BOOK: Walk In The Woods…as funny as the movie by the same name with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.  See the movie if you don’t want to read the book.

SONG: I’m Walkin, by Fats Domino

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirit of the trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (ee cummings)

I walked 4 miles this morning in about 1.5 hours, in the area near us called Tapatio Spring. More than moderately hilly, but a good start. It is already hot enough in our part of TX that walking and exercise needs to be done in the morning. Peter hooked us up with a local trail guidelist and so, while he will not be joining me on the camino, he will be just as fit and the insurance company that rewards us for our good health, will give him lots of chits at the end of the year.  I will get more!FullSizeRender

I am putting together lists now. The gear list is crazy and I am on 2 forums where camino folks share their questions, answers and lessons learned.  Weight of the pack is critical.  They say 7-10% of your body weight will be the ideal and should keep your pack from being a burden. This is a bit of a problem, because while I do have the workout for increasing core strength, increasing upper body mass while strengthening my legs simultaneously…my pack should only weigh 13 pounds.  One guy who pared everything to a minimum (cut his deodorant in half and filled his bag with whispers and promises) still came up with 18 lbs. So I need suggestions from my fit friends about all the wicking and weightless clothing items that dry in flash time and your comment on the comfort of this stuff.

I wondered if wearing a go-pro would allow for an increase in my body weight and offset some other piece of the packed goods.  That is where this thinking can take you!

I also am making my music playlist.  I need music that perks you up, gets you going, etc..  I am looking for anything that is about roads, walking, moving, paths – no running.  I will die a dedicated Motown girl, but have varied music interests. Heavy metal is not on the list and really angry rap does not move me along.  Please, no one send me Walk On Through The Storm. That is a desperate song for me and very sad to boot.  It brings me visions of a woman with leprosy being exiled from her home and walking out with the back of her hand against her forehead while moving into driving sleet and rain…this is a too-sad song for me. It will make me sit down and cry. Chris Rhea is a fav. I got me some Johnny Cash. I want stuff in English, French, Spanish and I even have a couple of songs in Armenian. The Cambodian songs tend to go to the dark side and lament love lost by stupid guys/or girls and them eventually committing suicide. It is never happy. It is not bouncy either. Carol A, I have one of your albums from our retreat I think (Returning) – Peter happened upon it once in a shuffle and was transformed by it. It is super meditative for the days when my mind needs it.

So, anyway, please send me recommendations.

I have a plethora of info on the history of this walk and will bullet it down and share it too.There is an energy in places like this that can be felt. There are also places that bring your energy to the ground – deep, sad and dark. We once visited the Killing Fields and it let me know a whole list of places I will not be able to go to ever in this lifetime. But the Camino Santiago wakens hope, dreaming and notions of things that are bigger and more possible than we can see in our imagination. I am looking forward to it.

I wonder how much the Ibuprofen will weigh?


Camino de Santiago

March 24, 2017
BOOK: Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
SONG: Happy Birthday (to me)
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What is the origin of the saying “She got a wild hare (hair).”  Since we have “wild hares” in our neighborhood but I don’t have an instinct to pursue them, the “wild hair” seems most likely for me, what with naturally curly hair and all.

I turned 74 today.  Next year will be my 75th (for any of you who are unfamiliar with that sequencing) and the 75th is a marker birthday for me. A marker for moving into some new aspect of my life perhaps.  A marker of the heart that whispers in my ear, “How about a little reflection?” And the of course the bodily marker that shouts daily, “What have you done for me lately??” – “Pay attention to ME!!!”

For some reason, I set them out early in my life…the marker system… as #25, #50 and #75.

When I was 25, I made vows to be a Bride of Christ and that took about 3 years of training.  I was young. The marriage did not work out so well.  We eventually divorced amicably and I left the world of grey wool for the wide world of bright colors and political turmoil in the US.  We are still friends and those with whom I shared that time are still deeply connected to my heart.


When I was 50, I rode 150 miles on a Walmart bike that I had originally bought for my daughter. She happily sold it back to me so I could ride the MS 150 ( I didn’t have a bike when I started planning it.)  It took about 3 months of real training.  I had angels that took up the slack when my butt went numb and I did not believe I could push the damned pedals one more turn. I learned what aerobic breathing is and that it is not fun. After the first leg of the actual ride (85 miles) I slept like a baby on a gymnasium floor without a mat, in Beeville, TX. The 2D day, at mile 50, I rode into Corpus Christi, making a huge fright-filled bridge crossing that I had not anticipated.  At mile 65 I was served a celebratory lunch.

I had not been picked up by the sag-wagon (the vehicle that takes you out of the ride if you look too close to death or destruction) and I had come in before the 77 year old guy who is pictured.  I would not have taken well to him coming in ahead of me since he boasted of not really training at all. I slept the whole ride back to SA on the bus, drove home and slept some more. About a year later I bought a brand new bike.IMG_2483

Six months ago, I started thinking about what form the celebration of my 75th should take. Not actually a bucket list item, but some ‘wild hair’ that has not yet been combed into submission.  My thoughts wandered off  to Paolo Cohelo who’s writing was part of my life-in-the-60’s/70’s. He was one of the mystics who touched me. I found Kahlil Gibran in high school and then came to Thomas Merton in Maryknoll and Paolo came along in the time when I-knew-not-what-I-was. But these were some of the good parts in my spiritual reading section.

Recently I caught the movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen as I was crawling thru Netflix. It was Cohelo’s reflections on his own pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago that was the theme for the movie.  I had read the book (and several of his others), had seen the movie, but never had done the walk.

So this just might be the perfect time to do it.  Maybe I will take a walk and think about someone who cannot walk, someone who’s walk is growing unsteady, someone whose only choice is to walk beyond believable human limitations to find a safe place when his or her home is not.  Maybe I’ll just walk it because I can. Maybe I will skip the cake on my 74th, get some training under my belt and take that walk. So that’s the birthday plan. Marker 75!


I have asked a very specific angel who said “yes” when I asked her to pray me thru it…very dependable. She will open her eyes in the morning with an “amen” or a “namaste” to accompany me and then say it all again before she falls asleep. And I will do it with her. She will get the completed “passport” when I bring it home.

I have a physical training plan, good boots and an excellent guide book.  The blog starts today and I will post until I leave for my start point in the Pyrenees the first week of Sept and walk to the cathedral in Santiago, Spain – a daunting 400 miles give or take. I’m giving it 6 to 10 weeks. Posts start today.IMG_2877