The Interpretation

Sunshine out the window here at the hospital.  Alperfect.
Sunshine out the window here at the hospital. Alperfect.

Jennifer’s scan went well is the great big happy news today. The first thing she said to me was, “I guess I’ll have to start making plans for my life.” She is kind of getting the idea that she will be around for a while longer. Nice. We are happy for her. Your prayers were awesome, thank you.

Short and sweet today on the blog post, reporting from the Cancer Camino here in Seattle. We are just about done with treatment for the day and will be out in the sunshine momentarily. Thanks for being with us, love, Felipe.

Thinking Of These People

I received an email from Moira a friend of Our Jennifer’s, actually it was addressed to both of us. And she was telling us about this friend of hers that lives up in Victoria, BC, Canada and who for the last ten years has spent three months each year working in an orphanage in India. But this year she is doing something different, walking the Camino de Santiago. She started on September 25th in France and plans on being in Santiago on November 1st, her 80th birthday!

Spanish autumn as seen in the last few days.
Spanish autumn as seen in the last few days.

We will think of her and pray for her as she makes her way across the autumn landscape of Northern Spain. We think of her and pray that her near eighty year old body moves lightly over the paths, roads and trails. We think of her and pray she has companions both young and ancient that buoy her up in the hard spots. Bless you dear as you walk towards your birthday celebration, awesome!

And Our Jennifer is off to the hospital today walking her Cancer Camino to get a scan of her insides. We are back there tomorrow for our chemo treatment and she will also get her interpretation of the scan from Dr Gold. Leading up to this meeting is the peak time of anxiety.

We will think of Our Jennifer and pray for strength for her to face the facts as they come in to her. We will think and pray that she will keep the big picture in mind as much as possible as she moves across this strange landscape. We think and pray that the realization that Saints and Angels are walking with her always is always fresh in her mind. Bless you dear one.

Ah, it’s a weeping blog post today, the best kind really. Deep feelings come to the surface at these times and we let them massage our being. Always good, love, Felipe.

Eclipse Of The Moon

Marigolds in  My Rebecca's garden.  Nice.
Marigolds in My Rebecca’s garden. Nice.

Very eerie looking vision in the night sky last evening. I can see why it was probably a big deal back in the day but still intriguing for us twenty first century sophisticates. Catherine had called the ranch and excitedly wanted us to come up to the corner to get a good view. There were a bunch of our neighbors assembled. Binoculars were being passed around and kids ran around between the adults. Nice little impromptu gathering. We finally started to freeze and headed back to the wood stove and apple pie dessert.

As long as we are talking pie I have to say that I am pretty proud of that particular apple pie which I made for My Rebecca’s birthday “cake” with technical assistance from our Jennifer. The second pie baking adventure of my life, yea, a significant event. Well, I cheated a little with a prefab crust but still.

And while I was cruising for a recipe in the Joy of Cooking (24th printing, August 1981) I came across a recipe for beaver tail. Yea, so I thought you need to know about that just in case of some random survival situation. It might come in handy. Well maybe not in the middle of L.A., Miami or Madrid but you guys out in Iowa and the like listen up:
Beaver Tail – To Indians and settlers alike, this portion of the animal was considered the greatest. Hold over open flame until rough skin blisters. (It doesn’t say this but the critter needs to be dead to accomplish this step gracefully.) Remove from heat. When cool, peel off skin. Roast over coals or simmer until cool. (See, easy peasy gang.)

Well, see you don’t get this kind of valuable info on the average blog but I know that is why you are here already. So, here we go into another big day. Fishing this afternoon with Catherine y Dana after the elusive silver salmon. OK, make the best of the day, love you, Felipe.

Angels In The Rafters

An angel in our living room, a gift from Mary Margaret.
An angel in our living room, a gift from Mary Margaret.

Just got back from Mass, beautiful Mass. It is always a joy but this morning I have to admit I got to daydreaming during Father Marc’s homily. It wasn’t that it wasn’t a wonderful talk, it was as usual I am sure. I always get something out of it to take with me. Sometimes it is the main idea that he is trying to leave us with and sometimes it is a quote or notion that is sort of a byproduct that will be memorable. Something good always happens.

Catherine and I have been driving in together and sitting together for a while now and lately we have been trying different pews searching for better acoustics. Can we find a spot that will give us a clearer audio? I’ve listened to too many power tools singing and too many rifles barking to have good hearing anymore so we were looking for a little help on that.

We must have chosen a bad spot for I lost track of Father Marc and looking up into the cavernous space above us I began exploring the architectural features high up there, the skylights, the high windows, the rafters, the trusses. The spaces between things started to look important. Imaginary angels, in all their glory, started to fill these spaces. They were were sort of lounging but alert taking in Father Marc’s message even if I was AWOL. Nice.

So that is what I took home with me. Gold is where you find it, right?Alperfect once again, love you, Felipe.

Check It Out

Alida, Laura and Princess Anamaria.  Looks like the beginning of a Shakespeare comedy, right?
Alida, Laura and Princess Anamaria. Looks like the beginning of a Shakespeare comedy, right?

Big trouble in Madrid! The Angels together again cooking up their own brand of mischief. Hopefully the Princess can pull in the reigns on the situation before things get out of hand. The Pope may be in NYC but we have the Angels in Madrid! Awesome.

OK Then!

 Haws on  the hawthorns
Haws on the hawthorns
We survived My Rebecca’s birthday celebration although I am semi napping at the moment, recovering. She throughly enjoyed her day with friends stopping by and me cooking and baking my tail off. It’s hard to buy stuff for each other any more. Just doing things together or for each other seems to be more valuable.

I have to jump up in a moment and go tractor on the corn patch. Have the tiller on and am going to till in all the stalks and othe organic debris. Then planting rye and vetch as a cover crop. Have to get up off the couch first I guess.

Got two nice comments on the talk of the last few days about the spiritual benefits of walking. I need to reply to those. And you guys really make this blog by leaving your comments. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to do that.

Hang in there, be good, be bad, just don’t be average, love, Felipe.a

More Slow Thought

Going into the woods on Phil's Camino as we move slowly along.
Going into the woods on Phil’s Camino as we move slowly along.

I was talking with Our Jennifer yesterday afternoon about yesterday’s post. And she had some questions about that leading me to the feeling that maybe I wasn’t as clear as I should have been about my idea. Sometimes in my striving to keep my posts short and sweet maybe I don’t explain things well enough. So, let me take another run at what I was working on yesterday.

As the Camino was going on yesterday I was thinking about the pace of walking. Not my walking in particular but just walking in general by anyone anywhere at any time. That speed of motion lends itself to a certain mode of experiencing, a certain headspace. It is an uncluttered space compared to riding a horse or riding a bike or driving a car or being a passenger in an airplane. Although we move through space at a faster rate there are many more details to keep track of and more decisions to be dealt with per minute. Just walking seems a vacation in comparison. But maybe more than that it is a sanctuary in and of itself.

If we discount the idea of racking up mileage in a comparative way with other means of transport and think of it as a gateway to a space then that is what I am talking about. I/we often think of walking as something less because it is slower, less is achieved so to speak. But that is only if we think of it in mileage terms. If we think of it in other ways it becomes something different.
And that is what was on my mind.

So maybe instead of thinking that walking is somehow a step backward it is really a step forward in finding a space where we can work on certain things. A sanctuary where things happen with our thinking, with our spirit. And then when we walk together then it is a space to work in between us. That happens for sure as we Caminohead along.

OK, getting back on the tractor. Need to get some work done early and then cooking and baking this afternoon for My Rebecca’s birthday which is today. Anon, love, Felipe.

Slow Thoughts

The south pasture.
The south pasture.
The corn stalks all dried out.
The corn stalks all dried out.
The sunflowers are full of seeds and full of birds.  We tied bundles of the cut stalks up to the fence posts.
The sunflowers are full of seeds and full of birds. We tied bundles of the cut stalks up to the fence posts.

Before I start on my thoughts, just want to report that we had a wonderful time last evening. We wound up at the Phoenician Restaurant at Alki Point in West Seattle. Had a wonderful meal and wine outside overlooking the water. Then we walked a few blocks for a gelato and ate that on the beach. But here is a great funny thing that happened on the way. I wanted to stop at a pharmacy to get some of my meds and while we were there both Rebecca and I snuck off to the greeting card aisle to get an Anniversary card for the other.
We met on the way to the checkout discovering that we had picked out the same card. Nice. We had a good laugh. As Annie says, after a while we can’t help it.

So I was off walking this AM trying to get to Pamplona. I was alone although I know that is not true really. It was beautiful with sun and blue sky. So, I took some pix. I said a rosary on one lap. But what was coming at me this morning was the notion that this pace of walking is the speed we are supposed to be moving at. This is the pace we were made for biologically speaking. And spiritually this is the pace of the Old Testament and the New. This is the speed at which things start to make sense. If we spend enough time there maybe we can start figuring things out. Just a thought.

OK, off to tractor around the ranch. That is moving pretty slow also so I think I am good. Later, enjoy yourself, love, Felipe.

Thirty Seven Years

And  thirty seven years of color.
And thirty seven years of color.

Our Wedding Anniversary today. My Rebecca had me work on the math and I came up with thirty seven years. Pretty amazing really. That’s a lot of Christmases and birthdays, ups and downs. She has patience with a capital P.

So, we are going into Seattle this afternoon to some nice semi fancy restaurant somewhere. But need to hand in my tax paperwork first. I know you are tired of hearing about that but how do you think I feel. Anyway, nice sunny day and looking forward to celebrating with My Rebecca.

See you tomorrow, alperfect like peanut butter and jelly, love, Felipe.

News From Down Under, From Gracie!

Our Gracie from 2014 Camino fame just sent some news about her whereabouts and happenings. She is in the Sydney area till February, earning some funds to get back to her studies in London. Sunny in Australia,with summer coming on, compared to rainy London. I am trying to get her together with Our Angela to cause some havoc in that part of the world.

Beautiful day here. Savoring the dregs of summer is the order of the day. I am desperately trying to finish up my paperwork so I can get out there. Best to you, whether your summer is coming or going, love, Felipe.

East Coast Austraila.
East Coast Austraila.
Born to swim.
Born to swim.
Looking good at home.
Looking good at home.