I thank you for your patience as I twiddle about and have not quite mentioned the Land of Your Birth, the blessed Scotland! It's easy for me to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and prattle on about things of import but lesser consequence. Where I falter is in the big things, the really important ones. I struggle to write about them. Bear with me as I try my best...
When people have asked me "how was your vacation?" or "how was England?" I have to pause and force myself to breathe. I tell them my vacation was wonderful, England was lovely, but Scotland was sublime. I tell them Scotland is the most beautiful place I've ever been to (and honey, I've been around). I tell them that the songs and poems and movies do not do it justice, because it's soul-crushingly beautiful. I tell them that you can feel like a microcosm because the land is big and green, filled with craggy cliffs and the sea is rough and cold. Or that you can feel the power of the sea shoot through your body and you feel invincible and somehow you know you've come home. I tell them that the people there are amazing - once you pass the invisible test, you become family and there's no better family to have. I tell them that the ONLY way to see Edinburgh is with a historian as there is more history is one city block than we have in thousands of miles in this land of Apple and Microsoft. I tell them the food is amazing - the fish is fresh-caught and has never been near a freezer, the cheese is divine and puts Wisconsin cheese to shame. I tell them they've never been to a family party until they've been to a Scottish family party where the wine flows and the music plays and everyone is smiling and laughing. I tell them that for the first time in decades (I've had almost five so that's a lot) I had no worries and did not miss where I live. I tell them our accommodations were first class and that I can never thank our hosts (that would be you, your lovely bride and your brogue-y son) enough or possibly repay the hospitality. I tell them I'm going back as soon as I can because although I saw a lot, I could not take in any more as my senses were full up.
As they listen to this enthusiastic diatribe of love for all things Scottish, their eyes glaze over a bit and they say one of two things:
1) I've always wanted to go to Ireland.
2) So, is it like Braveheart?
Yes, my darlings, it's a wee bit like Braveheart.
All for now, more later.
*May you live long and stay well.