C minus 9 but who is counting Are you prepared to walk the camino?

Its so quiet in the house right now.  Luke and I stopped at Starbucks on the way to his first day as a junior in high school.  We parked the big pickup in the far parking lot and I watched him walk away, his University of Oregon backpack hanging squarely on  his broad shoulders and his head down, eyes lost in his phone, looking for the right music to keep calm. He was very nervous this morning.  About 4 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than he walked out the high school doors last spring…he looks like a grown man, yet he is just  a big kid.  I said the usual momma prayers, keep him safe from all evil, help him focus and let  him be a strong and righteous young man…send him to good teachers who connect with him.  Let security and safety prevail over this school building….

Earlier, I got up and went to morning mass.   Luke was awake and getting dressed.  I said “Luke, I am going to Mass this morning to honor my mom.  She died 25 years ago today.”  He looked up at me and sincerely said “oh. I am sorry mom”.  Those who know Luke will realize what a breakthrough statement he just made. My heart is still crying.

The house will be quiet when I am gone to Spain.  Luke will go to school each day.  Charlie will start his day with morning Mass and then go about his community service work and the small jobs he does to make extra change. I wonder, do  houses get lonely? 

In this quiet I am thinking about the Camino.  9 days until Paris.  All the tickets are bought, reservations made up to Pamplona.  I have everything ready in my pack.  I could walk out the door right now.

What I am pondering now is another kind of preparation.  Beyond the physical planning, the purchasing of clothing, weighing the pack, scheduling, hiking, weightlifting, trying on different shoes…

Am I spiritually ready?  I am emotionally prepared?  Am I mentally toughened?  Do I have personal discipline to follow through?

Walking for hours on end…some of that time is spent talking and singing.  There is also alot of quiet time.  Time that is not filled with all the noise that fills your  head at home. You will think about alot of “things”.  Those things that need to be kept will be kept.  Those things that need to be left behind will be left.  They will be trodden into the Camino by thousands, maybe millions of footsteps, just as you walk now  on the sorrows, pains, tragedies left behind by the thousands, maybe millions of pilgrims who have walked before you.

I first walked the Camino Frances 4 years after my diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease.  It was on the Meseta, on a very hot day, on our 25 wedding anniversary, that I yelled at God and let my anger loose for giving me this disease. And God yelled back.  “Look where you are!  Look what you are doing.”  And I left the anger there for other Pilgrims to trod so deeply into that soil that it will never return.  And God has allowed me to keep walking, and cycling and moving.

Such a range of emotions.
 I copied this from someones blog, and I am sorry I don’t remember who to give them credit.

Prepare for the unpreparable-for. You will cry and scream and shout and hate people, things and trees.  You will rail against the world, yourself, your shoes and your pack (but never your stick).  You’ll be jealous, petty, hungry, thirsty, furious, ecstatic, joyful, silly, sick, stupid, inane and perfect.  You’ll be intensely involved with the intricate workings and changes in your own body and you’ll be thrown up against a wide variety of people from all over the world.  You’ll essentially be given a crash course in what it means to be human. Enjoy the hell out of it.

You can’t be prepared for everything.  But you can be open.  Keep and leave.  Give, and be willing to receive.

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at www.ultreiablog.org After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 caclupny@gmail.com (541) 720-4256

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