Assisi tour – minus d1 / Special gifts…

One of the joys of doing this blog is the people –

The wonderful people I’ve met through these scatty ramblings of mine.

I’ve become friends with some truly extraordinary people here – and in our travels Jennifer and I have had the chance to meet some of them too.

Some I have yet to meet, but hopefully that will happen in due course.

(Yes Ingrid, thinking of you!!)

Last year Jennifer and I did a trip to the US, and in the course of our travels we went up into the Seattle district where we met Lynda and Dale Lozner.

Lynda in particular had been active on the blog for some time.

We met them at the Twin Peaks Cafe – the place where those famous “That’s a damn fine cup of coffee” scenes were shot.

Lynda and Dale lived nearby, and were there to meet us with two hampers of incredible presents – which was so generous of them.

Lynda & Dale Tweeds

And when we announced that we’d be doing the Assisi tour, they were amongst the first to sign on.

But then tragedy struck. Their daughter Stacey was diagnosed with cancer.

Lynda contacted me to tell me that they would have to throw all their energy and resources into looking after her – which they did with love, devotion, and an unremitting conviction that everything would turn out ok.

It didn’t look good, initially.

And I would call them regularly to check in, and I could feel the strain and the fear in their voices. But they never gave up hope.

They put into effect some spiritual practices that gave them hope, and belief.

And things turned around.

A few days ago Stacey went for a medical check up and was told the cancer was gone. Completely.

Lynda and Dale had very much wanted to come on this current pilgrimage, and so Lynda prepared a little gift for those who are coming.

She remembered a post I’d written some time ago, about barnacles. Here is the post…

In it, I write:

We’re like a ship, steaming through life’s waters. And as the years go by, barnacles begin to form on our hull, under the waterline.

Out of sight.

Barnacles and seaweed, which capture the flotsam and jetsam of our worldly experiences.

This debris of life clings to us.

It slows us down, makes us less manoeuvrable.

Less nimble.

It makes us cautious, hesitant, scared.

It tries to stop us going places we once went without a moment’s thought.

The barnacles finally get so thick we can’t move forward.

They burden us with their heaviness. We carry that heaviness with us as we struggle through our later years.

Finally, we give up.

But we can scrape those barnacles off.

We have to scrape them off, if we want to become nimble again.

If we want to be unafraid again.

We can do this, by walking the Camino.

And so what Lynda has done is she has collected some barnacles, and put them in a small and very beautiful bottle – she has included in the bottle the words of my post, reduced down into a miniature manuscript, and she’s attached a cord so that those walking on this tour can attach it to their packs.


She said she wants them to be reminded that the walk is helping to scrape off the barnacles. It’s obviously taken her a huge amount of time and effort to do this –

She packed it all beautifully in a box and posted it to Elena in Tuscany, to give to me – which she’s now done.

Lynda did all this while dealing with the daily traumas of her daughter’s illness.

Dale, her husband, is like the rock that those barnacles were attached to. I don’t know Dale well – but I know that he’s a sold guy, Very solid.

Dale and Lynda will be coming with us on the Indian tour, in September, and they’re very excited. They will head off with the huge relief that their daughter is okay.

So, tomorrow when the group meets up, Jennifer and I will give each of them their bottle containing the barnacles, and the tiny reproduction of my original post.

Created with love by Lynda Lozner – a very special lady.
Jennifer and I feel very privileged to know you and Dale.
Thank you…

Lynda MS

33 thoughts on “Assisi tour – minus d1 / Special gifts…

  1. oh how beautiful and such a wonderful gift to you all. Lynda, they will carry you and Dale along and a few prayers of thanks to the Saint at the end for your daughter too.

    Bill, thank you kindly sir for thinking about me. LOL The day will come, I can feel it in me bones!

    Please do keep me posted on the Irish Camino…. I might find a few coins at the end of a rainbow and spruce up me broom.

    But be warned Lad, you will never be the same again! 😉 Ingrid (working on her spells)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Bill,
    Dale and I are the ones that are privileged to have met you and Jen and count you as friends. I have felt from the beginning that this was an unusual “meeting” and there was some other purpose we have met. I do feel it has something to do with my wonderment of the last few years as to my purpose on earth and what I am meant to do in the future. I think the India trip will open my eyes wider.
    We both count you as true friends. The past two years of the blog have been great fun but enlightenment too. The texts back and forth during Super Bowl and the World Cup of Cricket were great fun although being able to watch the cricket would have helped. Can’t believe in all of the greater Seattle area there is not one sports bar/pub that televised the cricket World Cup. Your calls, texts and prayers during Stacey’s surgery and chemo, I feel, helped her as well as us get through a very trying time.
    We are very privileged to know you and Jen and call you friends.
    Hugs to you and Jennifer
    Dale and Lynda

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful gesture by Lynda & Dale.
    I’m sure those bottles of barnacles will be cherished by all the pilgrims on your walk.


  4. OH, Lynda, you really are an amazing person. I just tried calling you and left a message to say just that. I thought I’d cried enough watching the ANZAC march down George St on Saturday, and now you’ve started the waterworks again!
    I hope all of you have a wonderful time on the Assisi walk. I’ll be winging my way to Denmark in a few hours and will send a cheers to you from the skies 🙂


    • Britta
      Sorry I missed your call. I too will enjoy spending time with you in India. It is going to be so fun!!! Did you get your “after” days booked? I am having trouble narrowing down all the things there are to do there to a few days before and a few after. I am thinking camel ride and tent in the desert, elephant ride and a backwater jungle canoe trip in Kerala. Have a very safe and fun trip to Denmark. Hugs


  5. Lynda’s thoughtfulness and generosity, given during such a difficult for her family, absolutely blows me away. What a precious gift her friendship, and Dale’s friendship, is for all of us.


    • Jenny
      I had the idea last August when he first did the poem about the barnacles. It really isn’t that generous. It did keep my mind off things at times. They are just little glass vials from the craft store with a miniature copy of the poem and some barnacles. It was kind of fun making them. People must have thought we were nuts the day we sat scraping barnacles off rocks at the beach. We did bring home several hundred smelly barnacles, most of which were too big to put in the little vials.
      How are your injuries healing? Are you going to be okay for your Camino with Saint Mike? If not you could come to India……..

      Liked by 1 person

      • A fabulously thoughtful & meaningful gift for all on the Assisi tour Lynda.
        Looking forward to meeting up with you & Dale in India.
        Cheers, Janet

        Liked by 2 people

        • Janet
          We are so excited that we are going on the India tour. To use Jenny’s term – Hooly Dooly! It is going to be such fun meeting all of you It should be a fabulous time!


      • Hi Lynda – thanks so much for the story of how the gifts came together.
        The injury is still very painful, however the physio says I’ll see a reduction in the level of pain towards the end of next week, which is one month from the fall.
        He says I’ll be OK for the Camino, thankfully, so I’m imagining myself cycling along those magical and ancient paths VERY cautiously!
        Hugs to you and Dale too –
        Jenny xx


      • Hi Lynda – I’d also love to come to India to be with you all, so if my Camino dream doesn’t work out for me this year, and if there’s still space on the tour, that’s something I would really love to do.
        Jenny xx

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks to Lynda and Dale for sharing their gift with the all of us. And thanks to Jennifer and Bill for providing the conduit to receive it.
    Another reason for Kathryn and I to join you all in India. We’re keeping our hearts, minds and souls open to the possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Michael, many thanks for this wonderful comment. And of course it would be a delight to have you and Kathryn join us in India, if it worked out that way… Best to you both, Bill


  7. I too remember the “barnacles” post.
    Lynda, what a special gesture and token of love and thoughtfulness. This PGS family is certainly an amazing group of people. Hoping that one day I may meet some of them.
    Keeping your family in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne,
      If I remember right you are in Australia. Correct?
      Bill and Jen should lead a tour of Australia! Australia though is about the same size as the United States. Maybe it could be a six month tour. I’ve been looking at things to do before or after India and it appears you can ride a camel thru the desert and sleep in a tent. I believe Australia has camels too, so maybe we could all take a camel trek thru the Outback and sleep in tents.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I know Australia is expensive but I was thinking of camels and tent camping! While camping you make your own coffee (I’d bring a supply of Starbuck beans- oh that’s right, Australian coffee is better-Ha). Pitching a tent in the outback shouldn’t cost much! I’m joking of course! I remember the conversation with you and Jen about all the poisonous snakes and everything else. No way would I want to camp among the snakes and spiders. No wonder England sent you all to Australia. I would still like to see Ayers Rock, though.
          Have a wonderful walk today!! And eat something yummy for me!

          Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.