The Afternoon

The pantry cabinet is installed now at St. John Vianney’s. Here it is still at the shop. Thanks guys for helping me move it, owe you.

Action packed Sunday here for the Felipé. For such a seemingly sleepy place this island keeps me busy. I had my first spiritual direction session with Jessika this morning. Been a long time since I had Sister Joyce to help me. We talked about the ins and outs of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Then I was off to My Rebecca’s church to hear a sermon by good friend Rev Bonnie Barnard. She is so vibrant, she gets me hopping. And of course, I went to Mass, the good Catholic boy that I am these days.

Have a walk in minutes. I don’t know where this day went to. Action central here on the Island. Catherine and Dana are supposed to make it here for the walk. They are some of my oldtime favorite walking buddies but you know that by now.

Well, the Vashon Strawberry Festival wraps up today. A major event for the Island. The other major popular weekend attraction are the Sheepdog Trials in early summer now. I sound like the Chamber of Commerce. But now the Island can glide into Fall and us locals can take our island back once again.

Preparations for the Veranda continue. We are all excited here, hope that you are getting pumped. If you have any musical talent please bring your instrument. We’re light in that area. Have a mariachi band you’re not using?

Ok, have to go for now. Super summertime loves, Felipé.

Remembering Lourdes

With Father Tom on the Lourdes Pilgrimage

There was some video of the pilgrims at the shrine in Lourdes, France today on FaceBook. Cardinal Dolan was presenting this little introduction and it showed a lot of Order of Malta people. If you remember I had a chance to go there with the Order last May with Father Tom Hall.

Watching the video brought back many memories of that pilgrimage. The Knights and Dames of the Order were so great and all the doctors and nurses that were on the staff to take care of us were first rate. It was an action packed week there for everyone. And I don’t think it is possible to go there and come back and not be changed.

I remember how I struggled to try and capture the experience for this blog. It was hard for me to do that. It was hard to separate my idea of pilgrimage that I had developed from the Camino. I had to put that on hold to consider Lourdes. This took some doing but I did it.

Now more than a year later I see something maybe that I missed in my writing then. Well, basically the Camino is all about action. Walking, walking, showers, tapas, sleep, walking walking and on for hundreds of miles and many days. If it is not action it’s that you are resting and getting ready for more action. If we have to stop for good you would feel defeated.

Lourdes is all about sitting still, being still and receiving. It is all there for you, all figured out. Good people cart you around, literally, from one religious experience to the next. You are with thousands of other malades, pilgrims with an illness, receiving, receiving and receiving.

Of course I had trouble sitting still, the Camino guy that I am. So this is what I was wrestling with there and after. And what did we receive ultimately, what did we come away with beyond all that? What did I finally find and boil down to put in the blog? Well, in brief it was all about healing. And by healing I mean beyond curing. I mean we experienced a closeness, a glimpse of the bigger picture. That is beyond suffering. Something that can make it all seem OK or even better can see it all make sense. Or even better yet see as something to find joy in. Yea.

Well, just a flashback to last year. And a year can be an eternity when you think about it. A lot can happen and you can get a lot done in a year. Here’s to the future!

thinking of you loves, Felipé.

The Blackberries

Zillions of them!

The blackberries, that really are the owners of our property, are starting to strut their stuff. The upcoming crop is looking totally outrageous. This wild and crazy plant is once again going to bring a cascade of abundance down upon us. Maybe we will have some guests here this summer to help us pick them.

But it was in February of this year that we had the big heavy snow and everything was crushed including the blackberry brambles. Things looked bleak for them but hark, look at them now. This plant just screams resilience! Cancer patients need to study this. What do they have that we could learn. It is a gnarly nasty plant by suburban landscape standards, way too unruly for the lot. But out here at the ranch it owns the land in between the forest and the pasture.

I know I curse them continuously, true, true, true. We compete for square footage. I hack and I burn and I sweat and I curse. Maybe some of their orneriness has worn off on me. You think?

Otherwise on Vashon Island there is the annual Strawberry Festival this weekend. There will be a parade and venders and dances. Thousands of folks from the mainland will descend to partake. I will be hiding out here pondering blackberries and resiliency. None of that wimpy strawberry stuff for me.

None of those wimpy strawberry loves, Felipé.

Started A New Book

William is so great to supply me with these images from his travels.

I think that it was Henriette that left the title of this book with me but I could be wrong, so many great folks have come through here lately. You know it is the salon here at the Camino where people come and share great ideas all the time. But it is entitled Intoxicated By My Illness and that is by Anatole Broyard.

I just started it last night but it reads well and I should be able to get through it in a timely manner. It is fascinating, where most people find desolation the author revels in the situation. That’s what I want to see at this point. He is so blessed that he has the tools and capacity to express himself so. We will say more about it in the future, promise.

Somehow death has always seemed like it would be a dimming of life. We want to continue onward to another day but our capabilities ultimately fail us as our fire dims. But taking a cue from my cancer it is possible that a person as they approach death could grow so large, robust and wacky that they outgrow their venue like cancer does to the body. Maybe blast into another dimension!

I am so lucky to have options for my mind and spirit to fly to. There doesn’t seem to be a good reason to be small about things. Where does that get us anyway?

It’s a blast loving you, Felipé!

Such A New Day

from William

Hump Day today, Wednesday, the middle of the week. We are having some rain this morning. It’s been a little wetter than normal this July. That’s good.

So, the other day Catherine and Dana and I hammered out an agenda for the four days of the Veranda. It gives a little structure to the situation but is not totally solid. There are a few things to be added but maybe I will print it for you so you can get a rough idea of the flow of it.


Tentative Schedule for Caminoheads Pilgrims on the Veranda Gathering
August 23-26 2019

Friday 8/23
0800 ​​Coffee
​​Gathering, moving in, mingle

​​Pilgrim Blessing

Saturday 8/24
1200​​Film at Vashon Theater
1300-1600​Vashon Town Time
1700​​Mass at St. John Vianney Catholic Church
2030​​Campfire (Bureau Chief Reports)

Sunday 8/25
0900​​Rosary Walk
1600​​Walk / Anointing with oil
1700-1900​Celebration (our Felipe)

Monday 8/26
1000​​Tour (All Merciful Savior Monastery)
2100​​Campfire & Close

There is plenty of meet and greet time in there. And there are a few things to add but not too much. We thought that it is better under engineered than over.

I am guessing that we are having about sixty pilgrims here all together although I don’t expect them to be here all the time. People will be coming and going.

We will be on duty part of the time. I am asking that everyone spend a quarter of their time here as a hospitality helper. There will be things to do to keep things moving. Also I am going to give a responsibility to each of the Bureau Chiefs.
In this way we can help each other as we like to do anyway.

OK, please email me if you have specific questions about anything concerning your trip. .

A little over a month away loves, Felipé.

Sometimes A New Perspective Comes About

Years pass sometimes as I trudge through certain aspects of my life. I don’t even sense that I am in a rut. Everything seems present and accounted for. Then one day somehow I stumble on a new way to look at it. It was there all the time but it wasn’t available to me. How many things are like that?

Last evening I was doing energy work over the phone with my friend Janet from California. I’m the subject, she’s the worker. We were having our weekly session Monday evening. It was warm out and I decided to move my end of the operation outside to the deck by the tapas table. You know the place.

I stretched out on a reclining chair and found myself looking upward at the big cherry tree which overhangs the area. It was there before we got there in 1980 and it has turned into quite a presence over the years. And as I was there working with her I was becoming more and more lost in the structure of this gnarly old tree.

It was like meeting an old friend that I hadn’t seen for a long time. Look at that! And look at that! And look at that over there! I enjoyed that immensely. And Janet wove it into the treatment nicely. But that tree has been in my life most everyday for decades now and it took a different perspective to see it and enjoy it, to appreciate it anew.

It has a great cantilevered way that is spread out horizontally to cover most of our house. This is totally different from the structure of the conifers growing in the crowded forest here. They are interested in height as they strive for the sun. This guy is out in the open and is intent on growing outward.

So, I scurry around under this magnificent tree in its shade and protection doing our tapas rituals. Our guests enjoy themselves laughing and sharing stories. And I take the tree for granted. So that is what I was awoken to last evening. It was fresh and new remarkably.

I wonder how many other things are lurking around waiting for me to rediscover? And a major part of that is slowing down. So thank you Janet for slowing me down for that hour.

Off I go to the day. Unexpected loves, Felipé.

The Morning Walk

Michelle, Levi and Felipé on Phil’s Camino from a few weeks ago.

I have a few minutes before the regular morning walk at 9 o’clock. Maybe a brave soul or two will show up. It looks like it could sprinkle on our heads. And we are getting down to the finally laps of this our third walk across Spain. There are somewhere between forty and fifty laps to go I am recalling. Maybe mid August we will be in Santiago!

Any ideas where to go next? I need a map or guidebook from another route maybe. Remembering back to the start of this trip across and I was then looking for another route and nothing came up so we did the Frances again.

Oh, a light rain out. This is going to so help our wild berry crop this year, all this rain lately. I’m predicting they will be super juiced because of it. The king berries are starting to appear. That is the singular blackberry at the very end of the vine that ripens first. So, coming soon.

Out of time for now. That’s how things go these days. See you soon! King berry loves, Felipé.

We Had A Death

Vashon Island had a death yesterday or the day before. I don’t know the details but it was a Vashon man that died outside of a detention center in Tacoma, WA. The city of Tacoma is just a short ferry ride from here.

Apparently there has been protesting going on for a while involving immigrants being housed there. And without knowing too much it looks like some sort of protest action gone very wrong. I mourn for this individual and too for the whole situation.

It seems hard to say very much about this without getting involved with the whole political football game that is going on. Some compassionate middle ground thinking needs to develop to sort this out and sooner than later. I am sure that more will come out about this story and maybe the good part is that there are more of us talking about it today than yesterday and that includes me.

OK, off I go to my Sunday. Walk later today at 4, swing by. Blue sky loves, Felipé.

A Quiet Saturday

Am iris from William.

I hear a mower in the distance and a raven cawing overhead. My wifi is funky today, maybe Comcast didn’t get my check yet. Check’s in the mail guys!

You know there are still a few folks wondering about my hospital visit a week and a half ago and where I am at with my clinical trial. So, we got my numbers back in the acceptable zone and I am back on the trial but at a lower dosage of the drug. This is the lowest dosage available and if this triggers my numbers to be faulty then I think that I am done with this. But in another week and a half I will be back to the hospital for a look see.

So here at the ranch I got a week and a half to enjoy the summertime. We are fortunate to have no storms and earthquakes here at the moment anyway like other places. Kind of lazy really. Well, no that is not accurate. Maybe simple is better. It’s not real complicated getting through the summer.

Our daughter Tesia and her family are going to be up here soon for a stay. It will be fun to check in with them. The two grandkids are growing and will have new tricks for us.

Time for me to get to work. Alperfect around these parts. See you tomorrow. Simple loves, Felipé.