Tag Archives: journey

My Scottish Journey Part II: Getting There

The last big trip we took was in February of 2005. The same son who is studying now in Scotland was studying in Shanghai, China for a couple of semesters. So why not go to China? Good grief, prior to that we only went as far as our country could reach and a little into Canada and Baja California.

This was a serious journey. Prepare we did. I learned two phrases in Mandarin and spoke them wrong while there. Our son took us on a jaunt to the Great Wall of China – crazy beautiful and a challenge physically. But rewarding.

This trip to Scotland we are in the second half of our sixties. A little plump here and there and live in a town where hills are almost non-existent.

Edinburgh, Scotland has hills. Yup. The first hurdle was the actual route to get to Scotland. Our local “International” Airport tends to be rather pricey. To save money we booked an Amtrak train to Chicago. A great ride – very roomy and plenty of time to sleep.

I was anxious about arriving in Chicago. My tummy tightens even now as I type these words. We packed way too much baggage and our airline check-in bags were very heavy. Not to mention that they were “outdated”. Did you know that they make baggage with four – 4 – spinning wheels on the bottom???? (insert laughter) They can go in any direction! Where have we been? All these twenty-somethings and their new bags were leaving us in the dust.

Then there was the Uber driver. His job was to get us from Union Station to our hotel by the airport for the next day flight. Apparently it was not his job to get out of the car and help the senior citizens put their HEAVY bags in his car. It’s amazing how fast we can lift and move with car horns blaring at us in downtown Chicago.

At the hotel I had to chat with Iceland Air about our flight to Glasgow. Their mechanics, a necessary position for an aircraft, were on strike. They booked us onto KLM – Dutch Airline – to Amsterdam then to Glasgow.

Relieved, we got a good night’s sleep and got ready for the shuttle to the airport. That went great. We were almost on standby until an angel from The Netherlands walked by and said, “Oh. I booked them last night. No standby for them.” And no charge for the extra bag we checked.

Fly KLM – no extra charge for food and a very pleasant flight.

We were so happy to be on the ground in Glasgow. All we had to do was claim our monster bags and find our son.

While waiting for the bags I received a text stating that our bags were still in Amsterdam. I think I was relieved because they were heavy! Our son popped off a bus and got us to the train station in Paisley……..

As the train was entering Edinburgh I was beside myself with emotion. I wanted to capture every moment on my iPhone and just couldn’t do it justice. My emotions were running all over the place. Foreign land, yet not. So many of us Americans dream of Faerie Tales and Kings and Queens and Princes and Princesses. We are in awe of Downton Abbey life styles and high tea and accents from the United Kingdom. My husband and I watch endless BBC dramas and PBS series that tell of a different time and place. Not to mention so many of the classics came from this fair land that I was now in. I’m still in awe of the fact that we were there.

A dream come true. It was overwhelming to take it all in. As a matter of fact, I’m still taking it all in. At the end of each day I cried. I’m not even sure why. Part of it was the aches in my legs of the hills and cobblestones. Part of it was my insecurities of being in a place far from home. And part was that I was in SCOTLAND!!!

What an opportunity my son was given to be able to study in a place he loves. As we stayed in their flat I grew closer to his wife and saw she had blossomed in her many gifts of creativity. She became more alive in the magical land of Scotland.

Yes, magical. All you thought it would be it was that and much more. I can’t stress enough for you to not give up your dreams. They’ll shift and change some as time passes, but the ones that are meant to happen will, if you don’t give up. They may come suddenly for you or in time and planning and very probable will come to you in a very different way than you thought.

Thank you for patiently going through my processing of this journey. This is just the beginning. Enjoy the images (as simple as they are) and part three is to come……..

Cate B

 

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The Journey Begins Part I My Scottish Journey

I have always had a love for  Scotland. I think it began deep inside from my ancestors, I’m convinced of that, or I choose to believe that.

My mother’s grandfather came from Paisley, Scotland when he was a young boy. I never knew him but the few times she mentioned him it was always in a fond voice.

My mother also kept me enshrouded in plaid. I love plaid. I am still attracted to all things plaid.

Many years ago a friend introduced me to the Scottish author George MacDonald. The first book I read was The Lost Princess – a fairy tale. I fell in love with this man’s writing and how he lived his life. Looking for images for this post brought up books of his that I have not read or heard of. A new quest is at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day, in a small mountain town in Southern California, this wife and mother was engrossed in yet another tale of The Scottish Highlands and deep characters, when I had to set book aside and load the four kids into the car with husband and head down the mountain to do grocery shopping.

As my husband navigated down the winding highway I was lost on the moor and the heather  hills. I actually said to myself, “I wonder when I will see the heather in Scotland”.

After parking the car I grabbed a cart and headed into the market. I came to an abrupt stop right inside the door. There, spread out on a long table and hard to miss, was a radiant display of Heather in full bloom. The sign on the table shouted my name: “SCOTTISH HEATHER”.

Who needs food? I grabbed a plant and proudly placed it in the cart. Was that a gift from God? I believe it was. I felt like He was giving me a glimpse of my dream trip that was sure to come.

The kids are all grown and have families of their own now. Every now and then I wondered when we would see Scotland. Then it happened. August of 2017 our middle son and his wife packed up and moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for him to pursue his passion at the University of Edinburgh.

When our son was accepted we talked and decided we would come and visit. We chose to spend Christmas and New Years there. They agreed and we booked the tickets. I was beside myself with excitement and trepidation. Being a person full of imagination and creativity, I tend to be a bit dramatic – at least to me I am. Probably to others also, but I try to keep most of it to myself.

However, I have never taken my life’s journey lightly. What I mean by that is that I tend to, and I plan to, glean all I possibly can from this life. If it’s a move across town or country or a new job then why am I here? What can I learn from the process of this journey?

And what a journey it was. I hope to convey to you, Dear Reader, a land seen through the eyes of a hopeful dreamer and therefore, you can step out and into your dreams, whatever they be. Life is too short to sit and wonder or to dream and not grab the pot of heather placed right in front of you. Go further. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there. But it does matter that you get there.

Get ready for Part II of My Scottish Journey……….

Enjoy!

Cate B

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Temporary

Here we are in a New Year, 2018, and things did not start out as they usually do in my life.

That can be good. But what usually happens is, my husband and I look into our future and talk and pray about what may be or what is in store for us.

This end of 2017 was different. First of all, we were in Edinburgh, Scotland. A dream trip. Three glorious weeks in a land that has been in our hearts for a very long time and three glorious weeks in the home and presence of our middle son and his wife – who just happen to live there for a season.

We did not get back to our home in the USA until the 8th of January. And we even came home with jet lag and a virus, so to bed we went.

By the time we recovered I felt that I needed to enter the New Year again. Can I have a do-over?

Now that I’m almost completely over this annoying sinus-type virus, I am beginning to reflect more on our trip and on this New Year. You see, three and a half years ago we moved to The Burg, a small mid-western town about an hour outside of Kansas City.

Rural. Farms all around us. Quiet. The town has a University smack dab in the middle of it. A USAF Base is just a few miles away. Plenty of activity, yet plenty of quiet. The best of both. And only a quick forty-five to sixty minute drive to “the city”.

We moved here temporarily while our other son and wife attended the University and we cared for our grand daughters while they were in class. A wonderful gift to be a part of their formative years. A bond with those girls that cannot be broken.

We rented this little house temporarily. It is small. It is neglected. It is challenging. It is a home.

Our son and daughter moved back to Kansas City and we decided to stay in this great little town. We have made precious, life-long friends and love the area. But the house. We really need to move to a better dwelling. We have goals and visions for the future and it does not include this little neglected building.

I have a friend who lives on an island. She sends me a text of encouraging words and prayers every day. She told me, just yesterday, when I told her of our need for a different house, “Not good. Always feeling transient.” She is praying for us.

Her statement,  “Not good. Always feeling transient”, took me into a reflective place. For three years I have felt transient. Knowing this house was temporary, yet never seeming to be moving on. It is not good. She is right. The definition of transient is this:

tran·sient
ˈtranSHənt,ˈtranzēənt
adjective
  1. 1.
    lasting only for a short time; impermanent.
    “a transient cold spell”
    synonyms: transitory, temporary, short-lived, short-term, ephemeral, impermanent, brief, short, momentary, fleeting, passing, here today and gone tomorrow;

    This explains a lot of my wandering in my head about where we will live. But as I wander over the last three years I always come back to this town. I just need to feel grounded, no longer transient, no longer temporary.

    I do hope this is the year to find that perfect dwelling. We’re not set on buying or renting or whatever. However it comes to us it just needs to be home. A solid, grounded home.

    He will not forget me and He will not leave me out of his plans for me and my desires on this earth.

    “I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29 The Message

    My son and I with our matching University of Edinburgh tartan scarves in front of his flat in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can see Arthur’s Seat in the back ground.

    Enjoy!

    Cate B

Find Your Worship

I was struck deeply one day by a story I heard from a friend of mine.  It was about worship.

I’m not talking about the act of worship, which I’m sure has different meanings to many of us.  Some think of the music portion of a church service or perhaps music that moves you deeply when alone with God.  That’s what I always thought of it as.  And there is nothing wrong with any of our perspectives of worship.  But I found a deeper worship after I heard his story.

It went something like this:

My friend was in a country in Africa.  A small village.  A group of people who worked hard physically and also held a deep love of God in their hearts.

One day my friend was helping to shovel sand/dirt into or out of a truck.  He worked alongside a man he was growing a close relationship with.  The African man was able to shovel hard and fast.  My friend, quite physically competitive by nature, saw it as a competition.  The harder his African friend worked, he worked harder, and harder.  Faster and faster.  He realized that no matter how fast he shoveled his friend got more accomplished.

This frustrated my friend.  So much that he stopped shoveling and grabbed his friend and tossed him on the ground.  He asked the African how he can shovel so much more than him?

The lovely man from the village took my friend up a hill nearby that overlooked a field.  There, below them, was a man plowing a field with his beast in tow.  He simply told my friend to look at the man working the field.  That is his worship.  The shoveling I do is my worship to God.

That simple act of doing what you do.  Very possible doing what you were created to do……. that is your Worship to God.

I thought long and hard and deep on this one.  I’ve been a worship leader, guitar in hand, etc.  But when this story penetrated my heart I realized that there is more to worship than I was taught or shown.

I realized that this journey with God that I have been on has been my worship.  The molding and shaping He is doing in me and the revealing of my true self and who He created me to be – the talents, the personality, the gifts, the skills, the whatever – this is my worship to Him.

This is by far one of the most freeing experiences I have ever come to realize.  And I don’t feel that I’ve totally grasped the deepest meaning.  I am so caught up in my discontents in what He has me doing at this point in my life that I do believe I miss the wonderful, loving, truly joyful act of worship with Him – my life that He gave to me.

Find your worship, Dear Reader.  I guarantee that you will find peace and love and joy when you do.

(also posted on https://churchsetfree.wordpress.com/category/cate-b/ )

Cate B

A simple song by Misty Edwards:

Who I Am 2015

Here we are at the beginning of 2015.  I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions.  I know enough about me to know I will never follow through. So, my goal for this year is to continue on.  To get up and continue with the things I know I should be doing and were doing in 2014 and to look for the new things I should be doing.

This blog is one thing I am sure about.  Sure in the fact that I should and I want to do this.  This thing called Blogging.

I absolutely love it when I hit the publish button and there it is for the world to see.  It is such a great feeling of accomplishment.  And I would be lying if I said the number of views do not matter or the number of likes or even comments do not mean a thing.  Heck yes they do!  To me.  I am artistic and along with that comes a bit of the old fear of rejection and the I want to be noticed because I have something to say syndrome (note:  I made up this syndrome.  If there is such a thing then I am self-diagnosed – but I am a middle child).

I am thankful for the followers that I have.  I’ve made some close friends over the last year or two.  One of my goals in blogging is to meet more people.  To meet people who want to hear my heart and who need to  hear my heart.

We all have something to say.  Finding it is a key.  I started adding more photos, that I took this last year, to my blog and add little stories or words to go with them.  I love to take photos.  I noticed that I have new followers from a totally different genre who like photography.  That is good for me because I love variety.

As I state in my About post, “I call this “Let’s Have Another Piece of Pie” because to me pie represents more than a piece of incredible sweetness, but a moment of bliss with people you love.  It brings to me a type of peace that flows and flutters around a room of nostalgia and contemplative thoughts – even if I’m alone at the moment.  Add a piece of good home-made pie to those moments and you’ve got a recipe for joy!”

That sums it up, sums me up.  I’m on a journey of heart sharing and look so forward to another year of doing just that with who ever wants to join me.

Enjoy!

cate b

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Love Hurts

It’s been about three weeks since we moved into our new town and our new place that we call home.  It has taken me awhile to post with all the unpacking, cleaning and getting things into working condition.

As I have posted before, I have the privilege of helping our youngest son and his lovely wife with their two fantastic daughters while they attend University full time.  That is why my husband and I moved to the small mid-west town that we affectionately refer to as The Burg.

When we found this rental we were getting a bit anxious.  We had been looking for months to no avail.  We had a planned road trip vacation to the east coast coming up the end of June into July and wanted to secure a place before we left.

Well, we did.  And we are thankful to our God for this home.  The Burg is a small college town.  The University takes up a good portion of the center of town, so you will see many students living, well, everywhere and anywhere that will take them outside of dorm living.  It was hard to find a house with a fenced yard for the dogs that wasn’t trashed by intellectual  a house full of students with landlords that really don’t seem to mind.

Aside from securing a home before we went on vacation, I had it in my head to move in a couple of weeks after returning. I wanted our thirteen year old grandson – who was returning with us to Missouri until the first of August – to see where we would be living and to experience our new location.

More on the area next time.  Now for the real reason I’m writing this post.  Love.

Almost fourteen years ago, I had the most amazing experience of my life.  My oldest son’s wife invited me into the birthing room for the birth of her third child, the one who came home with us this year from vacation.  The one I mentioned above.

During his mom’s pregnancy, I talked to her womb often.  I basically said. “Hi.  It’s okay.  I’m here.”  When the moment came and this wonderful little boy popped out into this strange world – he cried.  The nurse took him over to the other side of the room to wash him and weigh him and so on.  He was lying there on a table just crying his lungs out.  I walked over to him and said, “Hi.  It’s okay.  I’m here”. And he stopped crying instantly.  We bonded for the second time at that moment.

This incredibly talented and big hearted boy and I became very close from that moment on.  When we left the east coast, five and a half years ago, my heart tore and cracked.  I didn’t think I could do this journey without him near me.  I was wrong.  My friend Jesus was there every step of the way for both myself and this young lad.

Every time we visit our family there I cry when we leave.  So you can see how important it was for me to have him see where I would be.  So he could have a visual.

Well, on August first, he left me again.  My husband did too.  They flew away together and my husband had business so he was gone for a week.  I thought that it would be a fast moving week because of all the unpacking and such that I had to do.

It was rough.  Here I was in a new town and just the dogs to talk to.  My buddy went home and the tear in my heart hurt.

When I had children my heart grew.  But when I had grandchildren it got stinkin’ big!

I never knew I could love so much.  I never knew that true love can hurt so bad.  We lost a daughter and our hearts exploded.  But our hearts heal.  The scars are there and the cracks and the wounds and cuts are there.  I do believe that these things make our hearts stronger and even bigger…….. if we allow.

There are times I want to close the door to loving someone.  To getting close to friends or loved ones.  I know it’s because I don’t want to hurt if they leave or when they leave.

Driving through town today we saw many parents leaving their kids at the University for the first time.  I saw it on their faces.  It was all too familiar.  You are happy for them and their adventures but your heart is aching and cracking a little as you say goodbye.

It’s part of life as a human.  You have, you have not.  You love, you get hurt.  You give and you take.  We do have a choice.  We can choose to love so much that it feels like the earth flew off it’s axis.  Or, we can decide to with hold love – giving and taking it – so that we will not hurt.  That’s the worst.  I know.  I’ve tried both.  I’d rather risk the hurt than never have loved.

Alfred Lord Tennyson said it well:

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I do like adventures.  So here I am, once again, beginning a new adventure.  The University begins classes this Tuesday.  The little lassies will be over to Mammy’s house and we begin a new school year adventure together.  I write this with a tear in my eyes thinking of the journey I am on with these grand daughters.  To be able to be such a part of their life is amazing.  Just as I am a part of my grandson’s life.  We still have that bond – even though he is entering his teen years – I am his Uma and will always be.

Keep your hearts open, my friends.  Love is there, around every bend and in every step we take.  I hope you choose to take the love.

The Glory of Love

You’ve got to give a little, take a little
And let your poor heart break a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little
Before the clouds roll by a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

As long as there’s the two of you
You’ve got the world and all its charms
And when the world is through with you
You’ve got each other’s arms

You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
And always have the blues a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

As long as there’s the two of you
You’ve got the world and all its charms
And when the world is through with you
You’ve got each other’s arms

You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
And always have the blues a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

Songwriters
LOVETT, LYLE PEARCE / HILL, WILLIAM J.

 

Enjoy!

cate b