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Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I had my train ticket; folks were waiting for me to come to Portland last Saturday so that we could take the next step in becoming the support team for Catholic Marriage Encounter in the Northwest area; and then, my friend, Fr. John, called and said, seeing as he had to go to the same meeting, he would be glad to give me a ride to Portland. Anytime I get to spend some time with Fr. John, who has been a great support person for me as I began working with Marriage Encounter in the Northwest, I am going to say "yes, yes, yes."
Here's a picture of Fr. John

And, just as he had said, 8 am, there was Fr. John. I am starting to catch on to civilized ways to treat gift givers and he was definitely giving me three gifts that morning... arriving on time, traveling on the freeway with a very skilled driver, and his intellectually and spiritually stimulating company...
I had a muffin and hot coffee ready for him when he came!
He brought along a friend. The friend's name is "Dog;"-- Fr. John's traveling companion on many a freeway journey...

Here's a picture of "Dog,"

We made one stop just before we crossed over to Oregon and I was struck by the sign
which we saw the road stop. It kept me thinking about why I keep reading and thinking and praying and writing and listening... I do hope to be part of a community that honors all those who are giving their lives to create a world where every human being has enough to eat, is safe, and has a chance to share her/his God given gifts.

Here is a picture of memorial of those who gave their lives in so many of our wars:

The meeting was held at John and LaVonne's home. Here are my photograph of pictures in their home that touched me... I would want to be a prayerful, humble, and grateful person, like the two highlighted in John and LaVonne's home, as I continued on my own life journey:

Steve and Kathy, who, with Father John, had been the support persons for the Northwest Region, with good humor and efficiently, shared some of the ups and downs of their time in leadership... lots of prayer and time for reflection during this time... I thought this meeting could have taken place somewhere in Israel, Syria, or Greece in the Christian home churches two thousand years ago... thanks Steve and Kathy for being you

Meeting over. We left Portland in the sunshine, crossed into Washington and there was our Evergreen rain, and, because of three car accidents, spend an extra hour and a half on the freeway.

The conversation on the freeway was wonderful. I got home tired and emotionally/spiritually satisfied. Great day for traveling on the freeway.

Any thoughts about recent trips you have taken, folks you have found to be great traveling companions, stories from your life journey... please share

Remember Aretha on the Freeway of Love... enjoy


Stephanie Frieze said...

I'm glad you made it to and fro to Portland, Oneal! Too bad you didn't get to spend more time there. Portland is one of my favorite cities, complete with my very favorite book store Powells.
Maybe next time.

JosephMcG said...

I'll be on the road to Portland many, many times over the next three years...
Thanks, Stephanie

Lorraine Hart said...

On a drive across Canada, my friend and I picked up a young First Nations traveler. He was a Mic Mac from back east but had been out west for a visit. He laughed a big laugh and told us that natives out west had retorted, "What the hell is a Big Mac Indian?"

We stopped at a place called Old Woman Bay, on Lake Superior, for a rest from the long ribbon of highway. All three of us went our own ways for a beachwalk, spending about an hour stretching our legs.

My friend and I came back together and walked to where our new friend was bent over the sand, busy with something.

Oh Joseph, it was so cool...when we came close, we saw that he had built an entire village, using the sand, stones, and little pieces of driftwood. I mean, he had made an island, with piers and paths, huts with fish-drying racks. It looked so real, we almost expected to see the tiny inhabitants. Such a piece of natural art that would return to itself after we were further down the road.

We dropped him off in Sudbury, to visit with family, all sharing a big bear-hug on parting. We knew the chances were good we'd never see him again...but he touched my life and I will always remember Big Mac for the road!

Patty Cake said...

Great Blog, Joseph! I really like the photos - you are always so good about including photos!

Glad to hear you had a great trip!