Basilicas, Books, & Bringing Home the Bacon

Dear Henry,

Wow, it's been a while. Let's catch up.

I've been so busy! Several months ago, I took a part-time job at a local bookstore to get out of the house and out of my head (plus, you know, the discount). I had just begun adjusting to the physical demands of retail work when the Christmas shopping season (and working hours) began. I'm not quite sure if it's because of "the accident" or because I'm a pudgy middle-aged woman, but wow, I've been exhausted.

So, I put everything on hold and dedicated myself to reading the entire 14-book Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (read his Everyday Patriot biography here). I've been keeping my feet up when I wasn't at work, and I'm just now getting used to the job.

This season of holiday hours has helped me feel better about my Camino plans. I've always worried that it would be too challenging, but I now know I can spend six to eight hours a day on my feet, multiple days in a row. 

Now, I just need to get used to walking up to 15 miles. That should be a piece of cake.

I did get to witness a historical event. St Andrew's Catholic Church (read about it here) was raised to a minor basilica!   Fish and I attended the mass and had a great view of the back of people's heads. Still, it was a great experience, and I'm happy to have been there.

Finally, I've had fun decorating our home. This is our first Christmas in our forever home, and I'm happy with how everything turned out (there's a video here on my YouTube channel)

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and I'll be back in touch after the New Year!

xoxo a.d. elliott


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at, you can also read her book reviews at and US military biographies at

Her online photography gallery can be found at


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