Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Lord Taketh Away

Continental shifts are happening here.
Harry Dog is gone. He was ill last week, and on our Saturday walk in the Promised Land he ran off and did not return.
We´ve had an awful time with animals in the last year or so. Lulu, much like Harry, ran off into nowhere last January. She is still deeply missed. Hillary the lovebird flew away in mid-summer, and Tim, the last of the Old Firm, shuffled off this mortal coil not long after.
Heartbreakingly, little Rosie Dog died of a sudden cancer in December. Momo, my half-tail ginger cat, vanished right around Christmas. Maybe he figured it wasn´t safe living around here!
And now goes Harry, sweet goofy Harry Dog.
We love our animals, they are thoroughly vetted, petted, loved and fed. But they do not live long lives here, and that makes us sad.
They come, they live with us a while, and they slip away. You would think we´d learn not to become so attached, or we´d learn to not let them off the lead.

We are down to two dogs now, plus Laika, who we are dog-sitting.
We have three cats, a canary, and six hens -- only one of whom still lays eggs. We are letting them live out their old ages. We will not replace them when they die.
We will not replace Harry. We could not.
Our animals are dismissing themselves. We don´t know why. Our load is lightening.
We have to stay and wait and see what happens next.

On April 6 I became a Companion member of the New Benedictine Community, a religious order in the Anglican Benedictine tradition. It is small and new. The members are scattered all over the world. We meet weekly, online, for Vigil Prayers in English. It´s become a highlight of my week. 

I am hard at work doing rewrite on a book manuscript, a memoir by a DEA agent who hunted down El Chapo, a Mexican druglord. It is very hard work and the deadline is tight, but the money is good. This work keeps my writerly skills sharp, and it´s kinda fun to see my handiwork in print, even when someone else´s name is on the cover.

I am rewriting my memoir. I will hunt down a druglord in the meantime, so maybe then a book agent or publisher will want to see it. 

And right now, I am hunting down a bicycle for the hospitaleras at the new parochial Casa de Acogida in Hontanas. There is no grocery store in town, they have no car, and the nearest store is in Castrojeriz... I am thinking of giving them my bike, but I kinda need it myself. That bike was the very first gift that Paddy O´Gara ever gave me. Which means it´s probably pretty old now!

Peaceable Projects was quiet for a while, but this week I took a pilgrim with me to Astorga and we set a new stone in the Pilgrim Memorial Grove -- in memory of  Fr. Gerard Postlethwaite, a pilgrim who was also a friend. Gerard was a Camino Chaplaincy priest from England. He died last September on the Camino Portuguese, and is mourned by many. May God hold him near His heart. 

The Lord gives, the Lord takes away.
Blessed be His name.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Float the Stone Boat!

It´s a kind of beehive, because a honeybee flew inside right away. A live bee, in mid-January, up on a mountain! Or maybe it´s a cat´s nest -- a cat named Nellie moved in as soon as the door opened.

Right now, on the right side of the main street, something wonderful is happening in Rabanal del Camino.  It´s a dream coming true, a blossoming, a springing-forth. And now, finally, I am allowed to tell you about it!

It´s about Kim, aka Soulful Road, or La Perla, our dear old friend and Peaceable Person from Colorado and Key West. After a decade of  saving, dreaming, and planning, Kim´s ship is come in -- she has legal residency and work papers, a little car, a kitty cat, and most of all: The Stone Boat! Stone Boat is a little house in Rabanal where six pilgrims can stay, drink, and dine with a true Camino Character as their host.

Kim´s put everything she´s got into this place, and it´s ready to debut... BUT.  Kim needs to replace the beds, mattresses, linens and rugs. She needs to get the wiring up to Code, and hang some cupboards in the kitchen, and get her Stone Boat listed on  All this stuff costs money, and at the last minute she´s run out!

So... We the People can help her over the hump! Kim needs about 8,000 euro to put everything just so, and 10,000 would give her enough boost to feel secure right into next year.  Kim being who she is, could not just take your money, oh no.... have a look at the GoFundMe site, and see all the goodies she´s offering to people who pony up to help out. Nothing to sneeze at here. A very worthwhile project, and a person I´ve known and trusted for a decade now.

Every little bit helps!  Check it out.    Be a hero for the cause!  You may be the next one here!