OK, Yes, Keep Laughing

Celebrating beauty!
(photo P Volker)

Henriette came up with a hilarious Camino story but we will save it for last since I won’t be able to follow it with anything. Worth the wait though. But first I must fill you in on the continuing saga of my, my what? I’ve lost track of what I originally started to accomplish with all the interruptions and delays and holidays. Everything medically is still up in the air. I feel like I am getting a doctorate of anxiousness, yea a DA. Yea, Felipé Camino DA.

I should be running for the ferry to get to the Institute right now but not. The results of my blood test are not coming in on time and it will be January 6th, hopefully, when we will be able to see the results. So, I got another reprieve. That happens on New Year’s sometimes, the Governor issues a stay.

Really glad I am not the anxious type or this would drive me crazy, this waiting. But we have plenty of other things to drive us crazy right now so it will have to get in line. Yes, and the pandemic continues to ravage the landscape of our lives. But we bravely walk on trusting that things will work out. Sounds like what we do.

So off to Henriette’s story:

Okay, here’s one of my hold your sides laughing Camino tales: One night early on in our pilgrimage, I created quite a stir when, after lights out, in the pitch dark, I carefully counted five beds over in the snoring room, and climbed into the top bunk of a bed already occupied. There was a blood-curdling scream and awakened cries, and I couldn’t get down the ladder. “Mom, Mom!” yelled Katherine in English from across the room, immediately identifying us to the whole sleeping room as the American mother-daughter team, while a man awakened by the screams called out “¿Eh, Que paso? ¿Que paso?” ready to defend the honor of the screaming woman.

*PS. Katherine got the worst case of the giggles of her entire life, which didn’t help matters any.*

Oh, I can so just see it. Good tale Henriette!

Eh, Que paso loves, Felipé.

Shoot, Let’s Keep Laughing.

Just because it’s fun!
(photo P Volker)

I think I may have gotten something good started yesterday with telling Camino stories, just to pass the time away. Mary Margaret in Comments was reminding me about the night that we got “louder than the Italians.” I don’t really remember too many details of that but … MM seems to remember that while one of us was learning that the beds were quickly getting taken up the other of us was ordering another bottle of wine. Somehow after the second bottle Kelly, MM and I managed to fall into a room somewhere close by like a pile of puppies. We were probably labeled “troublemakers”.

One sunny day, weren’t they all, MM, Angela (Australia) and I were pleasantly hiking along when somehow the topic of gun control came up. Immediately simultaneously MM and I, astute as we are, realized that we, the two of us, were diametrically opposed on this, smiled and broke it off. Somehow the Camino moment was too beautiful to be messed with. We knew that for sure. Angela smiled.

Maybe one more. Kelly was always being, well, Kelly. Other people found the two of us entertaining. Of course there wasn’t much competition really out there in the middle of nowhere (MON). Things always got exciting when we were coming into a town. Kelly would say, “Come on you guys, the brass band is probably tired of waiting around for your slow asses.” Then I would say, “Oh, I can hear the corks popping!” Then he would ask something like, “Is my tie straight?”. Then I might ask, “How’s my makeup?”. Everything seemed to be fun or made into fun.

OK, here we are on the second last day of 2020 walking toward the beginning of 2021. I think that we could keep it fun if we try.

I think I hear the brass band loves, Felipé.

Well Well

Kelly and I.
(photo K Burke)

In midst of today with holidays coming and going. In the midst of today with years closing and years opening. In the midst of today with my medical stuff all up in the air. In the midst of today with things going on with family, friends and neighbors. Somehow I need to clear my head and get to some place beyond all that for a moment.

Trying to conjure up a Camino memory that makes me smile. Oh, I got two, great. Maybe I will just recount those to bring a couple of smiles to us. I know I have mentioned these in the past but maybe it has been years.

Kelly and I were walking on the Meseta thinking that things were under control and smooth. We came to a bowl in the landscape maybe 100 yards to 200 yards across. There was a “Y” in the center that we could see. We walked down into the bowl and exactly as we did that two other groups entered on the other two legs of the “Y”. So, all three parties simultaneously recognized the situation and we all halted. And over the distances we all shrugged and laughed and laughed. We all couldn’t be right, could we?

On one unbearably hot afternoon we fell into a shadow cast by a wall in a rustic town. There were other pilgrims sheltered there and we didn’t realize it right away but it was a line that was waiting to have their blisters worked on. So Kelly said hey I need this and got in line. So he worked his way to the “doc” and asked whether he was a doctor. The guy said no. Then Kelly said something like, well you were in medical school right? And the guy said no but I took biology. Geez, I laughed and laughed. Making do!

And today here in the tail end of 2020 we at the ranch got a Christmas photo card from San Diego from Todd and Jessika. This made me smile. They were part of the crew that had flown to Spain to walk the Camino with Kelly and I and did the filming. Guess what, they fell in love there and got married on their return and now have two beautiful children. Camino love!

Well well, we did manage to smile. Thanks for stopping by to see us.

smiling loves, Felipé.

In Between

In between.
(photo P Volker)

The 28th of December today and betwixt and between the big holidays. If we were kids we would be lost in the glamor of our new toys. But now it seems more of a time to rest up and clean up. Debris from Christmas seems to last for days no matter what hiding out here and there.

The sausage making got wrapped up yesterday with 45 lbs of product all together. It’s all in the freezer now waiting to be called to be parts of happy meals in the future. “Sparky” our grinder made it through another yearly session as did I. He is one champ. May have to have him stuffed when he finally sparks out.

And then there is my Friday appointment coming up with Nugget at the Institute. What a way to celebrate New Year’s Eve? He thought it would be a good idea.

Hope that you are doing well where you are today. I know it may not feel like our old normal, right. But we are called to do something with this. Cris would say what is the opportunity? That is what we have to find and act on.

finding and acting loves, Felipé.


Looking Around the Corner. Tapestry by William Morris.
(captured on FaceBook)

We are moving through the last days of 2020 and doesn’t that sound good? Someone had a little post up on FaceBook recently that thought that 2020 would be a meaningful word like 10-4 was. One guy would say, “How’s it going?” And the other guy would answer, “Oh man, had a terrible week, a real 2020!” I think it will mean not only bad but bad stretched out over time.

Well, we experienced it and not that it will be over January 1st but the corner has definitely been turned. The solstice was here and we will soon see a difference in light and then later a difference in heat. And as that happens we will dig out from under this year that has collapsed on our heads. It won’t be easy and it will take time but I see a new appreciation being had for each other. We won’t be able to take the presence of another for granted. Just having them near will seem like a miracle. That’s my prayer.

OK, I am off to complete our sausage making marathon. We should be able to finish up this morning, hopefully.

hopefully loves, Felipé.

The Day After

Me and Rho at the Venanda. So mark your calendars for August 20-23rd!
(photo W Hayes)

Lots of dishes and debris to get through but it was worth it. Wiley and Henna were over for Christmas morning and then later for dinner of venison roast and pumpkin pie. Wiley contributed the meat and Catherine y Dana had made the pie from scratch. Well the venison was pretty much from scratch come to think of it.

Lots of greetings for my birthday and Christmas have come through by various means. Thank you all. Even though we can’t touch physically we are doing our best. Just had a call from my cowboy chef friend to say hello. Had to have him write in August 20-23rd on his calendar for the big party. Think you will be ready?

A few more days to News Years! Seems to me that will be a big celebration. Let’s turn some corners!

We got a work day today. It’s sausage making day. Making it in bulk, in other words no casings. Two kinds breakfast and hot Italian. It is a chore but like so many things worth the work.

Time to go for me. Take care for now. Miss you.

more to come loves, Felipé.

There Was A Birth From Cris

from macasmunecasconleyenda

There Was A Birth

Happy Christmas everyone! I am writing this literally at 00.10 AM on 25th December, 2020; Buenos Aires time.

This has been a unique Christmas, one we will never forget for sure. And I do hope it is only because we had to be isolated and not because for not being isolated, many more fellow humans had died as the virus spread.

In my country, the important celebration is tonight (“Nochebuena”), and I believe it is because here it is summer time, dinner starts late, we are great at after-dinner talk, the food is a feast so pretty quick it’s midnight and Christmas day is here! Today was no exception, just that I stayed at home, dinner was on my own, and this post is my after-dinner talk with you all, my neighbors at Caminoheads.

But let’s return to the point of this post, the fact that there was a birth. If there is anything that is clear to me about December, is that there was a birth, and not precisely mine: there is no way I could compete with Jesus’s! This fact, added that my family used to move for work 400 miles away by early December, meant that my school mates weren’t around for my birthday, every adult we knew in that place would come on the 24th for Christmas Eve and the presents would be “brought by Santa” in a 2×1 deal have created a lifelong trauma! (PSA: a pair of shoes is 1=one present)

This is why I think I was an empath with Jesus, and when I was a child (and older too), one of my questions was why he had to be born on a manger… it is a tender scene to be set up with kids, but why? Time passed and I got a Christmas card with these defiant lines from Thomas Merton:

“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.”

Merton explains his point of view of the phrase clearly in his poem, but to me, this idea is linked to two other thoughts (not mine either, I just have good sources!): one is that this God we know, is a “God of surprises”. Pope Francis develops this concept very nicely, and so Arch. Tutu, but clearly, a God that decides to be human, has to have a witty spirit, and not to tell how he surprises us on this path of life, he has such a creative mind… “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” it is said! And I know it is true.

And the other thought came later as I became into a pilgrim and an adult, and it is “hospitality and belonging”. What does it say about us, humanity, that we couldn’t make a space for Mary and Joseph, knowing that Mary was going to give birth? Which were the thoughts and beliefs that these people had, that were more important than helping this very young couple (Mary is thought to be only 16 years old) that night? Why couldn’t we make them feel welcome, feel awaited, like -we pilgrims- felt many times?

I am sure many have regretted afterwards knowing that they closed the door to the couple about to give birth to this “God of surprises” incarnated, but do we really need to know the background and outcome to make a decision whether to help of not? I hope not. I hope our lesson learned from the story of the manger is to practice hospitality, welcoming, offer the experience of feeling invited, of belonging, of being seen and cared, to our fellow humans no matter who they are. We pilgrims know that there is always room on the tapas table for someone else, so we know this is possible.

Christmas blessings to you all.

Advent Calendar #25:

Evoke the lives of those who at least have breathed easier once because you have lived. Do it for as many as possible, and while you have them in your mind, tell them “thank you for your generosity, for giving me this opportunity to be a part of you life.” Cris CSABC

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. Aristotle

Merry Christmas, Felipé.

The 24th And A Half

Advent Calendar #24:

Practice MERAKI: do something with creativity and love, where you put a piece of yourself. Maybe you can leave a mark on that, to just know it was you that did it. Cris

Young love’s first lesson is the heart. Edgar Allen Poe

Off To Jesus

Virgin Mary and Child on the trail.
(photo P Volker)

That was a rush of birthday’s with Jessika, Pope Francis, Felipé and Cris! And next year we will have to do way better with Papa. Anyway, we are off to Jesus, right! Keep it simple Sister Joyce used to say.

Here is a meditation for the Nativity that Catherine and I contemplate on our rosary walks. It is very simple:

“The shepherds come and tell what the angels have announced to them: that in the city of David a Savior is born and that they are invited to seek him, and to find him, and to see him, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Mary ponders these things in her heart. She ponders a love so true, a grace so great, that it cannot be comprised by the ugliness of circumstances. This child is a King, this child is God, and yet he rests here in the harsh discomfort of a stable, in the company of animals. She herself is a virgin, and yet this child lives and breathes in her arms. In this moment Mary is a sign to us that no circumstance warrants despair. No human circumstance offers an excuse to proclaim and blame God’s absence, because there is no human circumstance in which he is not present. And thus there is never a reason to abandon hope and to lose our joy. For the Word is made flesh and dwells among us. Mary prays for us sinners, that this knowledge of the Word made flesh may become our very life and our joy, as he is her joy forever.”

from the Magnificat Rosary Companion, page 11.

Whatever your circumstances this year at this time may you remember what is most important. That is your challenge.

see you tomorrow loves, Felipé.

Happy Birthday Cris

Here it is, Cris’s birthday. And I know that none of us here reading this will be able to smile to her in person or give her a hug today. Somehow I want us to be with her in some way that we can.

Let me say to start this little birthday card to her that it would not be an overstatement for me to say that she is the heartbeat of Caminoheads. I may have been the guy that stumbled it into being but she has been pumping energy into it since her coming onboard in 2017.

2017 seems like a long time ago now and I am so thankful that Cris has been such a constant abiding force here. She is the reason why we have the neighborhood that we have now. She brought the neighborhood idea with her.

One of her greatest abilities is to see opportunities in all our dire situations. Yes, isn’t that great. There is never a time were there is nothing to do. That’s how she operates.

So, I am saying that she is pretty indispensable around the blog. Just want to acknowledge that fact as a kind of birthday card for her.
Let’s look forward to August to the get together here to see her and give her big hugs.

And we are on our way, just as the solstice has changed the reality of the light we are on the way out of this pandemic to making it to the oasis of our August party. As with the change in the amount of light per day it is too early to sense the difference but nonetheless the inevitability is established.


Advent Calendar #23:

Notice how armored up you truly are, by feeling your guard go down. Who are the people in your life that allow you to do that?

Young love’s first lesson is the heart. Edgar Allen Poe

onward loves, Felipé.