It’s An Instance Of Longing

I am back with more thoughts about my sister. It is an instance of longing this quest of mine. And somewhere along the line I have discovered that is what we humans do oh so well, longing that is. We endlessly long for this or that. That doesn’t in any way diminish the vision of my sister but it does say to me to relax about it and it will work out in it’s own time.

The idea of dreaming came up yesterday. About how dreams can help us connect. And I had this very weird disturbing dream last night. Not to go into detail but it was about dealing with beings that are weird and ugly, dream beings. Disturbing maybe is the word. But is that enough to doom them, just being weird and ugly to me. Don’t they get to exist just because… Somehow I needed to see/experience this before moving on.

I really just wanted to dream about my sister but I get this one about strangeness. Oh well. Must need this lesson somehow. I am trying to lean into it to make peace with it ultimately.

OK, well that is more than you really want to know maybe. But sometimes things are not straightforward, or easy or pretty. We have to deal with stuff that we are dealt. That’s what is happening today.

Off I go to attend to things.

sunny loves, Felipé.

Good n plenty!

Could Use Your Help

William and his kayak in deep still waters.

There was an article in FaceBook this morning about the benefits to a family when there is a sister among the siblings. I read it and got all weepy. I don’t know if this is the right wording or not but I was supposed to have a sister. As time goes on I miss her more although I have never met her except in dreams.

This paragraph is sad but I can’t get around it. My dear mom had a late term miscarriage before I was born. We never talked about it, one of those deals. Then when I was going through my folks’ bank deposit box I came across the autopsy report all neat and clean and doctorlike. It was only read once.

I’ve always said that I was an only child or thought that way too til that moment. The hair was standing up on my neck to realize that that wasn’t true. It was a surprising moment after getting to fifty years old. And I have grown to look at her as a full entity, as a for sure someone.

But again I need your help. My parents never really talked about this and I never got a hint of what her name might have been. She died when most parents would have had something in mind, right? Help me name her. I don’t seem to have the least idea and have had no luck with this. Although I have used the name Patience at times. I look forward to meeting her and I thought Patience tied into that.

Wow, that was heavy duty. Thanks for sticking with me through that. I have to run. Charlie one of my walkers and his friend Nick are out trimming and weed walking along the trail for a Veranda spruce up. I should be getting out there to help. I can still hear them with their power equipment.

Love you guys. Who else am I going to get to help with something like this?

power equipment loves, Felipé.

Blasting Into The Week

Coming up on Santiago on the trail here!

Well, I don’t know about blasting but trotting maybe. Hey, another week to prep for the Veranda. I am getting caught up on my work and the mowing around the ranch. Time to start getting organized for the pilgrims coming.

Going to fertilize the corn again today. This is high priority. It is coming on fine out there. Sort of pedal to the metal right now with that project. All we need is butter and salt.

Here is a thought for you guys that are going to camp out here. Nights in the Northwest are cool. It gets down in the 50’s over night sometimes. Certainly there are no hot muggy nights that you might be used to. Pack that medium weight sleeping bag.

Also we are organizing a visit to the Most Merciful Savior Monastery which is located close by. They have a dress code for visitors. Here is a copy of what they say:

“We ask that all visitors dress modestly. Men should wear long sleeved shirts and pants. Women should wear long sleeved blouses, long skirts or dresses. Additionally, women are asked to wear scarves when attending services. Children are expected to be kept close, and not allowed to roam freely. Smoking and pets are strictly forbidden.”

Wow, “strictly forbidden”, we’ve never had one of those on Caminoheads blog that I can remember. Well, they are pretty mellow there at the Monastery but they have their rules.

Hey gang off to the Monday morning walk. No clouds in the sky here on Vashon. Come by when you can.

no dress code loves, Felipé.

“Persistence Furthers”

Mr Blackberry is here!

In his homily today Father David talked on persistence. He was reminding us and himself maybe about the value of stick-to-it-ness. God is patient with us and is not bothered by our insistence in our prayer life. And he is persistent with us, following our bumbling trajectory day after day.

It was reminding me of the once popular practice of “throwing” the I Ching the Chinese Book of Changes. You were supposed to realize how things were in constant flux and if you were having bad luck well then it was only a matter of time for it to be better. Or if things were good, enjoy it while it lasted. Something like that. It seemed like I was always “throwing” persistence furthers no matter what. I was stuck in the world of try again or try harder. I finally gave up on that, too depressing maybe. How about an easy one once in a while.

But I guess there are a lot of things in life that require this kind of patience. Persistence being a kind of patience. Sometimes it is such a long haul, a certain thing that we are called on to do. Or something seems to be a burden like an endless chore that is repeated over and over again. Something we have to eek out.

Maybe God looks at us so. “What a rookie!” He says when we screw up endlessly. I‘ve never quite thought of it like that. Maybe that is one thing we are supposed to learn.

Today is the day of St.John Vianney’s annual Salmon Bake. I have to go up there to help out serving and will grab a bite to eat while I am at it. It is a summertime thing!

Well, it sounds like Sunday around here. I’ll have to hurry back to walk the trail at 4 this afternoon. Oh, and tapas, my favorite thing in the whole world.

tapa loves, Felipé.

The Corn Acomin

An ear of the Sugar Buns (early sweet corn) looking a week away from openers.
Baby ear of the Bodacious coming along maybe three weeks away!

The corn is galloping into our future, our enjoyment future. It is making amazing leaps toward maturity. I have been meaning to snap a pic of one of the ears. Will have to in a minute to show you.

And the blackberries are starting to ripen, had a few. That is just going to be a cascade once it gets started in earnest. I made four berry picking buckets to help with the harvest. Hope you come to help!

Tonight it’s my turn to cook dinner. Thought I would do a whole chicken in the dutch oven in the campfire. And add some potatoes wrapped in foil. Then marshmallows on sticks afterward, summer fun!

This is absolutely my favorite time of year when everything is in such crazy abundance. Time for Felipé to gain a few more pounds, fatten up for winter. I am coming along on my weight gain program coming in at 178 pounds at my last visit to the Institute (new word for hospital, sounds impressive).

Verandatime is also galloping at us. Hope that you can join us for part or all of it. Preparations are coming along.

let our love ripen, Felipé.

I Put Down A Copper Penny…

William, our trusty CCBC, sporting his sun bleached Caminoheads’ chapeau. This is the far northern reaches of our neighborhood.

I put down a copper penny (I write a blog post) and I get a shiny dime (beautiful comment)in return. Let me reprint this for you, it’s from Neighbor Catherine:

“Ah, it is enough to mind the land that nourishes you, to awake and praise another blessed day, to give thanks for all the grace that God has given you. If someone came to your door; you would, I know take them in. There are those called to take to the streets, and you would too, if you heard that clarion bell ringing in your heart. Pay attention to what you hear, God speaks to us in strange and mysterious whispers. Not everyone is struck from their horse like Paul on the road to Tarsus. (Should we all be so lucky.) Trust in that which is given to you and that which steers you. As they say: “God is with you.”
(OK, that was inspired or maybe just a glad or two of beer, unleashing some of my errant thoughts. Regardless, Felipe, the crazy world goes on, all we can do is grab a hold of what seems good, just, and beautiful before us, and place our shoulders to that particular wheel.)
Hugs from Crows Feet Farm, to Raven Ranch this fair summer evening.”

I am the luckiest guy to live in such a neighborhood as I do. This is the Camino brought home. How is it that this works for us? We have found something priceless in a world so topsy turvy. It seems an opposite, a germ of better times.

And you too are with us. The more the merrier is the story. Thanks Catherine, we will all drink to it when we get together.

pay attention loves, Felipé.

Visitors Come In Different Forms

I get a lot of company here at Raven Ranch. Visitors come all the time. They all come in their own way and we have some amazing conversation. Let me show you what I mean.

Anatole Broyard came.

This author came with his book Intoxicated By My Illness. That is not accurate. This author came in the form of his book as he is no longer with us. He died of cancer and wrote half of this book about it. It is interesting for me to see how he thought about it. The other half of the book is the story of how his dad passed away from cancer years ago. He had a lot of practice observing, thinking and writing.

Hans Christian came and stayed.

Then a woman came with her daughter to walk. Kira had seen me in Orlando recently and was in the Washington State and came to visit. She is a doctor working with cancer patients in Denmark. The two were lovely and we walked and had tapas. She took a film back to Denmark to show and she left a figure of Hans Christian Andersen.

A jostle of pilgrims!

And then Marcia came via FaceBook and left a pic of a group, her and her pilgrim friends. But what a pic! It was a reunion and I thought of the Veranda coming up. The people in the image were positively glowing. The whole thing had a wonderful and powerful radiance. She left me with that gift.

This is my life right now. Well of course our daughter Tesia is here with her family so that is a whole visitation in itself except they are all still sleeping at the moment here in the morn. So, it is nice and quiet as My Rebecca and I sip our first coffee.

quiet loves, Felipé.

Where Is My Center?

I have four hardwood trees that are growing in containers behind the deer fence. Jim my old friend from Buffalo brought them in his suitcase in May. They are doing well and are very soothing to the spirit I find. (two sycamores and two chestnuts)

The political rancor these days is, I don’t know, unbearable is a good word. It is like a drumbeat of chaos, if that makes sense. I strive to find my personal center after watching a few minutes of this hearing that is happening right now. Somehow it reminds me of walking into Burgos through those miles of industrial chaos. Both don’t seem healthy or conducive to anything creative. Yike!

Maybe I am just a weakling but this is too much for me these days. Somehow my plate is full with things that seem more vital or important to me personally. Am I burying my head in the sand or am I doing what I should be doing by taking care of my own business?

Every little thing seems a bit too important out there. And things that seem important one day are thrown away the next. And here I am refusing to chase all that around continuously. Is that OK with everyone?

Sorry for dragging you into this today but maybe you feel the same way. Maybe we aren’t supposed to live by being pulled in one direction one minute and off in another direction the next.

Well, I hope that is it for today. I need to get to work here. I have a lot of TV not to watch.

searching loves, Felipé.

I Just Saw

William’s party on the job for us in Alberta, Canada.

I just saw a picture on FaceBook of pilgrims at a Camino reunion. Only one word comes to mind, radiant! Need I say more. Currently asking permission to use it here on Caminoheads. All for you guys!

And you need a report of my foray into Swedish Cancer Institute yesterday. That sounds like a university, I wonder if I can be a college graduate now, Mom would be so proud. Shoot, I’ve been going for eight years now, I ought be get something to hang on the wall, don’t you think? Anyway, I passed all my tests, turned in my forms and answered all my questions right. So I am still in the clinical trial! Yea! I really didn’t think that I was going to get through all the hoops this time. But viola!

So beside all that, I hope that these little pink pills are beating back the little growies in my lungs. That would be the important thing here. So have three weeks back here at the ranch before I have to show up at the Institute. The Institute, that sounds important. Be there for a full meal deal scan, tests and appointment. I am so lucky!

OK, so there is merit and benefit in celebrating small victories I have learned. So, this here is one of those. At tapas today raise a toast to Felipé’s ongoing contribution to medical research. That’s only half funny, I really mean that.

So, our family is all here how at the ranch. That’s why I’m locked in our bedroom where I can talk to you in peace. My Rebecca is having the time of her life playing with the kiddos.
We should take a family photo to let you know what this looks like. Yea, good idea.

OK, time to get the day going. Have to go peek at the corn. It is all tasseling now forming those precious ears of golden delight. All for your eating pleasure!

golden delight loves, Felipé.

A Day With Two Parts

Look at that! Red tomatoes this morn!

Oh, Monday morning. And it’s Monday morning after Strawberry Festival, so many hangovers out there! But I feel pretty good. Off to the hospital this morning to get tests and meet with Dr Gold. I got a feeling that they are finally going to bump me from this clinical trial today. Just a feeling.

Then I’m off to the airport to pick up our daughter and her family. They are flying in from Massachusetts to spend time here with us. Rebecca’s up early now and doing a last minute scurry before they descend on us. Will have pictures of the fam for you over the next days.

There is news from our Caminoheads’ North West Bureau Chief, Steve-O. He and his wife Jo have moved from southern Oregon to Portland in northern part of the state. So, they will be closer to us here in Seattle. I am hoping that he will make an appearance at the upcoming Veranda.

Let me just talk about Steve-O for a minute. He is going to love me for singling him out. But he is a Caminohead that hasn’t walked “the Camino” as of yet. Or he may never maybe. But the point being that there are people that just belong with us regardless of their training ground. These are people that have there share of problems and have transcended those to be who they are today. They would totally get the standard Camino but have walked a different route than the usual. See what I mean? Besides he gave us Sture the Flatcoat Retreiver that you saw in the documentary.

Yup, time to pack it up for now. Got to make sure I have everything that I need for my voyage today. It is going to be beautiful today in the 80’s.

warm loves, Felipé.