Wednesday, December 11, 2013

As of Late

Sorry for being absent these past three days; I've been busy!

Let's start with Sunday:

I went to church Sunday morning at Smithton Church.  My church in Memphis and theirs have had a connection for over a decade now.  We always have people from Memphis heading to Scotland and vice-versa.  Separated by thousands of miles, our churches have a continuous bond that can't be beat. Walking into the building brought so many memories flooding in.  The smell reminded me of a time two years ago when things were completely different. I remember the people and the good times that we created.  I remember being completely in a state of emotional bliss the last time I came.  I remember the activities that we prepared and shared. The relationship that I have with Scotland is completely different from any other that I have. It's remembering how I felt at that time and storing away those feelings to open up on a rainy day when nothing goes right.  I am transported to a place where all my memories are happy.  None of them make me sad.  I relish the freedom that I felt the first summer running with my friends on the castle grounds until it was dark outside . I think of the love that I have for these people as I curl up by the fire and we discuss our days. And it all started with two pastors from two continents meeting each other.  For that, I am extremely grateful.

On that note, I spent Sunday afternoon with some of my all-time favourite people--The MacLeods.  Meet Sammy and Mairi and their son, Ian.  Where do I fall into that relationship? I am their "adopted" American daughter, and I like it that way.   When they came to Memphis three years ago (uh, where has the time gone?), they stayed with us, and I really knew that they would be keepers.  Ian is almost a year older than Willis, and they are just alike.  Not only are they mischievous, but they have now grown to be taller than me. ;) We have a tradition of playing Skip-Bo and eating Tunnock's teacakes that started while our families were vacationing together. I went back to their house and took in the view from their back garden.  Overlooking the city of Inverness, the A96, and the sea, it is my favourite view in the whole world.  We FaceTimed with my American family after our lunch and had a wonderful afternoon.  One other thing: the best hug I've ever received came from Sammy. So see? They're pretty amazing people.

I spent Monday around town with Ian (Bryce, Megan's dad) and Maisie, Megan's niece. She is three years old and absolutely wonderful.  I immediately went into nanny mode when I first met her.  All day long, we held hands, looked at dinosaur and polar bear animated yard decorations, and had lunch in the garden center.  I really really enjoyed spending the day with her and Ian.

Yesterday, I went in with Megan to work and did a little bit of Christmas shopping in Inverness.  I popped into M&S for another coronation chicken sandwich for lunch.  All I could think about while I was in there is this advert narrated by Matthew MacFadyen. It is my (and Kathleen's) dream to go shopping, point out food labels and have him read them off.  Seriously, he could make laundry detergent sound appetizing. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you can watch all the adverts on YouTube.  I went back to Smithton for an afternoon at the church.  Again, it was wonderful to see faces that I hadn't seen on Sunday, and I really felt like I was getting back into the groove of what I normally do when I'm here.

That brings us up to today. I've had the morning in the house and around Nairn.  After everyone left for work, I had my breakfast then took the dogs out for a walk on the beach.  I hadn't been out on the beach yet.  It was just me, the dogs, and the sea. I love being someplace where I feel that I am alone.  I was able to reflect upon my time that I've had here while the dogs barked, the waves crashed, and the gulls chattered.  I felt the cold, salty air on my face, and I walked back home feeling refreshed.

So that's that.  The pictures are from what I took on the beach this morning.

I am happy.

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