What were the roads the Wandering Weirdo walked down?
The answer, my friend, was blowin’ in the wind.
I said they were subject to change at any time! (John 3:8) And did change. A few notes, newest first:
Aug 2015—Dec 2015
Sallisaw, Oklahoma, USA
Five months in Sallisaw. Intended to finish disposing of the stuff and spend some time with my parents and sister. I spent over a week in Fort Wayne on the way there from Toronto. I did less “stuff sorting” than I had hoped, partly because I took an online class (Perspectives) and partly because I did a lot of other things (including a lot of idle time). Managed to plan part of next year.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
PLANTS & IMPACT. Learned a lot, and was challenged a lot. I think it was Ron Allen who said, “God is more concerned with your character than your conduct.” I think He is also more concerned with character and conduct than with comfort. Being introverted and reserved, I’m not often inclined to speak unless spoken to, but these classes required a lot of interaction.
Wales, United Kingdom
Maybe also Shrewsbury, home of Brother Cadfael.
The cheapest way from Spain to Toronto with a visit to Shrewsbury was to fly Barcelona to Cardiff, walk or bike to Manchester with Shrewsbury on the way, then Manchester to Toronto with a stopover in Reykjavik.
Conveniently, friends from Fort Wayne were planning to be in Cardiff for a while.nbsp; I got there before they did and slept there three nights. Expected to meet them at Fremont Baptist Church, but they too were delayed at JFK. Someone from the church lived near where they were to stay, so he dropped me off there to greet them.
I walked at least 36 kilometers in Cardiff and had a large blister on my right foot, so instead of walking to Shrewsbury and Manchester, I took trains and buses. This of course gave me a lot more time to explore. Slept one night in Newport, one in a camping trailer on a farm, three in a house near Shrewsbury, two in a hotel in Flint, and two in a tent near Cuddington. Finally, enjoyed two days in Iceland instead of two hours for the same plane fare.
May 2015—Jun 2015
At Oasis Trails.
Intended to fly to Barcelona, but due to luggage problems, spent a night in JFK and flew to Madrid instead. Bus to Logroño where I slept two nights and explored the day between. Then a bus to Los Arcos because I was told there is no bus to Arroniz. Twelve kilometer hike to Arróniz. At seven kilometers, GPS said to turn right—but there was no road. Went slowly between a ravine and a wheat field, trying not to harm the crop while not falling into the thorny ravine. Did fall once—hard to get out with a twenty-kilogram backpack. But I made it to the other side of the field where a dirt road got me to the highway into Arróniz. Was very grateful for my travel filter, because it was a hot day, and I had to refill three times from ditches.
Slept one night in a very nice house in Arróniz, but a bit hungry because there are no grocery stores in Arróniz. Six kilometers the next day, through Barbarín and Lúquin to Villamayor de Monjardín.
Seven weeks at the albergue cooking, cleaning, and other things for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Both the work and the local explorations were very fulfilling, but the part I liked best was the nightly “Jesus meditation”—a half-hour of quiet music with an couple of short Scripture readings.
24 Apr 2015—1 May 2015
Sallisaw, Oklahoma, USA
Still more “stuff” to dispose of. Came back from Fort Wayne with about three hundred cubic meters. Books to library and thrift shop, many other things given away. Lots of stuff thrown away. Two people can accumulate so much in sixty years!
Turkey and more
Retired from Parkview Health. Spent several days getting rid of more stuff, putting some in storage, and selling the house. Flew to Denver to see my sister, then to Oklahoma to see parents and my other sister, then off to Turkey. Stopped in Amsterdam for two days on the way, staying at Shelter Jordan. Then on to Turkey, where I walked hundreds of kilometers, mostly wandering around the cities of İstanbul and Van.
In Amsterdam, of course, I heard plenty of Dutch. But it is interesting that the first words I spoke after landing were Italian, ordering a snack in a pastry shop. Next food was in a shwarma shop with Turkish TV playing in the corner. I already had Turkish money in my wallet, but I wasn’t proficient enough to answer the guy in Turkish when he asked about it. Unfortunately, I think it was that shwarma that sent me to the hospital the next day.
From İstanbul, back to Fort Wayne for a few weeks.