We Can Provide

One of my original nurses at the Institute whose idea it was for me to write a blog sent in a comment on yesterday’s post. It was calling for more moments of beauty in her life to push aside the “intrusion” even if just temporarily. And as synchronistically as possible William our CCBC picks today to send in a bunch of wildflower pics. I think I will just put them up and call things good.







Thank you Bonnie for expressing a need and thank you William for doing what you do just naturally. We can buoy each other.

happy Monday loves, Felipé.

Catherine Is Coming This Morning

All simple on the Camino.
(photo Kelly Burke)

Yea, my Mass partner Catherine is coming to do our little Camino church service. Just like the early Christians who met in homes in small groups. It is healing for us in our own way to find a path through these disrupted days. I think we as people living the pilgrim spirit enjoy the challenge of just doing it our way, maybe our slow way. Of course we will be terribly glad to be back at our beloved St John Vianney’s Church but in the meantime we are learning a lot.

Our weather is dreamy again this morning for our meeting. This is such a blessing, it almost feels too good sometimes, like I should feel just a little bit guilty maybe. Nah! It will be another month before my winter boots throughly dry out. We paid our dues.

Catherine and Dana want to start archery sessions again. I need to put them off for a while. Somehow am not ready. Maybe I should get my butt out there and shoot a few arrows just to get back in the groove. My mind has been a million miles away. Right, I guess we are all preoccupied.

What was that like for us when we weren’t so preoccupied. Geez, it seems like lightyears away now. I really can’t think of anything in my past experience that equals this phenomenon. It’s all we think about and it’s how we order our days. It flavors our decisions and conversation. It’s everywhere, everywhere!

Won’t it be nice just to dwell on a wildflower or a poem without major distractions. Well, someday down the line the chatter and clutter will thin out. Until then we need to find ways and means of getting and keeping grounded during this intrusion. Yea, that intrusion.

Always good to see you loves, Felipé.

The Rain Is Sprinkling Down On A Saturday Morning

Phi’s Camino.
(photo P Volker)

Well, finally a little rain. We were getting very spoiled with all the sunshine and warmth lately, but not today. But OK, we’ll work with in.
Good time to do our Zooming.

Yesterday afternoon Annie O’Neil and myself had a Zoom session with Dr Kate Barush, our Catalina, showing Phil’s Camino and doing a QandA. This was for her graduate class on Art and Pilgrimage. That was a kick. Her classes always have great questions. Watching the film again was extra special for me. I guess that I haven’t seen it in a while and it still has all the magic that it had.

Then this morning we had our weekly Bible Guys meeting. That is going really well. We have been surprising ourselves with the ease of that. So we are carrying on well with our study and revelations. But we miss having breakfast together for one. But then again we have included two guys from out of town who used to be with us but now have moved away. So, it has it’s advantages. Maybe when we are eventually through this we will have some sort of hybrid situation evolve.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping one of Wiley’s buddies start putting up cedar shingles on his new tiny house. We have this exterior on most of our buildings at the ranch so it was a natural for me to get him started. It is a fun system that is as old as the hills and very protective and has a pleasing look. And me, I always enjoy seeing the fruits of a day’s labor one of the advantages of working with your hands.

The shingling project was with James, who I have termed “The most interesting man in the world in training”. Here is a pretty cool video he just put out taken in the neighborhood:

Jamesie’s underwater video at Colvos

Well, I have to get going for now.

Hope your day is good loves, Felipé.

Another Beautiful Morning

The tapas table with the cherry blossoms overhead!
(photo P Volker)

Whatever happened to April showers? Maybe I better not speak to loud. Can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this fantastic weather. Just as Pilgrim Farmer John and William are under snow. Well, that’s how it goes.

So how is everyone doing with the isolation? There was a FaceBook post from Now That’s Funny was “If the schools are closed for too long, the parents are gonna find a vaccine before the scientists…” Hehe. My Rebecca says parents are going to really appreciate teachers before this is all over. There is some thought about paying them a billion dollars a year now.

What is that old saying, “Necessity is is the mother of invention.” And that’s what we are experiencing right now. That is always stressful because of the lag between the need and when Mom gets there.
But it is how we do things most times apparently.

Governor Cuomo was talking a few days ago being inspired by the Apollo 13 movie. Remember all the brain power and slide rule work that went into bringing those guys home in one piece. If you can check that film out or one of the documentaries about the event you will see what the Gov meant. We watched one of the documentaries.

Well, I am off to solve my own current local problems probably won’t need a slide rule, maybe a tape measure would help. So, stay sane and be creative with your time and affairs. All things may be possible.

Springtime exploding loves, Felipé.

Amazing Comments Lately

A flurry of snow. This is current in Cochrane, Alberta.
(photo W Hayes)

Yesterday there was a little flurry of amazing comments in the blog Comment area. If you have never checked that out, do. From the very beginning I always thought the comments to be an important part of this process. It seemed to me that if people didn’t respond once in a while I would just be howling into the wind of the Meseta. So, I am printing up one from Jessika (Secret Agent Jessika) and two from John (Pilgrim Farmer John John).

“Hola, Felipe! et al,

This current existence is becoming almost imperceptibly a little more Camino-like. I refer to the comforting “sameness” from day to day. I really don’t have the feeling of monotony, nor did I walking every day for 70 days in the spring of 2013. The word “comfort” really does seem to apply. In France and Spain, it was the call of the Way, starting early each day, beckoning with a new vista that I’d never seen before. A new restaurante or cafe that I’d never supped at before. Usually, the opportunity to say Bon Chemin, or Buen Camino to another Pilgrim, who, heretofore, had been a stranger that I hadn’t yet met, and who was now a Friend, a fellow Pilgrim.. And each night a new place to clean up and lie down and say a fervent Thank You God for giving this all to me, a sinner and a repentant Pilgrim.

So how can that possibly be similar to today’s life in Pandemic mode? In Europe, it was the ancient paths, where today it is the internet that now provides all those things. We can find a Mass from a different location, a different state, a different country even, every day! Different priests, bishops, even the Papa himself! We look through our electronic address book everyday and decide who we an call today that has something special going on, or has a special meaning to us, or maybe we just haven’t talked to in a long time. The Pandemic has given us that most precious of all gifts———–TIME! The recurring daily-dailies are looked forward to as well. This Blog is high on that list! My sole remaining Aunt on my dad’s side is nearing 90, and she writes a daily “letter” to as many of us family kin as have signed on to her address list. She’s usually first out of the gate, and I look eagerly for it. As she frequently states, “It’s a lot of words about not much of anything”, but it consistently reminds me of long ago days at home, and big and little family activities.

Phil’s Blog continues to amaze me with its poignant philosophy so easily presented to all of us. That slow-motion x-ray vision he applies to complicated events puts a much needed slower perspective into play. And all of us fireflies that are attracted to his glow add to the light and warmth of this priceless “Camino Connection”. Each of your personalities shows through with insightful comments, and I feel privileged to even know all of you, let alone think of you as Friends, and more importantly, Fellow Pilgrims.

Pandemically present,
Semper Fi,

Then Jessika had this for me:

“You know, Phil, I’m glad you talked about the ancestors. They were tough stuff and they handed down so much if we would take their learning. One of mine crossed the Oregon Trail, lost his wife and eldest son to Cholera along the way so had to isolate themselves from the rest of the wagon party, far enough just to be seen, but could not interact. I have been thinking about them a lot.”

Then back to John:

“Hi Jessica!
So many tiny threads that connect us, and we may never be aware of! The farm I grew up on in southern Iowa had deep, ancient ruts across one of the pastures that was so steep and rough that it had never been plowed up. I spent part of every youthful day walking over those hills to bring in the milk cows for evening milking. In 8th grade, we had a mandatory course called “Iowa History”. That was when I discovered that both the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail passed through the township we lived in, and our farm was, in fact, part of one branch of that Trail! So, depending on where your ancestors joined the trek, they may have in fact walked across our family farm on their way to the West! Buen Camino, indeed!”

Just nice stuff that we didn’t get to before.

nice stuff loves, Felipé.

Cloudy Skies Wednesday

Can’t get enough!
(photo P Volker)

Well, we are here. That’s pretty profound Felipé. OK, OK but we are here in this new place. Everything on the news seems new and strange. Most things in town seem new and strange. Masks and gloves and minions everywhere sanitizing everything that looks suspicious. Essential shop owners short on their skilled staff, short on products; business isn’t smooth.

Business is stressful but for the most part the home front remains calm here. I don’t know what I would do without being able to walk and work outside in nature. It is my personal joy. So for that I am thankful.

To strike a balance is the way to achieve some sanity these days. What do I have to have to keep on a even keel through this storm? This is a big question and equal in importance to the effort to keep from getting infected.

So onward we go to get to the “new normal”. Right now I’m listening with one ear to the daily homily of Governor Cuomo who seems to have a grip on the present situation and a grip on logical movement forward to the “new normal”. He’s good. If you have been hanging around Caminoheads for any amount of time you know that we have the phrase “beyond normal” which has been coined here. It means something beyond “new normal”. It means being more forward looking than that.

Well, it’s curious times here with all of us and times that require special treatment and care. But we can do this. We are smart and resilient. Our ancestors have weathered all sorts of storms and wars so we know deep down in us how to do this. Let’s get it done.

mid week, mid pandemic loves, Felipé.

Old Friends Calling

Making noise.
(photo stolen from Face Book)

It’s nice isn’t it to have old friends and acquaintances call out of the blue and gab? Things seem relaxed in certain ways even in the midst of the overall chaos. Art, an old hunting partner, just called early here and we had to catch up. In our everyday usual lives we seem to never have the time or take the time to keep up. In our younger days we did a lot of exploring in the high country, cougars, elk and mountain goats, oh boy! So now we are planning a summer scouting trip up there to see things after travel is OK’ed.

Anyway, the point being that things are quiet and relaxed for some of us. I was out walking yesterday morning at the regular time and suddenly stopped and took in the whole quietness of the situation. No cars, no joggers, no planes, no lawn mowers, no dogs barking. Wow, it was close to spooky. It is generally unusually quiet here on Vashon but this was way beyond that usual.

Well, and what I am itching to get out there and get the tractor and the chainsaw going. Yea, I’m Mr Quiet! I’m itching to put the finishing touches on some things and to continue on others, Mr Noise here.

Other positive signs of Spring are happening here. Picked some rhubarb and had it for desert, a tonic. Got the old squeaky screen doors on the house yesterday. Maybe they will make one more season? And pollen is thick in the air, you can see it wafting in the breeze. The air is starting to be full of the smell of blossoms, whatever is current. Yea, Springtime, no mistaking it!

Well, time to get going and make some noise of one sort or another. Hehe. Have all the fun you can and at the same time of course stay safe.

Springtime loves, Felipé.

Obviously The Day After

Tulips in fava bean leaves from Catherine and Dana.
(photo P Volker)

Man, our streak of gorgeous Easter Springtime weather continues. It’s as if we were in some desert environment somewhere not in the rainforest. But I’ll take it obviously, no questions asked.

Lent is over and we have been through the strangest one in I don’t know how many hundreds of years. But we adapted, we Zoomed our way through it. Now on to our next challenge.

I’m watching the little swallows out the window. They just started coming into town in the last few days. They are the sure sign of Spring and they are the sure sign of flying insects, their diet. We’ve reached a certain level of warmth. Eat up those mosquitoes boys!

I was able to get out on Saturday and do some rototilling on the corn. So we have two patches now. So, one will be able to rest a season while the other is working. Yea, the tractor was running great, the tiller was running great, I had my sunglasses on and just tilling my little heart out on that beautiful afternoon. I think that we are setting up our farm stand this summer by the side of the road. We missed the last two years but Wiley and friends have all sorts of veggies planted for sale so it looks like a must.

THE TRAIL REMAINS CLOSED THROUGH APRIL at least. We are taking that month by month. But I am walking on the regular schedule saying the rosary for us all near and far, big and small. That seems my best avenue to be of help in my Felipé world.

There are some furniture repair projects going at the shop bringing in a few dollars. People are so appreciative of that. They have favorite heirlooms that sit forlorn til some kind old carpenter applies some TLC. It’s kind of fun to touch history like that to be able to work with an artifact from another age and place maybe.

Off to the repair shop in town this morning to pick up four chains that I had in for sharpening, chainsaw chains. Still have logs piled up to cut up and split for Catherine and Dana’s next winter’s supply. Keeping everyone toasty.

So, that’s life at the ranch in the Spring of this year. It is not much different than other years really even though I recognize there are other realities out there of the harshest kind. And therefore my work on the rosary.

Off to walk and pray the morning walk loves, Felipé.

We Made It, Let’s Celebrate!

Sunny trails are here!
(photo P Volker)

On this triumphant day, the most triumphant holiday of the whole year let us celebrate and appreciate our lives here and our place in the universe. Here it was Christmas just yesterday with days and weeks of rain and dank since but now look! Look out there at that blue sky and the reflection of the sun which I can’t see directly but I know is close none the less.

The first green leaves are unfolding, everything fresh and new. Coyotes howling and deer birthing. The Wild Kingdom shakes the chill out of it’s bones. The sun is brightening so it is hurting my winter eyes but it is a good hurt.

Sometimes living day to day is a triumph but look at us here at Easter celebrating so. Carrying on to say this is bigger than our present situation with the Scourge of this Virus gnawing at all our doors. That’s creepy I know, I know but forget it for one moment and rejoice. We don’t exist on bread alone and we can’t exist with no hope in our hearts. Fan that flame that is in there. It is high time for that.

We have today. It longs to have us. Be real to it. Take it as the gift that it is. Float on it’s surface if that is what you need or dive deep and explore. We are all in different places with different challenges but Easter is a day for everyone, have or have nots, believers or non’s to enjoy and ponder.

enjoying and pondering loves, Felipé.

Ah, Saturday

Dramatic sky last evening.
( photo P Volker)

So glad that it is Saturday. It is a relief after the grief of Good Friday. A sort of rest or pause where the whole turnaround, the whole 180 degree shift brews in the darkness. I can’t see it but I can hear it bubbling in the shadows.

There is a notion, a notion that Jesus ministered to the dead on this day. The Bible isn’t specific on this but I like to believe it and I think about it all year. In other words Jesus preached to all those countless people who died before he came to earth who had not heard the salvation message. Now they could be saved. This is only a notion but it seems to fit with a merciful God. I like the way I can have this rattle around in my brain on the other 364 days of the year. It’s warm and fuzzy when I need it.

Just wanted to mention a movie that My Rebecca and I watched a couple of nights ago. It is titled The Green Book or maybe just Green Book. It was a free one which is what we have been doing as a hobby lately.
It is a little bit of a dig but there are quality films for free out there. Anyway it is basically a pilgrimage that this pair of people find themselves on, a highly unlikely pairing for the times. We really enjoyed it and we think about it afterward, a sign of a good film in my book. It’s ultimately warm and fuzzy after their long hard road.

OK, have to go. Blue sky calls me.

blessed Holy Saturday loves, Felipé.