Ah, The Old Three Legged Dog

Frost on the Heart Rocks.
Frost on the Heart Rocks.

I was in town this morning after my bible class and what did I see but a beautiful black and white three legged dog. It was doing great motivating down the sidewalk with it’s human. The scene brought back all sorts of memories of three legged dog musings that I had during a period of my life after getting cancer diagnosis.

I’m so happy to have run across this class of critter. They are totally inspiring really. They don’t seem to spend too much time lamenting and seem to be perfectly happy. Can we be so lucky? Can we get over all the “used to be” thoughts and get on with it as it exists today, this happy day? Can we today be the best three legged dog ever?

Patches of blue sky out there, a nice day developing after serious morning fog. Best to you all, love, Felipe.

My Rebecca’s Thanksgiving Meal

Yes, the gravy!!
Yes, the gravy!!

To start with it was a thing of beauty, so I don’t forget. Earlier in the week she was whining about it just being the two of us present but then we were present to each other and that’s the magic. Earlier in the week I was talking with my nurse buddies about Thanksgiving meal plans and it is amazing how non Norman Rockwell things have gotten. People are busy I suppose and things get short cutted.

Katy the nurse who I was with the most was amazed that Rebecca was making the cornbread to make the cornbread stuffing. Then I said that we had grown the corn and ground the meal and that is when Rebecca received the “Little House on the Praire” chef award, right? She also cooked the real pumpkins, that Catherine and Dana had grown (neighborhood farming), to make the pie. But she did buy the real whip cream in a spray can but we let her go on that one as we don’t have a cow to milk.

So, we always learn something new and the directions on this family farm grown turkey said to bast the bird with wine. Yea OK, how about the gravy that makes?! That’s what she is pouring in the pic. The turkey was a gift from Colin, a friend of Our Wiley’s by the way.

So yea, kudos to Rebecca on this one. Just like we learned on The Camino, be present, work hard, improvise, pay attention and smile. Oh, and give thanks!
Bless you dear friends, Felipe.

Giving Thanks For All The Good Souls

Keeping the fire going, today and the next.
Keeping the fire going, today and the next.

That was Our Jeniffer’s Thanksgiving prayer in an email that I just opened. We both had a hard day at the hospital yesterday. But like her prayer says we had lots of good souls hovering around us to make things easier. Beside treatment we had our intpretation of our scans. Things could have been better with both of them. Doc Gold put us on heavier chemo drugs, Jennifer starting yesterday and I will start in the Spring. I wanted to wait for her to recover from her series before I started. Anyway, that’s what it looks like in a very general way.

It’s all dicey, yes? But Cancer Commandos hang tough. Stuff happens and pretty soon we’re making lemonade, one way or another. I was up in the early hours with the nervous energy from the steroids in my cocktail. Did an hour and a half of writing. Started to develop a list of “Findings”, important things that I found in 2015. I can’t take credit for thinking up anything much originally but can pick up things off the “spiritual ground” and fit them into the Cancer Commando Code. I’m good at that.

So, that is coming up and so is Advent, the leadin to Christmas. We will have to weave that into the blog. Yup, we are following the trail and we will maybe take some side trips to enliven things for you.

Well, have a great Thanksgiving, and live that gratitude tomorrow and the next day. Love you all immensely, Felipe.

Yogi Berra’s

Out the hospital window.  It's beautiful when it's beautiful!
Out the hospital window. It’s beautiful when it’s beautiful!

I’m thinking that the presence of Yogi Berra quotes in one’s proximity is a good thing, the more the better really. I’ve always loved the things that dear man says. Annie had a quote in her book, I remember. But one can pass days and weeks without any sign of one.

But I actually produced one recently, I think, well you make the call. I was talking with Josh, one of our son’s buddies yesterday morning and he was asking about our hunting trip. I was saying that the weather was a challenge with the cold and especially the wind but, “It was beautiful when it was beautiful.” Right? I’m happy with that, my first!

Then I remembered that Josh came up with a Berra, that really I think is immensely better, back a year ago. It was November when the film crew was here and the sun had gone down on the last day of filming and we were partying outside around a bonfire. Right in the middle of that celebration our beloved dog Sture (pronounced Stura) collapsed and died before he hit the ground. It was really so elegant for he was suffering with his cancer and we were medicating him to give him a few more weeks and then… We laughed and cried at the same time. Josh was comforting My Rebecca when he said to her, “Sometimes life is so sudden.” What a Berra! A guy would give his left arm to come up with something like that!

Yea. Today Our Jennifer and I are at the hospital for the interpretation of our scans which we had yesterday and then our treatment. Big day. I got my interpretation and things are basically OK, some of the tumors are slightly larger. Jennifer’s is coming up momentarily and I am praying for her.

My Rebecca is home at the ranch baking cornbread for the dressing and baking pumpkin for the pie. I just mentioned that to the nurses here and they were totally impressed. Lots of them were going out to eat at restaurants on Thanksgiving much less cook much less fix the fixings. No one knew of anyone who was cooking an actual pumpkin for sure. OK then, way to go Rebecca! Kind of “Little House on the Prairie” stuff for sure.

Well, that’s the way it is gang. The sun is out here, clear and cold. See you on Turkey Day, love, Felipe.

An Hour With Sister Joyce

The North Cascade Mountains.
The North Cascade Mountains.

I’m a lucky man. Sister Joyce was here on Vashon and I got an hour with her. I plead my case so to speak. I told her what has been occurring since last we saw each other. She had not been reading Caminoheads the last few weeks so I got her back on track with that. The last few weeks on this blog have been interesting. Somehow a gear has been shifted in my walk.

Sister Joyce is good at fitting anyone’s story into the broad bigger picture. She is good at clarifying the muddy. That’s what I need as I drag my “stuff” in to her as it’s tangled and caked with road grime and so close to me that I can’t see it properly. “Well, what have you been up to?” she will ask.

Yea, what have I been doing? Somehow old Felipe has gone a little woo woo could be the story. Somehow getting outside the bounds of my traditional understanding of things. Somehow in unknown territory for me anyway. And I’m not bragging or complaining but just reporting as the blog has always done. Bless Sister Joyce for keeping her ear open to me and letting me know that things are alright. We are all a little further down the trail today in places that we haven’t been before and things look different than they did yesterday, that’s all.

Well, on with my day. Thanks for lending me your ear. Love, Felipe.

We’re Back, All Present And Accounted For.

Some pix:

Aldo, our intrepid truck with the Columbia River in the distance.
Aldo, our intrepid truck with the Columbia River in the distance.
Crossing the Wind Farm.  Yes and we had wind.
Crossing the Wind Farm. Yes and we had wind.

[caption id="attachment_2692" align="alignnone" width="300"]Driving. Driving.

James and Wiley, young men with strong legs and good hearts searching for game birds.
James and Wiley, young men with strong legs and good hearts searching for game birds.
Our camp.
Our camp.
A good fire..
A good fire..
Meanwhile I had a good book for the darkness.
Meanwhile I had a good book for the darkness.
Waiting for the sun to come over the hills to thaw us out.
Waiting for the sun to come over the hills to thaw us out.

Yea, So?

Spectators watching the untidiness of the bull run in Estrella.
Spectators watching the untidiness of the bull run in Estrella.

My sleepless meditations continue to bring forth fruit. I’m pretty ingrossed because I can’t seem to remember if our beloved Seahawks won that football game last night or not. I looked forward to it all week and now it’s been so easily eclipsed. Hmm. I must be thinking about something important, other than football that is.

My latest notion concerning my cancer seems to be, “Yea, so?” I think somehow, maybe randomly, that I have removed the importance of myself from the whole equation. In other words, if now I regard God as the main character here and my cancer as a sort of messenger from Him things become more focused. Yea, so I have cancer. My work continues, maybe it’s God’s work continuing. Yea, so I have cancer, so what?

This blends perfectly with with a blog post by a friend of ours, Terry Hershey, entitled Broken Things. Recently I signed up to get his weekly thoughts, Sabbath Moments, emailed to me and here was my first one this AM. Although Terry is way more elegant than I expressing himself I think that we are on the same page on this one. We are flying like Blue Angels next to each other, wingtips inches apart.

That image looks very tidy but that is the opposite of the idea really. The idea is that we make a mistake by continually looking for the tidy or by continually trying to tidy up. Some majorly important things, aren’t tidy, don’t tidy up and never will. But this is the exact location of God, apparent in the untidiness, and He is waiting for us to make sense of that.

Off for a morning walk. It frosted last night for the first time this fall. The water in Raven Creek is starting to run across the Camino. Changes happening, love unchanging, Felipe.

Barometer Low

There is My Rebecca waving by the weeping willow tree in it's pretty yellow fall color.
There is My Rebecca waving by the weeping willow tree in it’s pretty yellow fall color.

It’s been raining for three days straight. We were praying for this precious stuff back in August and September. They call this weather pattern the Pineapple Express around here. Moist warm air coming from the South Pacific and bringing us this rain also known as Liquid Sunshine.

OK, another coffee, quick shower, pick up Catherine and off to our precious Mass. Back to precious you soon. Here I am and guess what? It has stopped raining as the barometer rises. I am going to run outside and take a pic of the weeping willow tree next to our house for you. It has it’s fall colors.

Sorry that I didn’t have a post yesterday. Was dazed and confused by too many chemicals. But today feeling half way. So, have to rally and get ready for my trip which starts Tuesday morning. Have some maintenance on my truck to do and pack gear appropriate to the upcoming weather. So, the blog will be down for four days this coming week. Will be back up on Saturday.

Maybe I will come up with some new ideas and fresh material for you. Maybe new ways to look at old stuff. Maybe old ways to look at new stuff.

I really need to get out to the middle of nowhere and find the time and space to think of and pray for the people of Paris. And the harder part to figure out how to pray for the people that think attacks like this are a good thing. Yea, that’s the way it is, love, Felipe.

Phil’s Camino Walking Schedule 11/14/15

I’m bushed today and can’t make a real bog post happen but here is something.
We have a new walking schedule because of the winter darkness and here it is:

Monday 0900-1000
Tuesday 1530-1630
Thursday 0900-1000
Sunday 1530-1630

It’s raining at times these days but we are walking. Come and check it out. My eyes are closing, later, love, Felipe.