|Paddy and Reb, at Stone Boat, Rabanal|
A voice cries in the wilderness... A longtime reader wrote and said "Please write a blog entry!"
He asked Please. So here goes.
I am not in a writing kind of mood these days, even though there are a few things happening that are blog-worthy... especially knowing so many blogsters will write about their every eyelash, for audiences of thousands.
It´s raining hard in Moratinos, the pellet-burner, draped in cats, is humming away in the corner. We are down to three dogs (two of them ours) and four cats (two and a half are ours.) Someone suggested I write about how I name our animals, and why so many of them are from two particular villages in the mountains west of here. All our critters have human names, except perhaps Juan Carlos Gato, who I call Punkinhead. (Juan Carlos is not my cat, he just lives here for months at a time and is involved in a deep intimate relationship with Gus, in whom we hold a half-share.) It´s complicated. And probably very tedious to those who are here looking for Camino Tipz.
|Ruby, Judy, and Laika|
I know much of our fame is built on our connection to the Camino de Santiago. I still enjoy individual pilgrims a lot, we are still listed as a winter camino bunkhouse, but in the last few months I find myself ever more bored and ill-disposed toward the whole Mystique, the Mystery, the Tourist Commodity That Is The Camino. I am not suffering fools gladly, especially the ones who want to be my friend so they can somehow monetize me. It´s Camino that people want, but I don´t have a lot of it to give right now. That is why, I think, I´ve pulled away from blogging.
I am putting my writing chops to work for the Associated Press. I am helping an investigative reporter turn their long-term projects into book-length narratives.
The Ditch Pigs continue. We meet up on Sunday outside Oporto. The weather forecast says rain, heavy rain, and showers. We shall see! On the other side of that somewhere is a trip to Grado, Asturias, to wrap up 2018 at the albergue there. Milio, the magical guy behind the whole operation, has it all under control... I am not really sure what my role is, hospitality-wise. But I´ve been recruiting volunteers for next year, and the Power of Social Networking is working in my favor. I only need about four more people to have the whole March-through-October rota covered! I think that is why FICS keeps me around. That, and because I am American -- they need a few non-Gallegos so they can keep the "international" in the title.
We have a lot more Spanish volunteers this year, and Dutch. And one each from Bulgaria and Uruguay!
The apartment and house in Torremolinos are sold, thank God. I am not sure why that was so difficult for me, knife-wielding burglars notwithstanding.
Ollie is here, right through December. His presence is directly due to a timely reading of St. Paul´s Epistle to Philemon. Being a Benedictine means spiritual disciplines like "Lectio Divina," a close reading of obscure scriptures and holy books. Which are by their nature demanding, character-wise! I am driven more and more to silence, and solitude. It looks a lot like my old nemesis Depression, but it is not.
At least I don´t think so.
Paddy is slowing down, slowly. He has a cough that the doctors do not take seriously, because he´s had it for so long. He cannot see very well, and his dicky retinas won´t let him fly in airplanes, and he doesn´t like walking for more than a mile or two. So if you want to see Paddy, you have to come here. He is still very much himself, but a bit worn around the edges these days.
And now I must go and make a pumpkin pie, and a pumpkin roll... Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, and we have company coming, and 16 tons of roasted pumpkin in the freezer!