My Camino would not have been the Camino it was were it not for the encouragement, support, and “presence” of so many people. YOU are one of them and whether you are mentioned specifically below or whether you can read yourself in between the lines, know that I am immensely grateful. And most especially to
- Ken, who “consented” to it all in the first place, even while realizing that my long absence was going to place extra burdens and responsibilities directly on his shoulders. I owe you!
- Kevin, who once he warmed to the idea of my trip, helped me select gear, tutored me in the use of technology, got me started with a WordPress blog, took an interest in my training hikes… and accepted more chores around the house while I was gone. I owe you!
- Maura, who “prettied up” my blog, giving me long tutorials over the phone (in spite of the challenge of a 3-hour Oregon-to-Indiana time difference), who taught me how to use Instagram, and who told me from the get-go that my feet and knees and other body parts were up to the task ahead. I owe you!
- Regina, who was the real workhorse behind the photos and videos you saw as my trip progressed. She was faithful to a flaw in adding the visuals to the blog and putting the blog post links on Facebook (which, contrary to what some of you may think, I still don’t really know how to use). Did you ever check out the blog’s interactive map? That was mostly her doing as well. I owe you!
- Virginia, whose generous sharing during and after her Spring 2018 Camino was a most definite inspiration for my journey. I am in your debt!
- All who shared their Camino experiences with me, in person, through email, by phone. Your encouragement and your advice was so helpful! I hope I don’t forget anyone in this list: Pat, Marybeth and Fred, Bonnie, Jim and Sue, Sheryl, Celia, Maureen, Fr. Joseph, Tammy, Kay, Antigone, David, Kelly. I may not have followed to the “T” all your sage council, but I took it all under consideration. I’m so happy to now be a part of the “Camino family”! Thanks for your willingness to pass along your insights. I’m in your debt.
- All of you who did training hikes with me beginning back in July of 2018 (remember the ticks and the heat?!). I enjoyed those hikes so much that I’d even commented that “if something happened and I couldn’t go on my Camino, I still had so very much to be thankful for.” This list won’t be complete either, but you were ALL important to me and I look forward to more hiking together, for sure! Forgive omission as I mention Barb, Sue, Terry, Shari, Eleanor, Karen, Robin, Liz, Larry, Tom, Ann, Laurel, Lori, Darla, Mary Carol, Sandra, and MORE!!! Let’s hear it for the WINNERS! For WOW! For Walking Women!
- Those who have made a real effort to support me daily in thought and in prayer. I know there were rosaries being said, candles being lit, “prayer walks,” too. In that way, we’ve been one in spirit, and that has meant a lot to me. I’m in your debt!
- Barb and Ginny, the best of traveling companions! Even when we were many kilometers apart, we were one in spirit. Training and planning and dreaming together to the extent that we were able was wonderful. Our nightly WhatsApp recaps during those times when we weren’t together were so eagerly awaited and read. Our shared experiences will be a special bond for the three of us for the rest of our lives. You guys saved my butt from the very first day when I “lost track” of my fanny pack. You were there to patch up my eye on that first day on the Camino, there to help me figure out how to interpret maps and info in the guidebook, how to use some apps, and, eventually–though through unorthodox means, to put it mildly!–how to “do it on my own.” We certainly did end up, each of us, having our unique Camino experience… which was precisely what we wanted. We learned the truth in what they say about the Camino: pilgrims might not necessarily have the Camino they plan and hope for, but they will have the Camino they need.
- The many, many pilgrims I met along the way. We were all so different, but united in a common endeavor. I will forget names and faces and backgrounds and the particular reasons you had for walking the Camino, but I will not forget the kindness, friendliness, helpfulness, and overall goodwill that was extended through words, deeds, smiles, and simple presence. I hope you found the same from me.
- And YOU! YOU! Whether you visited daily or dipped in your toe once in a while to have a quick look-see…. You my readers and viewers of photos. To you I am so very grateful. You gave me discipline and motivation to do something that I definitely wanted to do for my own sake, true, but the thought that you just might be expecting a post from me… Well, that kept me at it. I appreciate your comments and encouragement, your kind words, your acceptance–I hope!–of the fact that I was not too likely to respond to your comments or answer your questions. For some of you I brought back memories of a Spain you had known in the past; for others I shared things that were totally new. It was my privilege to be able to … well, in the first place, to be able to live the experiences themselves, and, then, a privilege to be able to pass them along to an audience who felt free to pick and choose, to respond or not. Thank you for whatever degree of participation you chose. It meant a lot knowing you were “around”
- All the non-pilgrims who came to my aid or served me in some way along my journey, those working in the albergues, the bars/cafes, the grocery stores, the tech stores, the train stations, those walking innocently enough down the road only to be accosted by a pilgrim in need of directions or in need of a bit of friendly conversation. I will return home with the warmest of thoughts for kindnesses extended.
- All who have walked any part of my 7-decade journey with me, influencing, guiding, encouraging, listening, accepting, showing patience… Wow! I’m head over heels in debt!
Let the journey continue!