A Long Letter

Crazy wild sunset over Vashon last evening from the ferry. Mother nature was trying to make it up to me after all day in the hospital without nary a window.
Rho was here in the snow last year but I was so sick. She walked alone.

Rho teaching archery in Italy.

Hardly anyone writes a longhand letter anymore as we are so hooked on our keyboards, as I am doing at this very moment. Yesterday a small package showed up with a long letter and two precious items from Italy. The letter wasn’t from Italy although the author has special ties there. No, but it was from Rho SWBC in San Diego, CA.

It is just swell seeing handwriting as it says so much even without the meaning of the words and the meaning of the ideas. Sometimes our Caminoheads leave Comments on the blog and sometimes they write emails and sometimes letters. The letters being the rarest seem to hold the most value. Thank you Rho.

She spoke of writing poetry and about sometimes pieces are written in five minutes, sometimes years and some never finish.
She spoke of Mother Mary and her relationship with her. She filled me in on the Icon of the Lady of Loreto and a vial of healing oil from the same place that she enclosed. Rho said that she had a healing experience there but didn’t explain. Would love to hear the rest of her story someday.

But you see, I named Rho our Southwest Bureau Chief and she had little idea of what that meant or what she was supposed to do. But do you see what I see? She just is a gem of a person and her sensibilities I wanted to hold close to the neighborhood here, our Caminoheads blog. Our place where we try and keep the flame alive for ourselves and others. Thank you Rho for just being you.

OK, off to my day. Miss you all. Love, Felipé.

Chemo Day Again

Boy, back in the chemo saddle after a month off. And as a bonus I gained some weight and came in at 170.8 pounds. I have been fighting for months to get to 170. Yea!

One of the nurses just said they are going to keep me around because I’m good for morale. Hehe. Maybe I could get a position here, Morale Guy!

They are going to let me go in about an hour, just in time for the evening rush. Have to make a stop at Trader Joe’s and then on to the ferry. Maybe will get to see a little sunshine along the way.

I did some great work today on the logbooks for Phil’s Camino. Every once in a while they need some attention to keep the documentation going along smoothly. I never have been a stickler for records except for this.

William CBC just checked in after his surgery and things are going well there. Yes, that is so good to hear. We want him running in tip-top shape for Spring.

Oh, yes, have to give you a report on yesterday. Shari from San Francisco made it out to Vashon to walk with us and have tapas. She is on our distribution team for the film. The weather was totally cooperating and we had lots of company for the walk and our party. I got the deck cleaned up after sitting fallow for the winter and we had tapas outside for the first time in a long long time. My Rebecca was thinking that it was on the chilly side but we crowded together for warmth and made it through. Winter might not be over exactly but we are pushing the envelope as much as possible.

Bundled up but grinning! First outdoor tapas of the season.

Well, time to wrap it up here at the treatment center. Back home to the Rock kind of loves, Felipé.

There Is News

William in the snow of the North.

Boy, I just waded through a whole bunch of Comments from the last two days. Lots of thoughts on hospitality. PFJ our HBC (figure that out) giving us the weather report from the prairies. It took half a hour to answer all those wonderful messages, I’m not complaining.

Also, I think that it is today that William our CBC is going in for surgery. Please prayers for this dear man and his quick recovery. I got a feeling that he is a hard one to keep down.

As our Midwest freezes over the weather here is springlike. We have to loll around in our luck. The Indian Plum bushes are unfolding leaves. And the first of the California pilgrims is arriving today from the South after our long winter. Shari from San Francisco and member of our film distribution team is coming to visit. Welcome Shari! We are walking at 1530 with tapas afterward if you are in the neighborhood to join us.

There was some news on FaceBook this morning about some Israeli researchers having some breakthroughs in cancer fighting. As I read their report I am so happy for their expertise and understanding. They are really bearing down on the Achilles Heels of the situation. I cannot really understand what they are saying but as with our spring weather here I just want to loll around in it for now. Love you guys!!

Well, time to go. You Caminoheads now know everything I do. Springtime loves, Felipé.

Tapas Just Because We Can

Our tapas, just because we can.

It was a gray chilly afternoon walk yesterday here at Phil’s Camino. No one was here to walk with. It was one of those wintertime occasions when “we” try not to see it as a chore but that is challenging. But this trail has a sort of energy because as Steve our NWBC says “we never close”. In other words we are always continuing or always wpresent.

I went around my usual three times to equal somewhere around a mile and three quarters total. The first time I put out two pounds of sunflower seeds for the birdies. The second time I prayed the rosary which on Sundays concentrates on the Glorious Mysteries. That’s a good thing. Then the third time I kind of hurried through it.

It’s a discipline and sometimes as with them all it is harder to accomplish but one persists. In lean times and fat times the beat goes on. I like to think that folks always visualize Phil’s Camino as an active process. It goes on no matter what.

The other day one of the pilgrims that was with me was talking about a friend of his that had some serious malady and was out washing his car “because he can”. In other words whether it needed it or not was irrelevant and any other reason or motivation was secondary to his belief that he wanted to do it because he still could or “because he (still) can”.

It maybe is part of my motivation with this my backyard walk. It certainly colored my pilgrimage to Santiago four years ago. It is a sort of Don Quixote thing. We just keep getting it done no matter how crazy things get.

So yesterday, back to yesterday, I came in after the walk and had tapas with My Rebecca. Sometimes in winter with no one walking with me tapas get skipped but this time I felt strongly about it. It was as I thought about it was hospitality toward myself. See that? Maybe I deserve that?

Have to go walk, Monday morning loves, Felipé.

Come Often, Phil’s Camino Walking Schedule 1/27/19

Jen and Felipé along the trail, winter light.

It is drier than it should be for this time of year but you still need those rubber boots or waterproof hiking boots. And bring a rain jacket and hat too. I hope that doesn’t scare you away.

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

When Day Light Saving’s starts up again we will be walking at 1600 (4PM) on Tuesday and Sunday. Same great tapas afterward.


An Inspirational Life

More jungle flowers from the Padre.

Yesterday I was doing my daily perusal of FaceBook when I came across this story from the Buffalo News. Shows you how out of touch I am with my homeland as I still know it as the Buffalo Evening News. That detail caught my eye first and I started to read the story and realized that it was about an old high school teacher of mine.

I might have blogged on him before as I did reconnect with him after many years and got a chance to have a phone conversation with him not that long ago. This is comparable to finding my Marine Corps Senior Drill Instructor and having a conversation with him also not long ago. And they are both gone now, graduated. So glad I took the time and energy to do that.

So here is the story of my high school German language teacher, Tibor Baranski.

An Inspirational Life

“The rest of the story” is that in 1962 as a rather sophomoric youth I had no idea that I was working with such a hero. But I did appreciate him teaching me German Script, a form of cursive, that I excelled at and that moved my F to a D.

Off I go to the rest of the day. Always good loves, Felipé.

Wind From The North

Thinking back to last year’s corn season.

Our rainy spell is over. Time for the puddles to drain and the mud to harden up around the trail. Little shoots are coming up, snowdrops, crocus and such. I’ve been working on our firewood for next year processing the maple that we felled last week. It’s that time of year.

This guy is enjoying his chemo vacation with missing my treatment last time. Yea, could get used to this. I’m back to the hospital this coming Wednesday and Friday. It’s gone way to quickly.

I’ve picked out my corn seed from the catalog. I will stick with the three variety succession planting that I did last year, Sugar Buns, Bodacious and Golden Jubilee. That gives us 4-5 weeks of solid sweet corn. Have to try my hardest for a good harvest to feed the pilgrims coming for the Caminoheads Rendezvous. That’s August 23-26.

Ah, I just got news from My Rebecca that a friend has died. That’s Lauren Lane Powell who was active in the Treshold Choir here in the States. She came here for a visit last year. A bright light and strong spirit finally overwhelmed by cancer.

As a teenager I made an observation that too many people died in late winter. Like it is a big hurtle to make it to spring and it is just too much for many. I have no idea if that really is the case or not but it seems true.

Time to get going for Felipé. Have to take advantage of the weather. See you all tomorrow. Hurtling over late winter loves, Felipé.

My Friend, The Padre

In 2018, we visited a fourth century monastery near Lourdes.

We all know him as the Padre. Actually to be totally correct he is the Desert Padre. He now hails from the desert country of California although he has been on the road or at sea most of his adult life.

The Padre served as a US Navy Chaplain for many years, that’s the at sea part. We got to know him through Annie and the Phil’s Camino Documentary where he served as our spiritual advisor. We already had a lot of spirit but what we needed was occasional guidance which the Padre provided.

The Padre came to Raven Ranch for several days a few winters ago. I felt so honored. Where 1200 Marines have to share him, this Marine had him all for himself. It was very rainy as I remember and we talked and talked.

Our last adventure took us to Lourdes, France with the Order of Malta. I went as the malade (a person with a malady) and Padre went as my helper. Us maladies all needed helpers or care persons. The Malta folks said, “You have a priest as your helper?” I said, “Yea, I need a lot of help!” Well who was helping who, I’m not sure but we had a great time. We might have been a bit much for them as I wasn’t your garden variety malade and Padre is a stand out as always.

Padre is a Paulist Father which is a fairly new order. Paulists specialize in media to get the word out. So it is fitting that I got to know him through our documentary. And below is a link that he just sent me about himself.

Padre Tomas Explains It All

Well that was fun. You can tell I love this guy. Hope that you get to meet him at some point.

Walking on loves, Felipé.

A Friend Named Janet

My favorite rose from My Rebecca’s garden. Thinking of summertime.

Janet and I have been doing some energy work over the phone. I am not totally sure what that means but it seems to be agreeing with me. During our last session over she said that she had a vision of me inside what I figured out was the Lady of Guadalupe. Really?

As the days move on I am so happy to think about that and contemplate on what is going on there. First of all visions can be staggering to normal sensibilities, no joke Felipé. They can at first seem strange and weird. This one has a certain amount of that. Could be confusing until you can settle on an interpretation that agrees with you.

A literal interpretation could mean that I was the baby Jesus. Yes, OK. But that is not it for sure to me. We can all do our best to mirror Jesus, yes for sure, that a life’s work. But currently I am seeing the image as me dwelling in Mary. Or dwelling in “Maryness” the epicenter of peace. That seems the closest that I can get to at the moment which is incredible, phenomenally great!

Yes, I am so happy to contemplate this amazing vision. Maybe for the word happy substitute the word enlarged or maybe a dozen others words. It is a focal point. A place easy to go back to when I wander off. It remains steadfast and visible in the chaos.

Just going back to my visit to Lourdes, France in May of last year where Mary is known as the Lady of Lourdes, peace was what I took away from that meeting. Peace in the sense of being part of a cosmic equilibrium. Peace in the sense of being part of something larger, something that makes ultimate sense. Peace in the sense of a substance that is at the same time useful in the everyday.

Thank you Janet for supplying me with another piece in the puzzle. The vision is a wonderful visual of this Way, Mary’s Way. I will be able to see it come rain or shine.

Well, off we go. Thanks for being here today for our meeting. Love you, Felipé.

Easy To Start, So Hard To Finish

Again from Padre.

Talking about poems for one thing. I got half a dozen started and nothing to turn in. I think they are all good ideas, every one. Maybe it is the old Law of Diminishing Returns. It takes extra energy and fortitude to close projects out.

But heck, it is better than the other way around. If a guy had no beginnings than he sure wouldn’t have anything to end. So, I am being touched by people, places and things these days but getting all that down on the paper is the hard part.

Here is another thing that we have started that I need to tell you about. Cris our South American Bureau Chief decided that we need a Caminoheads Gathering this summer. So, after consulting with all our Bureau Chiefs we set dates of August 23nd through the 26th. That is during sweet corn season. And that is here at Raven Ranch. So, mark that down on your calendars.

So all the Bureau Chiefs except maybe Ron from Virginia will be here. Most of the Marauders from Orange County, CA I expect. And we will start getting the word out to pick up as many Caminoheads as possible from around the globe. So, talk to each other and pass this around.

It is basically a four day weekend. We will have camping and potluck meals happening. Also as many activities as we can rig up will be going on. There are Bed and Breakfast places and other rental opportunities in the vicinity for you. It is very early on but just wanted you to get that on your radar.

How is that for excitement? I am sure ideas for fleshing this out will start to appear. It has been great to get to know you all over the last number of years and now maybe we can all get together at one place and one time.

OK, we love to love! Nuts about you, Felipé.