Friday, October 31, 2014

Ever feel very contented?

This morning, I feel oddly contented.  I'm sitting here in my big room, drinking a cup of coffee.  It's not my preferred brand of coffee, but it's good enough.  I turned on Phil Coulter's heavenly Highland Cathedral album, which I discovered years ago on Napster.  The music is peaceful and includes a wonderful rendition of the title track.  I marched down the aisle to "Highland Cathedral" played on organ and bagpipes and that remains a wonderful memory for me.

The sun is out and it looks like I might be inspired to take the dogs for a walk in the beautiful nature near our current home.  Arran just came in here to say good morning and looked up at me with adoring eyes and a wagging tail.  It's Friday, and that means Mr. Bill will be home tomorrow.  Of course, tomorrow is also a holiday (All Saints Day), which means a lot of things will be closed.  But we can still have a nice day, right?

I'm sure later on, I'll find something to rant about, but for now I'm just enjoying the morning...  and I think it may be time to plan another trip to Scotland.  Two years ago, we went there for a couple of weeks and it changed my life.  My family has been in Virginia for a very long time...  no one has been fresh off the boat in ages.  And yet, when I went to Scotland, which I know is a place that figures prominently in my ancestry, I never felt more like I was at home.  I look like the people.  I like the food.  I like the scenery.  I like the way people speak and the way they are alternately profane and proper.  I even like the way it smells.

Actually, having been to Scotland, I can see why my family settled where it did.  Rockbridge County looks a lot like parts of Scotland.  Lots of low mountains, trees, wildlife, and, of course, a couple of rivers.  I remember walking around in the Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon, smelling the air, and thinking it reminded me so much of Granny's house in Natural Bridge, Virginia.  Ironically, we were there at around Thanksgiving, which is when our family traditionally gathers for a reunion.  While they were having Thanksgiving, I was in the motherland.  I know my mom's side of the family is very Scottish.  My dad's side is Scottish and Irish, but also English and German and I wouldn't be surprised if a Native American slipped in there somehow, too.

I ended up looking just like my mom's people.  Short and stout, pale skin, blue eyes (though my mom's eyes are green), and reddish blonde hair.  It used to be darker, but as I get older, it's turning silver which makes it go kind of blonde.  It's the strangest thing.  As a young child, I had blonde hair.  As I got older, it turned sort of a dishwater blondish-red, but I colored it because my mom liked it blonder.  I let it go natural when I was in my 20s and it was a brownish red with a few stray blonde highlights.  Then I started coloring it more red.  Now no matter what I do, it ends up blonde again.

Of course, I'm itching for a trip to Ireland, too... that's where most of Bill's people are from.  He has the map of Ireland on his face, too.

Anyway, I highly recommend Phil Coulter's majestic Highland Cathedral if you need a little Celtic inspiration.  I played this for my dad once and he loved it so much that he went out and got his own copy.  


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