Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thought For The Day!

If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends - you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that's the time to hold your tongue. ~Alice Duer Miller

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Last Bitty Bits

It's Tuesday and I'm ready to go, pretty much. Not quite packed - but everything (and more) is on (not in) the suitcase. About an hour's worth of effort and that can be considered done deal.

I've been working tonight on getting all the birthday greetings out that that are due while I'm gone. Many of my friends and family members have birthdays this particular week in the year.

My itinerary is sweet. A day here, a day there, half a day here, half a day there. A train ride through three countries and a couple of days there, with friends. If I eat all the croissants that everyone has asked me to eat for them, I'll gain 10 lbs. What I want is bread, butter, nutella crepe, cafe au lait and the orange juice from across the street from Notre Dame.

I found cooking stores - lots of them! I can't wait to see what I drag home. And I found lot so itsy bitsy obsure things to see and do.

I really want to sleep some before I leave - without dreaming of being there. I'm tired :).

Friday, August 21, 2009


Funny how things work out.

My friend from France wrote me the other day. I haven't heard from him since New Years. He's a long way from Paris (southern France) so I don't know if I'll get to see him or not. I do know know why he's on the Camino so often.

And my dear friend from Ireland, whom I've been searching for, got ahold of me within days of planning to go there.

Oh how I know the Camino had a reason. Still a million, all the time. Just like when I was on it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Travel Planning

My trip is just about planned. A couple more details on navigation and one more day/city and I'm done.

My Paris planning surprised me.

There are things I haven't seen (thoroughly) like the Arc de Triomphe (I've been near it and under it, but haven't been able to get in it), Las Invalides, etc. I've seen the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre twice.

I am not lured to any museums this time. I am called back to a couple of churches and I will see/do Notre Dame and the Gargoyles (and the orange juice) for the third time.

But I am being called to wander. Cemeteries, areas, churches. Not an all-over-the-city pace as I've done before. I've picked four areas for three days. That's it. That's all I want.

It's my trip and I get to to it exactly as I want to. It has LUCIOUS written all over it!

And then there's Amsterdam. And my friends. This planning is next.

Almost done.

Almost time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just Call Me Exhausted

OK - I'm wrung out this weekend. Watching my grandson while his mom has been out of town, cooking for two nights of guests and getting ready for my trip.

I never thought about how much work I did as a mother "way back when". To look back on it is a amazing perspective.

The kidlet has been an angel so there's no effort extended for issues. Just the level of busy. Wow!

I'm nearly ready for my trip and just a little overwhelmed. It's one thing to navigate a city with someone else to consult. It's entirely another thing to do it by yourself. Just me and two cities with a population of 2 million and 1.2 million respectively. Bring it on.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Roses For Teri

I have been OBSESSED with roses this week. Rose milk, rose scent, rose colors, roses in my art, rose jelly, etc.

I've been hell bent on pulling together a collage that centers around the Blessed Mother, who is often portrayed with roses.

And today I found out why.

I received an email with the subject line of "roses". I nearly deleted it, thinking it was a male enhancement ad when I noticed the word Camino in the middle of the first sentence. It was "my Jerry". (Really Gerry, but I didn't know that until today.)

Gerry walked mornings with me on the Camino. In the barely light of day. I'd get started and voila' he'd waltz up behind me. We'd walk together for a bit and his 6-foot stride would carry him off toward the sunrise. He loved roses. We stopped and smelled all the roses along the trail. I'd see him again in the evening. Rinse and repeat the next morning.

I loved his Irish accent - it was tinkly music to my ears. The last time I saw him was as he escorted me to the church in Granon. It was the morning that I learned my brother had died. Gerry stayed with me longer than usual. And only when he knew I was in a good place, did he go on. Before he left, he hugged me tight and pressed a prayer card with a picture of Mary and Jesus in my hand. The prayer is in French.

I didn't have an email address for him. I'd given him a footprint pin, but I didn't know if it made the journey or not (it had my email on the card). I asked all the people I walked with if they had information about him. I asked Denise, my Irish pilgrim friend if she knew of him. She contacted every Irish pilgrim she knew. I contacted the Irish Confraternity and they couldn't pick him out.

The roses. It is all about the roses. Thank you Mary. Thank you Gerry.