Worse If You’re There”

Cleared For Takeoff

Dearest Rachel – It was one of those silly things that we would occasionally quote at each other when the circumstances warranted it – which is to say, when we were completely prepared and ready to leave on a trip: And it would seem that we finally have clearance (Clarence?) once again. As close asContinue reading “Cleared For Takeoff”

Dreaming a Little Too Deeply

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes you just know where your dream is coming from. That doesn’t make it any less absurd. I’m pretty sure this had to do with the combination of my scoping out a new trip for later this year (pending confirmation of any scheduling conflicts – yes, they can be a thing yet),Continue reading “Dreaming a Little Too Deeply”

To Everything…

Dearest Rachel – So much for the need for a wake up call. My mind is going through this past week, and as I’m lying here trying to get another hour or two of sleep, it’s coming up with a few rules for future reference. Much of it sounds a lot like the third chapterContinue reading “To Everything…”

Towel Critters

Dearest Rachel – I probably should’ve known better. When I didn’t see one on my bed the first night when I came back to the room after dinner, I concluded that the cabin staff no longer folded towel animals. Either that, or they no longer did so for rooms that didn’t have kids in themContinue reading “Towel Critters”

A Private Balcony

Dearest Rachel – I know it was a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure you remember our first cruise. When the folks took us to Alaska, it was a really big deal, even though we had interior staterooms. You had to bring a nightlight for Daniel’s sake, because once the door was closed andContinue reading “A Private Balcony”

Breaking ‘Basel Syndrome’

Dearest Rachel – I wonder if, after November’s fiasco, whether I haven’t developed a mild case of what one might call ‘Basel Syndrome,’ where I’m simply more comfortable in my hotel room (or in this case, cabin – everything has a different name at sea, for whatever reason) than I am out wandering around andContinue reading “Breaking ‘Basel Syndrome’”

Less Eventful Days

Dearest Rachel – So, we are now headed back toward Florida; another non-stop sail of some 1,200 miles or so. Two whole days of nothing but open ocean, as we make our return. This is the dénouement; barring something catastrophic or stupid (or catastrophically stupid), these last two days will be considerably less eventful thanContinue reading “Less Eventful Days”

Let’s Try This Again

Dearest Rachel – There’s only so long I can go, just sitting around doing nothing while my feet heal. With about half an hour before I’m supposed to meet the group, I decided to head down, but I’m torn between getting a beverage first from the Diamond Lounge. Just as I get out of theContinue reading “Let’s Try This Again”

Stuff Before I Go Ashore

Dearest Rachel – I was told by friends and family at home that, well the port of Curaçao itself was literally nothing much to write home about, the homes and businesses we would pass on the way in might very well be. However, considering how close Aruba and Curaçao are, even with an 11 o’clockContinue reading “Stuff Before I Go Ashore”

Willemstad

Dearest Rachel – Oddly enough, this report is coming to you from Oranjestad, as we’re not leaving Aruba until something like 11 o’clock tonight. We’re still going to be pulling in to Curaçao by 8 in the morning tomorrow – that’s how close these two islands are to each other – and I’m told thatContinue reading “Willemstad”

The Dissonance of a Different Drummer

Dearest Rachel – Morning of the fourth day. We were supposed to have been docked in Aruba by now, but that’s understandably been put on hold. Indeed, even while we were in a holding pattern in Kingston Bay, there was another alert topside, as ‘Alpha Alpha Alpha’ was repeated over the public address system. FromContinue reading “The Dissonance of a Different Drummer”

Poolside Puzzles

Dearest Rachel – It’s probably not something that you would consider to be an issue, or at least you would figure out a workaround. After all, you were determined to swim as often as you possibly could, whereas I’m not sure why I’m bothering. So if I run into a situation poolside that I considerContinue reading “Poolside Puzzles”

Out On the Open Ocean?

Dearest Rachel – It’s not quite seven in the morning, and I’m awake early again. It’s not exactly a complaint, but you think it wouldn’t be necessary, as there is nothing much to see when you’re out in the open ocean. Except, apparently, we aren’t. I was actually woken up, in fact, by a textContinue reading “Out On the Open Ocean?”

The Call of the Wired

Dearest Rachel – Back in the day, we used to bring our computers with us on these trips (just like we did when we went to the island) in order to entertain ourselves on certain slower days. In the early days, we had stuff on CDs, which we later swapped out for portable hard drivesContinue reading “The Call of the Wired”

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”

Memories of Bananas Foster

Dearest Rachel – There are so many things about this trip that seem to be reminding me of our honeymoon trip; maybe it’s just that I’m keeping track for once in my life. Before now, I might have a flash of remembrance – I might even mention it to you at the moment – butContinue reading “Memories of Bananas Foster”

Heights Above the Depths

Dearest Rachel – I’d like to hope this wouldn’t make you jealous, but I’ve just gotten back from swimming. Although, it wasn’t so much swimming, as hanging around in one pool or another and chatting with other people doing pretty much the same. I don’t know why, but I keep running into people from NorthContinue reading “Heights Above the Depths”

A Perfect Day?

Dearest Rachel – Do you remember this place, honey? Well, I’m back here. Hadn’t actually planned to be – originally, the itinerary had us docking in Nassau today, but some of the passengers were sent an incorrect itinerary, and the cruise line discovered (not sure how, as I don’t recall being asked one way orContinue reading “A Perfect Day?”

If You Could Only Feel It

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been wondering around top side for the past hour or so. To be honest, I stopped for about half of that hour, as they were showing a movie above the pool; one about souls (in fact, I think that was the film’s name), and one’s trying to get back to earthContinue reading “If You Could Only Feel It”

A Momentary Flash of Panic

Dearest Rachel – Well, honey, I made it this time. Admittedly, I was over prepared this time; the QR code didn’t seem to work with their check in procedures, so I had to show them the previous screen from the pharmacy, showing a negative Covid result. But before that, there was a slight matter regardingContinue reading “A Momentary Flash of Panic”

What I’m In For

Dearest Rachel – It’s just about nine in the morning, and I’m back to wandering around that strip mall I talked about last night. I have a little bit more purpose in this morning’s walk, as I’ve realized what I’ve forgotten to pack (and which you would have taken care of, so I would neverContinue reading “What I’m In For”

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”

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”

Off My Feet in Record Time

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to the process of checking my way into an airport – until such day that travel itself becomes boring and routine (may that day never come – it’ll be time to come home and stay home at that point) – but today’s ordeal hadContinue reading “Off My Feet in Record Time”

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”

Cleaning Out and Stocking Up

Dearest Rachel – I left the house this morning to the sound of the dishwasher firing up; I stopped at the local wholesale club to fill my tank (despite the high price tag – it’s the first time I’ve ever put $60 worth of gas in the car at one go – because I’m sureContinue reading “Cleaning Out and Stocking Up”

Dying of Complications

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned the other day about that book of humorous epitaphs in my grandparents’ basement; another one that always caught my attention was this one, which could probably describe everyone on earth (or at least, most of us here in the First World): He was a simple man who died of complicationsContinue reading “Dying of Complications”

Preparing in Spite of Myself

Dearest Rachel – You know well that, even when you were around, I rarely took packing all that seriously. While you would put together lists of all the things you thought we would need (granted, that list was considerably longer for a ‘get away from everything’ type trip like the island, as opposed to anContinue reading “Preparing in Spite of Myself”

The Finnish Reindeer Coat

Dearest Rachel – The other day, I saw Mom getting a few old coats out of the cedar closet in their basement (from the room under what used to be my own, back when I was growing up). Admittedly, I didn’t think much of it, but took the moment to fill her in on theContinue reading “The Finnish Reindeer Coat”

Replacing Chocolate

Dearest Rachel – You might remember, the last time we were on the island, we used up the last of one of the few remaining jars of Hershey’s spread on some marshmallows we placed in the toaster oven. Well, to be perfectly accurate, we put it on the graham crackers that we set atop thoseContinue reading “Replacing Chocolate”

Imagine Storms

Dearest Rachel – Another long night, another dream – or series of dreams – that might otherwise make sense except for the timing, the location, the cast, and the fact that I was constantly looking for my phone to take pictures of it all, only to find that it was nowhere near me (which, asContinue reading “Imagine Storms”

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?”

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”

Culture Stunned

Dearest Rachel – Over the last week and a half, I’ve said a number of times about how ‘what’s mundane for one person is exotic for another.’ Naturally, it stands to reason that this situation goes both ways. What’s particularly weird is how it’s happened to me in both directions. I can’t say that IContinue reading “Culture Stunned”

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”

More Than You’ll Ever Have

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know when I first heard it; probably from someone leaving a bad movie at a theater. “Well, that’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.” It seems the sort of thing I could get away with saying at the moment. Sure, I have travel insurance, and that’ll coverContinue reading “More Than You’ll Ever Have”

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”

One Last Walk Around

Dearest Rachel – When I got back to the hotel yesterday, after standing, exhausted, in the middle of Marktplatz, and settled in to update you on my travels for the morning, it was at that moment the sun deigned to stick his head out. I swear the old boy was mocking me. But it justContinue reading “One Last Walk Around”

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”

‘Lost’ in Basel

Dearest Rachel – It’s a bit of a misnomer to say this about myself. Especially in the daytime; the old city isn’t that big that you can truly get lost in it. You just aren’t where you want to be. I determined that I wanted to check out the Cartoonmuseum; the Kunstmuseum is just aContinue reading “‘Lost’ in Basel”

Winding Up for Winding Down

Dearest Rachel – Monday morning in Basel, and I think I’ve had the most solid sleep of my time here; went to bed around eleven, and didn’t wake up until seven-thirty. May have dreamed about solving some problems back at the old workplace, but it’s hardly worth commenting upon. I’m feeling like I should takeContinue reading “Winding Up for Winding Down”

St. Nicholas’ Day

Dearest Rachel – In our phone calls to each other (actually, I’m forced to admit that he’s been the one calling me every single time to check on me throughout this whole ordeal), Lars tells me that today is the day that the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra is celebrated throughout much of centralContinue reading “St. Nicholas’ Day”

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”

No Longer Barefoot

Dearest Rachel – It is the weirdest thing to realize this is the first time I’ve had socks or shoes on since last Sunday. I’ve had no reason to wear them. I’m also having to put on more than just a T-shirt or a polo, for once. Hey it’s in the single digits Celsius outContinue reading “No Longer Barefoot”

They’re Trying to Confuse Me

Dearest Rachel – So, the word has come down; I’m cleared to move about outside, although I’ll probably have to have this letter available on my phone to show to the front desk: Of course, I still have to follow all the masking rules and so forth; don’t know if I’m still shedding viruses (evenContinue reading “They’re Trying to Confuse Me”

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”

Ringing Off the Hook

Dearest Rachel – Even as I was being escorted off the ship, I acknowledged to my host that, “well, as long as there is Internet where I’m going, I think I’ll be okay.” And so far, what events there have been succeeding that have pretty much borne that out. My Bible app, which requires anContinue reading “Ringing Off the Hook”

Three Hundred Days

Dearest Rachel – Upon sending you my last letter, about the man yelling at the intercom outside the police headquarters, I received a ping from the WordPress application. In some ways it wasn’t much different from those that I get every day, complete with the standard ‘keep up the good work’ encouragement. But today wasContinue reading “Three Hundred Days”

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”

It Could Be Worse

Dearest Rachel – It was one of those many inside jokes we used to have between each other. Any time we were in a bad situation of one sort or another, we would often encourage each other with Eye-gor’s line. Granted, if it was raining, the effect was lost, but still… I’ve tried to maintainContinue reading “It Could Be Worse”

A Very Different Travelogue

Dearest Rachel – When Alton Brown started his ‘Quarantine Qitchen’ online streaming program with his wife Elizabeth about a year and a half ago, you were tuning in every Tuesday to watch, and occasionally comment, as they tried to assemble dinner and drinks together, squabbling as (apparently?) married couples do. You seemed to find itContinue reading “A Very Different Travelogue”

What Tomorrow May Bring

Dearest Rachel – It’s been an eventful day. Every time the phone rings, every time there’s a knock on the door, I expect this to be the moment when I’m escorted off the ship. The last knock turned out to be one with my lunch. So I’m sitting here eating it, knowing I’ll have atContinue reading “What Tomorrow May Bring”

Switching Goddesses

Dearest Rachel – You’re familiar with the fact that various cruise lines have a certain theme when it comes to the names of the ships in their fleet. Royal Caribbean, for instance, will eventually go through pretty much every single noun in the dictionary, and as long as they stick ‘of the Seas’ at theContinue reading “Switching Goddesses”

Lessons From Tippecanoe

Dearest Rachel – I woke up at what I thought was the morning (actually, it turned out to be eleven something at night here, meaning it was barely four in the afternoon back home) thinking about President William Henry Harrison. I know that sounds silly – and there’s a ridiculous amount of silly to wadeContinue reading “Lessons From Tippecanoe”

Knocking About the City

Dearest Rachel – I had every intention of knocking about the city this afternoon; it’s part of the reason why I arrived early enough to stay the night. I want to look around town, see what Basel has to offer. But with this head cold that I’m dealing with, I feel like I could justContinue reading “Knocking About the City”

Different Directions, Different Speeds

Dearest Rachel – It’s weird to realize it, but the flight from Amsterdam to Basel takes less than an hour, but it’s going to take eight days to get back here by ship. As we landed here, it occurred to me what I had forgotten for today’s trip; a cap to keep the rain outContinue reading “Different Directions, Different Speeds”

Basel

Dearest Rachel – Today I learned that, when you have a head cold (particularly one involving aural congestion), the ascent isn’t a big deal, but the descent is a painful process indeed. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Since there is neither sleep nor a meal before arriving is Basel, I had best send outContinue reading “Basel”

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”

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”

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”

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”

The Shoe Finally Drops

Dearest Rachel – I teased about this the other day, because it was happening almost at the same time I was writing about dealing with another scammer on the dating app. But this one was longer in coming around. In fact, I was wondering if it would even actually happen. But I think I knewContinue reading “The Shoe Finally Drops”

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”

The Sands of Ho-Na-Lee

Dearest Rachel – There are some days, darling, when I admit that there isn’t much to write to you about. Nothing much is happening, I don’t find myself inspired, and I find myself forcing myself – rather against Jan’s advice – to send you something simply for the sake of sending you something. This isn’tContinue reading “The Sands of Ho-Na-Lee”

Asking For Approval

Dearest Rachel – You might’ve been aware of it back in the day, but as it wasn’t necessarily a concern of yours, it was never really discussed, but I always would – and still do – call the folks when I’m on my way to the ‘office.’ It’s not a necessary thing – I haveContinue reading “Asking For Approval”

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””

Nine Whole Months

Dearest Rachel – No, it’s not quite been that long; believe me, I’m painfully aware of each time the twenty-third of the month has rolled around. We’ll be there in a couple of days, yes, but that’s not what this letter is about. No, what’s going on right now is something that just arrived inContinue reading “Nine Whole Months”

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”

Love & Marriage

Dearest Rachel – Happy Sweetest Day, honey. It’s weird; we never observed this holiday together. We considered ourselves fortunate enough to remember Valentine’s Day and our anniversary for each other. So why am I bothering now, seeing as I don’t have any sweetest to make a day out of this? Well, since the anniversary ofContinue reading “Love & Marriage”

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”

Surprises

Dearest Rachel – I’ll tell you, this year thus far has been absolutely full of surprises. Which means that it’s probably a good thing you’re not around to deal with them, as you hated surprises. This was particularly evident when it came to birthdays and holidays – anything having to do with gift-giving. The longContinue reading “Surprises”

Upended

Dearest Rachel – Well, that was mildly unnerving. Just last night, I was telling Ellen and Erin how much I look forward to going back to traveling; how I’d like to just be able to grab someone’s hand, tell them “pack yourself a weeks worth of clothes, girl,” grab a flight and head off. HereContinue reading “Upended”

Credit Where It’s Due

Dearest Rachel – The girls communicate with each other at the weirdest times, it would seem. It probably shouldn’t surprise me when I see emails back-and-forth at around one in the morning, considering Erin’s graveyard shift schedule, but the fact that Ellen responds at roughly the same time comes as a surprise. Still, if that’sContinue reading “Credit Where It’s Due”

The Journey Continues Alone

Dearest Rachel – It’s been several days since I’ve gotten home, but there are still some images from the YMCA of the Rockies that struck me that I haven’t shared with you yet. Throughout the park, I observed a number of memorials set up from and of people who contributed to the park. There wasContinue reading “The Journey Continues Alone”

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?”

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…”

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”

Disc Golf

Dearest Rachel – It’s a little hard to keep up with these letters to you out here in the mountains, especially when we’re outside doing stuff all the time. It’s why I tried to prepare a few letters beforehand to go out to you while I’m out here. Yes, there’s Wi-Fi at the lodge, butContinue reading “Disc Golf”

Into Thin Air

Dearest Rachel – I think I must be way too used to living near the largest city in flyover country. As is the plane started its descent, I was looking out the window and seeing nothing but farmland and other empty space. And I couldn’t help wondering, “Where is the city? Where are the suburbs,Continue reading “Into Thin Air”

Alone at the Airport

Dearest Rachel – I’ve insisted from fairly early on that I wanted to resume my life, and continue to see the world – just that, I wanted to find someone to share those travels with. This is not one of those trips. To be fair, you wouldn’t have been able to come on this oneContinue reading “Alone at the Airport”

Overpacked

Dearest Rachel – Yes, I know it’s only for four days – including today. But I really have no idea what I’ll need out there In Colorado, so… I’m packing a little bit of everything. Two T-shirts, two long sleeve T-shirts, two rugby shirts, two sweatshirts… and this is just for the remaining three days,Continue reading “Overpacked”

The Things Mine Eyes Have Seen

Dearest Rachel – I never got around to telling you about this, but when we were down at Kevin’s over Memorial Day weekend, I broke down and got a copy of Minecraft. Somehow, he figured out how to set up a server, and the three of us just started digging around (in survival mode, noContinue reading “The Things Mine Eyes Have Seen”

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”

The Return Trip

God, grant us strength todayAs we go our separate ways.Though we do not know quite when,Shield us ’til we meet again. me, this morning Dearest Rachel – And so it goes, as they say in Tralfamadore. It’s time (and past time, compared to almost everyone else) to return to life as usual… whatever that isContinue reading “The Return Trip”

Always One More Thing

Dearest Rachel – Now that you’ve been gone for all this time, I guess it falls to me to pull the “just one more thing” routine before heading out on a trip. Bear in mind, I was in no hurry to leave today – and I’m still not. Kris was coming over to clean, andContinue reading “Always One More Thing”

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”

Preparing to Leave the House

Dearest Rachel – I never really considered just how involved this process was of putting ourselves together for a convention weekend. All I ever did was to pack the computers and hard drives and my own set of clothes and toiletries, and call it good. There’s so much else that has to be taken careContinue reading “Preparing to Leave the House”

Dreams of a Fast Food Breakfast

Dearest Rachel – One of the many books that you left behind was a reissued copy of Windsor McCay’s “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend,” wherein aficionados of the titular grilled cheese with mustard sandwich who’d eaten it too late at night would suffer from bizarre nighttime visions not unlike those of his later, more famousContinue reading “Dreams of a Fast Food Breakfast”

Never Mind The Professionals

Dear Rachel – So yesterday, Jeff and Julie invited the two of us over for a Fourth of July cookout (yes, I know it was on the third, but you know, Saturday versus Sunday). I warned Jeff that I would be late, because I was working in the booth this weekend, and as it soContinue reading “Never Mind The Professionals”

Early Morning in a Strange City

Let’s go up on the roof beneath the neonPretend we’re foreigners and drink the city inSomewhere between the stairwell and the starlightI find myself holding your hand Mark Heard, “Love is Not the Only Thing,” from Second Hand, 1992 Dearest Rachel – I’d kind of like to start this letter off like a conversation: youContinue reading “Early Morning in a Strange City”

ただいま! (I’m Home!)

Dearest Rachel – For all my talk about my being an anime otaku (although these days, Daniel and Logan have me well beat in terms of actually watching anime), you were the first of us to actually sample Japanese culture. Starting from the middle of your high school career you would make a habit ofContinue reading “ただいま! (I’m Home!)”

Things We’ve Seen Before – and Things You’ll Never See

Dearest Rachel – It’s Thursday morning. Our last full day here in Tennessee. And I must admit, I’ve been a little lax. Haven’t done any walking to speak of this whole week. I’d like to excuse myself, because of the lack of reason. No destination, and no companion – human or canine – leads toContinue reading “Things We’ve Seen Before – and Things You’ll Never See”

The Path to the Park

Dearest Rachel – So I must say, the wheelchair affords both Chompers and I a little extra freedom. He can wander about the front lawn as much as he wants for as long as he wants, while I sit here on the porch and take in the sights and sounds. And yes, even as emptyContinue reading “The Path to the Park”

The Middle of the Bed

Dearest Rachel – At home, there’s always something that prevents me from taking up the entirety of the bed. It’s partially a physical question of real estate, where some of your stuff has been lying there. Indeed, I’ve been keeping a couple of your Bible study books there as a reference to flip through andContinue reading “The Middle of the Bed”