Tag Archives: journey

Random Photos – Part VIII – MY Scottish Journey

If it weren’t for my son’s beautiful mind and determination we may not have made this journey to Scotland. He is presently finishing up his Masters program at the University of Edinburgh.

Childbearing does pay off eventually. If it weren’t for my kids and their dreams we may very well still be, well, who knows where and perhaps not seen or experienced all we have. I love my kids and am very proud of all they have accomplished and for what their future holds.

So here are some random photos in Edinburgh and the area around the university…..

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Enjoy! Next post will be on one of my FAVORITE places – North Berwick, Scotland – a Day at the Beach.

Cate B

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Hogmanay – MY Scottish Journey Part VII

Before we even boarded a plane for Scotland, my son asked if we wanted to join them in the New Years celebration on The Royal Mile – Hogmanay We were clueless as to what that was, but as soon as he said it was walking with torches lit up we were in. He went ahead and purchased the tickets.

It is a Scottish tradition to do this walk on The Royal Mile just before New Years. It’s part of the celebration to bring in the New Year.  I confess that I thought I would be in the midst of heavy drinking and rowdy crowds. It was the opposite. So peaceful and happiness on all the faces. Once again Scotland surprised me with the kindness of the people.

We took our torch in hand and marched down past the Queen’s Palace and enjoyed the festivities of the evening. From there we kept walking behind the palace and up the hill toward our flat.

It was a great experience. Please enjoy some of the pics of that evening….

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And when the pipers got in the groove….. very moving….

Enjoy!

Cate B

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

 

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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