Back to the N.C.E.R.

“You don’t know how lucky you are, boys…” Dearest Rachel – This morning, there was a bit of a change in plans. I had originally intended to walk to the ‘office,’ in order to get in my ten thousand steps (which is the subject of another letter I’ll have to owe you for later), butContinue reading “Back to the N.C.E.R.”

…And Always Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – I’m not entirely sure why Lili von Schtupp’s solo number from Blazing Saddles is running through my head. It seems that both of my letters today are inspired by one song or another (not that this one is at all relevant to the situation at hand). It’s probably due to the factContinue reading “…And Always Too Soon”

September Morn

Dearest Rachel – You would think that, of a holiday weekend, there would be more children playing in their lawns, more people out and about working around the house or walking their pets. It’s not as if I’m out and about at an obscenely early hour in the morning, after all; yes, I woke upContinue reading “September Morn”

Wandering Through the Aftermath

Dearest Rachel – The breeze is cool this morning as I step outside, or at least, it’s cool for the month of August. The sun, while exulting in its complete dominance of a cloudless sky, and intense enough that I need to maintain a near-permanent squint as I make my way east across shadeless sectionsContinue reading “Wandering Through the Aftermath”

Gray Over Tan

Dearest Rachel – After a weekend of completely overcast skies – and the rain to go with it – today is only partially gray. And I’m fine with that. It’s nice that I don’t have to worry about it threatening to rain again today – the sun’s out just enough to assure me of that.Continue reading “Gray Over Tan”

Broken Guardrails

Dearest Rachel – So, this morning I was out walking to the ‘office’ for the first time in longer than I’d care to admit. Not only had it been a long time since I walked, the weather first thing in the morning was ideal for it, being bright, sunny and with temperatures in the midContinue reading “Broken Guardrails”

Shoeless Day

Dearest Rachel – Yesterday, since Kris came over to clean the house (for the first time since both the kitchen and laundry rooms were completed), I stayed home from the ‘office’ in order to be there. As you well know, I don’t like having to owe people for extended periods of time – it’s oneContinue reading “Shoeless Day”

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”

Snippets From the First Night

Dearest Rachel – I try to limit myself to no more than four letters in any given day to you; however, there are so many little things that happen at a convention that are worthy of comment, and there’s no one to comment to anymore. So I’m just gonna put together a collection of paragraphsContinue reading “Snippets From the First Night”

Brill-Ain’t

Dearest Rachel – I know that you can’t be expected to know about all the books in my library, any more than I could about yours (until Jan and I had to go through it all, and decide what I was likely to read or not and treat accordingly). However, you might recall that I’veContinue reading “Brill-Ain’t”

Strictly Unofficial

Just walk in like you own the place. It always works for me. Pick a Doctor, any Doctor; I’m sure each of them has said something like this to a companion or two Dearest Rachel – It’s a weird experience, arriving at the convention nearly a full day before everything starts. Just about everything isContinue reading “Strictly Unofficial”

Walking Out the Door

Dearest Rachel – It really feels weird to simply walk out the open door and keep going, but that’s how things are this morning. The tiling team is in today to work on the backsplash, so they need to keep going outside, where they’ve got their table saw out to cut each piece to fit.Continue reading “Walking Out the Door”

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”

No Choice But to Continue

Dearest Rachel – You would probably be pleased note I stayed awake during the entire two hour run of Anime Hell; no need for you to nudge me awake as I nodded off (a good thing, since you weren’t there to do so – I know now how those folks we would always see scatteredContinue reading “No Choice But to Continue”

Milling About of a Midday… Maskless

Dearest Rachel – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that Daniel would have a lot of fun here in any event, given the restrictions that they seem to have in their rules and regulations. But so far, that doesn’t seem to have been nearly as bad as we feared. The only real problem he seemsContinue reading “Milling About of a Midday… Maskless”

Travelling in Only One Direction

Dearest Rachel – Lars asked me yesterday, as we were walking through the forest preserve by Oakton College and Beck Lake, how much I’ve been telling you about what’s going on in my life. He suggests I not tell you quite as much as I do, if only for the fast that there are otherContinue reading “Travelling in Only One Direction”

Suddenly Summer

Dearest Rachel – It’s a commonly-held truism here in the Chicago area (and, now that I think about it, throughout the Midwest – so you’d be just as familiar with it as I) that “if you don’t like the weather around here, just wait five minutes.” It’s an exaggeration to make a humorous point, ofContinue reading “Suddenly Summer”

Only A Test

Dearest Rachel – I’ve already told you about the alarm that actually went out a couple of days ago regarding health emergencies. This morning, while I was writing you, the call went out again; this time, it was ‘Bravo, Bravo, Bravo’: a fire aboard ship. I had to catch myself and recall that, barely tenContinue reading “Only A Test”

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”

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”

‘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”

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”

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”

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”

Doing It His Way

Dearest Rachel – Not all of my trips across town are terribly interesting. Certainly this mornings wasn’t, unless you count the fact that I had to deliver some mail to the folks that share our address. I didn’t recognize the name on the envelope, and whoever sent it didn’t bother to specify whether South orContinue reading “Doing It His Way”

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””

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”

Not the Worst Way to Make an Impression

Dearest Rachel – Another day, another walk to the ‘office.’ With a stop or two along the way; there are always things that need to be done, after all. First of which was to stop by the bank and drop off my payment for property taxes. I know they’re not due for another week orContinue reading “Not the Worst Way to Make an Impression”

Broken In

Dearest Rachel – I can’t seem to find a letter to you that tells you when I bought these running shoes, so you’ll have to take it on faith that I did, probably late in April or early in May. Scott and I went to that Runners’ High shop just outside the ‘alfresco’ section ofContinue reading “Broken In”

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 Feeling It

Dearest Rachel – As characters in our own dramas (or, more likely, sitcoms – has it ever occurred to anyone that those experiencing life within those sitcoms doesn’t find what’s happening to them to be funny? We are, as audience members, more likely than not laughing at their pain), we are generally oblivious to ourContinue reading “Not Feeling It”

No Such Thing as Forever

Dearest Rachel – Today is the first time all week I’m walking. And to tell the truth, I feel a little guilty about having delayed it this long. Not that I’m particularly concerned about how much exercise I get (although I’m quite sure I should be), but that I might be disappointing someone. You see,Continue reading “No Such Thing as Forever”

Losing Track

Dearest Rachel – It was probably a bad call on my part, but I decided not to walk to the ‘office’ this morning. Well, there was a reason behind it: I had assumed I’d be walking this evening with Erin at Melas Park. But you know that old saying about what happens when you assumeContinue reading “Losing Track”

Amblin’ About

Dearest Rachel – Sorry to disappoint you, but this entry isn’t going to be about old Steve Spielberg’s film studio – not even the bit about the Animaniacs, as much as we might have loved them. This is an anime convention, after all. None of this American garbage here, now. This was supposed to beContinue reading “Amblin’ About”

Observations Along The Way

Dearest Rachel – Depending on when I leave the house, I can (and do) run into a number of people along the way. And I have to admit, I can’t seem to prevent myself from commenting on some of the things I see. To borrow from the legendary Yogi Berra, “you can observe a lotContinue reading “Observations Along The Way”

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”

By A Different Name

Dearest Rachel – Well, color me shocked. I had been informed months ago by the highest authority (which is to say, the local newspaper) that our village wouldn’t be holding Frontier Days over the July 4th holiday. So, when I saw the installation at Melas Park the other day, I naturally assumed that the nextContinue reading “By A Different Name”

A Fondness for Funfairs

Dearest Rachel – Pulling into Melas Park, where I usually meet Erin to walk together on Tuesdays, I noticed that the parking lot we both usually use is unavailable. Turns out, while my village and Erin’s city have both canceled their annual Independence Day festivals, the town located between the two (which is why weContinue reading “A Fondness for Funfairs”

Belt Tightening

Dearest Rachel – It’s not something I really feel like checking very often. Mostly because, like most people, I’m not sure I’d like what I find out. But I know where I was barely 6 months ago, and I know things have improved since then. So the question is, by how much? So, for theContinue reading “Belt Tightening”

The Ingenuity of Fools

Dearest Rachel – There’s an old saying that I’m fond of quoting that insists you can’t make anything foolproof, because fools are too ingenious. I’m reminded of it as I watch Chompers stagger about in his little wheelchair. It’s supposed to function on the same principle as training wheels on a children’s bicycle, where theyContinue reading “The Ingenuity of Fools”

Road Wood

Dearest Rachel – There’s a lot of things in which, after twenty-eight years and more, you trained me rather well. There’s the stereotypical issue of the toilet seat, for instance (which, honestly, I’m sort of the only one fighting the man’s side of the battle, as Daniel generally doesn’t even bother to stand up). IContinue reading “Road Wood”

As Far as the East is From the West

Dearest Rachel – As much as we grew up with pastors and Sunday School teachers reminding us that “the Bible is not a science textbook” with regard to poetic turns of phrase like references to the sun rising or the four corners of the earth, sometimes it’s amazing to note the choice of words thatContinue reading “As Far as the East is From the West”

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”

Shin Splints, Shoes, Snowfall and Subjects Set Aside

Dearest Rachel – So, it appears that whatever I was struck with yesterday when I attempted to run is referred to as ‘shin splints,’ and they’re a fairly common ailment when you don’t have the ‘right’ shoes. And while I’m not about to argue with more seasoned runners, it’s weird that I’ve never dealt withContinue reading “Shin Splints, Shoes, Snowfall and Subjects Set Aside”