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Christmas Day

It just seems right that nearly one year after I joined the Forum...I should return on Christmas Day.
First, allow me to apologize to the many members that supported me on my Camino early in the year. Your sage advice, persistent nudging and many prayers were instrumental in my Camino, from the first up hill out of SJPDP to my arrival at the were with me all the Way.
Secondly, to the many strangers that took up the scallop and walked bedside me, raced in front of me and arrived in SDC on nearly the same day, or remained long enough to attend the pilgrims service with me. Thank you!
Tertiary, to Ivar for honoring me by coming to the Cathedral square and speaking with me. Ivar, your support, interest and sincere desire to hear my story and share a moment of reflection are worth more that I can possibly recount. Receiving the, then new, patch of the Camino easily ranks among the treasures I carry with me today.
It was my desire to walk the Way with confidence and a will that would carry me to Santiago on schedule and in fine fiddle. My journey done, Compostela in a protective tube and unnecessary things discarded or given away…I would take a taxi to the airport and wing my way home…confident in the knowledge that I would be forgiven of my most heinous sins. As is said..."The best laid plans..."
The Way, for this mouse, was hardly ever straight, my path seldom smooth or my next destination at all certain. Were it not for the many Camino angels I happened upon, or they came upon me…there’s little doubt that my first 100 km…would have been my only taste of the Camino.
In the beginning, I began taking pictures of my surroundings and ended up taking memorials of my small victories. Early shots are of broad vistas, beautiful Cathedrals, and long stretched of where I’d been and where I’d be going. My last series of photos catalogue my need to admit that this next stretch of eucalyptus, small country chapel or 100 km marker might underscore the fact I may never finish, or if I do…it will be His Way and not mine.
Since my return, I have lost one love and rekindled another. My work in the Church has expanded, my ties with family strengthened and Peace reigns…at least for the near future. Last evening at my daughter’s home for Christmas Eve dinner, she admitted to me that the father sitting across from her this night…is the Dad she always hoped I could be. Oh, that’s not to say I don’t retain some rough edges and hard surfaces…but I am improving.
Some of my Forum friends have noticed me on other venues where I’d stick my nose in responding to a particular important milestone. Thank you for remembering me and giving me a boost when needed.
I promise not to stay away so long this time.
You are family and I’m honored to know of and about you.
Buen Camino
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Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Hello Skattie! How nice to see your post - and your Avatar again - welcome back.
You were not the first Marine to be felled by el camino and I'm sure you won't be the last. It's a lesson to all of us that it doesn't matter how big, how fit, how strong, how confident, how organised any of us are, the camino might have another plan.
Hope you have a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year with, perhaps, another go at walking a camino?
Big pilgrim hugs,


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I was walking when you were, and didn't get to see the forum often then. So it was not until I reached Rabanal later in June that I heard from Brendan about how your Camino had taken a turn for the more-difficult. I remain inspired by what he told me.

I was fortunate not to injure myself. (There was just one major fall along the way - at Zubiri- and I was lucky that was not an end to my walk.) But along the way I met three people who were battling serious pain to walk. They had to adjust their walking plans to a greater or lesser degree, but in the end all reached Santiago.

I learned things about thankfulness, joy, rhythm and simplicity, and I knew a special peace as I walked. The challenge now is how to live those in my daily life now, when walking so much is not a possibility.
Best wishes for Christmas to you and your family- from a fellow pilgrim who writes this on Boxing Day in her part of the world!
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I have many fond memories of Boxing Day, having been seconded to the Royal Marines and traveled in many commonwealth countries. I can remember most of the celebration...with a wee dram in hand.

Boxing Day holds new meaning for me in that I am aspiring to become a Deacon in the Catholic Church. St Stephen was the first Deacon martyred early in the history of the Church. I also live in St. Stephens Church many connections.

Great to hear from you and how your Camino transpired. Knee aside...the Camino was more than I could have wished or expected.

Bless you and yours this Holy Day season!


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