Sunday At Phil’s Camino 4/17/16


We are there even when we aren't there, so to speak.

We are there even when we aren’t there, so to speak.

Had a great walk today.  Good folks and maximum weather make for a winning combo.  Then we had to dilly dally at tapas, of course.  So, we are through Roblacion de Campos with about 8 km till Carrion de los Condes.   Slowly we are making our way across the Meseta.

We are walking four times a week and keeping the flame alive.  Come join us:

Monday 0900-1000

Tuesday 1600-1700

Thursday 0900-1000

Sunday 1600-1700

I am off Wednesday the 20th through Monday the 25th but walkers will most likely be here for the afternoons anyway.  OK, off for now, Felipe. Continue reading

Walking Meditation


I don't know if we were mediating or not but we were all lucky to be there!

I don’t know if we were mediating or not but we were all lucky to be there!

Is that what we are doing?  I saw this phrase on Richard Rohr’s blog recently.  It was in between charismatic prayer and Zen chores in a list of activities that can actually change us and bring us closer to God.  We certainly walk a lot.  I’m not sure it’s all meditation but never the less somep of it is, I think.

Here it is Sunday morning and I will try and get this post finished for you.  This is my funky weekend or my Pyrenees weekend.  It is the low energy point in my chemo cycle and I am running at maybe 75% but running.  it is simply a gorgeous day here so it is making up for all that.

Father Marc had a smashing homily today.  He was talking about faith and risk and fear, big topics.  Catherine and I sat out on the tailgate of my truck with a coffee afterward and talked it through.  Catherine calls our conversations “tailgate theology”.

I have to run.  Due over at Our Jennifer’s.  We are trying to finish up her bathroom remodel project.

Alright, need to go and come back for our walk at 1600.  Thanks for stopping by, love also, Felipe.



Next Venue


Anticipating beautiful blooms on My Rebecca's Rose.

Anticipating beautiful blooms on My Rebecca’s Rose.

I have a really solid idea for what I want to have on my tombstone, that is, if I have a tombstone.  What do people have these days?  Anyway, how about, “Still walking!”  I wanted to get rid of the finality and get more to the idea of a bridge to another venue.

I was inspired by this story on FB about this woman that wanted to be laid out in her casket with a fork in her hand.  And viewers would obviously have to ask about the curious thing and receive her message.  All during her life her favorite time was when at the end of dinner the announcement would be made to “hang onto your fork!”  Nice, huh?  Remember the anticipation of the coming of something sweet and special.

I don’t think about death too much maybe because I died ten thousand times playing army as a kid.  That’s what boys did post World War Two, well in between getting run over by cars.  And I was pointing this death thing out to my tumors the other day, saying , “Guys, you know that when I die you go too.”  I was trying to point out the obvious benefit of getting together and dragging this thing out as long as possible.

Well, that’s my life today.  But starting to think of packing for the next big venue of the great state of Iowa.  But first, this is the day that the Lord has made, let us be grateful and rejoice in it!  Big loves!  Felipe!


Get wearing your Phil's Camino T-shirts!

Keep smiling and wearing your Phil’s Camino T-shirts!

Just getting done with all the moving parts of the day.   Was up in the middle of the night meditating and writing and now I am paying for it.  It was all a good idea at the time.

Got a library card today,  amongst other things but maybe that is my big news.   Well and hockey playoffs have started so things are good.   But my hometown team the Buffalo Sabres didn’t make it in this year,boo.

I took My Rebecca to the airport this AM, early, to catch a flight to Memphis, TN.  It’s her high school reunion but I won’t tell you which one, bigger than ten though.   The dear just called and she is safe and sound at her brother ‘s having dinner.  She is going to call and read me a Brian Doyle bedtime story out of Mink River.  I’m a lucky guy.  See you tomorrow, alperfect, love, Felipe.

Damn The Robins, Full Speed Ahead


Morning along the Camino in August 2014.  Were we vulnerable?  Vulnerable to learning something new is all.

Morning along the Camino in August 2014. Were we vulnerable? Vulnerable to learning something new is all.

I was outside early this AM and an active little worm was making his way across the cement cobble stones as I hurried over him but he caught my attention.  This is similar to the “Why did the newt cross the road?” of a month ago I guess.  Sometimes we are very vulnerable in our travels and there is not much to do about it is the story.

I was out on the highway yesterday and at one point was following a landscape truck with a load of rock.  It wasn’t a dump truck but a flatbed with a wooden tailgate.  The rocks were two man ones and piled up and their weight seemed to provide  a certain security as they nestled together.  The truck is going at sixty miles per hour and I am traveling at the same speed.  All of a sudden the whole vision turned into a physics problem in my mind.  What sort of disruption in this funky inertia would cause one of those boulders to wind up in my lap?  It seemed like there were a lot of random factors waiting to pounce on the situation.  It had an eerie resemblance to my life with cancer.

Needless to say I switched lanes and got ahead of him.  I mean if you don’t have to be there then don’t, right?  Not that hard.  But I guess the general theme of this post today is our vulnerability and the willingness to keep going in spite of it.  Damn the torpedoes, the robins, the two man rocks and all that stuff, full speed ahead.

At the hospital and about to get my chemo treatment.  Just saw Our Jennifer a minute ago.  We haven’t been able to keep the same schedules so I see her here randomly.  Any break in the Groundhog Dayness of it all is a good thing though.   OK, time to go.  Love Phil.

Off To Port Angeles

What I feel like this AM.

What I feel like this AM.

I’m taking a little break from my routine to drive to Port Angeles, WA to pick up a friend.  Port Angeles is on the wild and woolly Olympic Peninsula which lies to the west of Seattle, between there and the vast Pacific.  Central on the peninsula are the Olympic Mountains and they are all within the Olympic National Park.  A lot of trekking to be had out there.

The area is also home to Port Townsend  a place that happens to have a film festival.  It’s in September and hopefully we will be up there to be with Phil’s Camino.  They have a big wooden boat festival every summer that attracts traditional boat folks from all over.  Lot of cool stuff going on here in the area, get up here and bring some tourist dollars if you can.   These outlying towns are hanging on by their teeth in these high tech days just like places in Spain that we saw.

There, now you know as much about it as I do.   And back to the hospital tomorrow for treatment.   Need to pick up some blueberries or strawberries for my nurses.  I helps me get my butt in there if I know that I will have fun with them.  Maybe Steve-O will show up to entertain me.

OK, kind of a haphazard blog post, maybe reflects my brain this AM.  Well, make the most of it today, it’s one of a kind, right?  Thinking of you there, love, Felipe.

Ah, A New Week.



Horse manure and cover crop on corn field.  Getting ready!

Horse manure and cover crop on corn field. Getting ready!

From this viewpoint at the very beginning of Monday the week seems like a big blank canvas stretched out ahead of us.  We want to make some progress down the trail.  That would be good.  We know things will come flying at us from various places.  It would be good to be nimble and able to dodge some of those and take on the ones worthy of working with.    And we need protection from some things that are too big to handle.  Getting the week down to bite sized chunks would be a good thing.  Will we have enough energy left over to inspire our selves and maybe someone else?  Will we be able to use our creativity to come up with ideas that will be helpful that maybe didn’t exist yesterday?

This is what I am thinking about at the moment.  Trying not to get overwhelmed by it all.  That’s really first on the list, don’t get overwhelmed.   So, yea, time to read the blogs from Rich Rohr and Terry Hershey, get recharged.  Always good, love, Felipe.

Dozing Off


Phil’s Law ~ no matter how much time you have to prepare a blog you will fall asleep in the process.

There that’s good.  I knew there was a law in here somewhere, had to be.  But the point is that I’m bushed.  We had six folks come for the afternoon walk and tapas.   Then some body brought some wine, well actually three people brought some wine.   And pretty soon I am asleep on the couch, Bob’s Your Uncle.

Well, for sure tomorrow is another day.   Walking again in the morning.  Love

Always something happening here!

Always something happening here!

you, Felipe.

The Sun Is Going Down


Annie with Tom who made the Phil's Camino signs and T-shirts.  Nice job Tom!

Annie with Tom who made the Phil’s Camino signs and T-shirts. Nice job Tom!

image imageFinally getting around to blogging with you my friends that aren’t here physically around me.  Kind of a quiet evening here, looking forward to watching a Mariner’s baseball game.  I did see a bunch of people today along with Caminohead extraordinaire Quick Rick.  Remember he came to Spain with his daughter Maryka to walk the last 100 km with me.   He is doing fine.

Also, in the news is the American Pilgrims on the Camino Gathering this weekend.  This is their annual meeting and it is in St Louis this year.  Annie is there with Esther Hobbs I think.  The three pics are from there.  Phil’s Camino was shown there.

And Todd and Jessica are somewhere covering a festival this weekend.  That may be Nashville or Myrtle Beach.  It is really hard to keep up with for me but I’m just a backseat driver so it’s OK.

Sister Joyce is in Dubuque by now for her yearly visit to the place where her order is based.  So, she will be there and back here before the Dubuque festival starts.  Maybe Pilgrim Farmer John can talk her into staying another week so we can catch up.

Well, I think that is all the news fit to print as they used to say.  I am feeling pretty exhausted and will see you tomorrow.   Saturday loves, Felipe.


On Newts And The New York Times Travel Section.


Why did the newt cross the road? Anyone ever come up with an answer on that one?

Why did the newt cross the Vashon road? Anyone ever come up with an answer on that one?

Here I am, brain awash in painkillers and wondering what to write about this AM when one of my beloved Bible Guys emails this link.   It’s a link to the New York Times Travel Section and an article appears about our beloved rock Vashon.  Check this out, a New Yorker’s view of Vashon.  It’s from 2012 but as the article points out that we are in a time warp, so does it really matter?

About Vashon Sort Of

Thank you Bud, you saved my blog bacon today.  But I also learned something by reading this and perhaps I will write about it soon, maybe something like a Vashonite’s view of the mainland.

My Rebecca just pointed out that I could write about “being in the chair” last night.  Yea, OK.  She belongs to a singing group that is called the Threshold Choir and it is a small group of gals that sing for people that are really sick or dying.  And when they practice they like to have someone in the chair and then they gather around and practice new material.  It just makes it more real for them if they have someone and last night it was my turn to be that someone.  So, I got to practice too.

What was that old truckers saying about keeping the shiny side up and the greasy side down?  Love, Felipe.