Our Twenty Third Year - A Season of Giving.

Scotland Memories

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - written by Ginny Muhich

OUR TRIP HOME

The sky was dark the stars were out when a knock came at our door.
It's time to wake and face the day, but it's only 5 to 4.
With my foreign attitude still sleeping, a curse went through my head.
But I quickly readjusted, then smiled and got out of bed.
The bus was downstairs waiting with Christopher and Chick.
It's really quite amazing, how we all just seemed to click.
A breakfast bag awaited us, filled with food and drink.
It was nice to have some nourishment, when we were too tired to think.
Jean and Julie came on down to say good bye to us.
Through laughter, tears and lots of hugs and picture taking on the bus.
We waved and settled in our seats, as Chick slowly steered us out.
Each lost in our own memories, while we drove along our route.
The bags are safely stored away, our time in Scotland done.
The land, the people, the graciousness, will be missed by everyone.

Leaving Edinburgh on the bus was rather quiet. People were eating their breakfast, talking quietly and remembering. No one was ready to leave this wonderful country. Chris, as he did everyday told us his joke which we clapped and moaned about. The weather this AM, as was most of our days, not rainy, but it was foggy coming into Glasgow. The airports in the UK had changed the rules on when to be there. Now it was 4 hours before your flight departed and had only the day before once again allowed passengers to bring a small carry on, but limited the items that were okay. No liquids or gels at all. No electronics, only prescription medications, but we could bring books and crosswords and etc. Chick said good bye to each of us at the bus and Christopher Robin Fox went with us inside to make sure we all got boarding passes and showed us where to go through security. We could only purchase items in the duty free shop (no alcohol or perfumes - liquids) to take on the plane. The plane was delayed so we were at the airport 5 ˝ hours - passing the time, eating, sleeping, reading, playing cards and talking.

The plane ride was uneventful (a good thing) we were pretty well spread out. One thing we really missed was Julie coming around talking to us and finding how each of us were. We watched out the plane window and finally saw land. We recognized the great lakes and were excited when we saw the Chicago skyline.

In Chicago we picked up our luggage, went through customs and were immediately reminded we were back in the states. The pace is so much more hurried here ( if 2 hours can be considered hurried) and there was no more beautiful lilt to the English language.

We parted ways at the airport with Marion Conrad (Kent's wonderful mother) who went home to Pennsylvania, George who left for the Mayo Clinic and Kelly who stayed in Chicago for a convention.

For the 35 that were left, the Monticello Bus was waiting to take us home. We sang happy birthday to Steve Ater, Pat Weston and Oleta Miller and we had to say good bye to Katrina when we dropped her off in Kankakee (Bourbonnais) It was fun to be with her again if only for a short time. I then asked everyone what their favorite memory of Scotland was - here are some of their answers -

here comes Henry again!!

  • Golfing at St. Andrew's with the weather so adverse,
  • The folks at Stirling Castle, when they clapped while we rehearsed.
  • Us singing on the ferry, the songs we memorized.
  • The bar above the dining hall where we would socialize.
  • Singing in the War Room and Loch Lomond's water blue.
  • The reception held at Dunkeld and of course the great Tattoo!
  • The wonder of the highlands where we made so many stops.
  • The beauty of that awesome land gave us lots of photo (smoking) ops!
  • The lower Church in Glasgow was the favorite of a few.
  • The concert held at Cannongate and the funny wooly coos (cows).
  • So many different memories that we never will forget
  • But we're sure to make some new ones when we travel to Tibet!!!

Our journey ended where we started, at the Round Barn Center. We were changed in a wonderful way, our friendships stronger and our hearts lighter as we hugged and we said good byes to each other and greeted our loved ones who came to pick us up. We were tired but happy and looking forward to sharing all we saw with each of you.

Submitted by Ginny Muhich (Asst. Henry Gibson)

Christopher Robin Fox's final joke in Scotland….

"Paddy was chatting with his friend Sean about his vacation. So Sean says to Paddy. "Where are you going?" "Well", says Paddy, "I love the islands. 2 years ago I went to the Cayman Islands to look for Caiman. Last year I went to the Canary Islands to look for Canaries. This year I'm really excited. I'm going to the Virgin Islands."

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