Sunday, October 7, 2012

"See you next time, hen!"

DAY FIVE - 5/1/12

Rise and shine! This morning, I got up early to take a walk and listen to some praise and worship music. As easy as it is when you’re really busy to think that you’ll have no trouble finding time to spend with God if you could just get away for awhile, we always seem to find ourselves preoccupied or busy (even with relaxing), don’t we?

As I walked around the property, the fog was rolling on the hills, and the dew sparkled in the grass and tree limbs. While the sun had risen and morning light was working its way through the fog, the world was quiet and still. I was overwhelmed by nature and the big-ness of God. Do I really confine Him to the God of my surroundings at home and forget that He’s ruler over Scotland? Over Turkey? Over Australia? It’s hard to remember that until you’re there and overwhelmed by it. How could I ever understand Him? How could I ever love Him enough? Isn’t it amazing that He loves me?

After a refreshing walk, I headed inside to clean up for breakfast. I met Lora and Graham in the dining room at 9:00am.

Lora ordered the full Scottish breakfast of sausage, over-easy egg, tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and toast. Graham ordered porridge. I got a bowl of fresh fruit, dried apricots, almonds, and bran cereal. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, packed up, and headed out to Traquair – the longest continually-inhabited house in Scotland (1,000 years and going). There was so much family history in that creaky old house, including locks of hair from long-ago ancestors, Bibles transcribed in the late 13th century, clothing irons from every generation, and much more. It was a very chilly tour, as there was no heating, and the temperature outside hovered around 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Brrr…(do you sense a theme to this trip?).

Traquair house.
We then headed down the road to a little Indian restaurant. Thankful to escape the wind (though it was not very warm in the tiny restaurant), we ordered some warm food. I got tomato soup, Chicken Tikka, and Naan bread. Oh, boy! That naan bread was fantastic! I ate the whole order.

Feeling quite full, we did a quick drive-by/run-in of Rosslyn Chapel, the chapel featured in “The DaVinci Code.” Graham and I ran in while Lora napped in the car. Our time was limited because we needed to get Graham to the airport for his flight to Istanbul, so he showed me the highlights. The exquisite detail in this chapel was mind-blowing. Chiseled by hand, the stone edifice had intricate, unique carvings of angels, demons, the seven merciful acts, etc. The chapel is undergoing renovations to restore its façade, so we read up on the process of restoring such skilled handiwork. Then, we hopped back in the car and headed to the airport to say goodbye to Graham.

After dropping him off, Lora and I plowed ahead with our day, stopping off to pick up some cat sand at the pet store and her favorite bread at the grocery store. We also grabbed a small bouquet of flowers to give to her friend Nessy, with whom we were going to have tea. We then headed over to Nessy and Frank’s semi (a duplex, of which they owned half). Lora met Nessy and Frank when she first started bowling at the Dunmore Bowling Club. A couple well into their seventies, she described them as sweet, talkative, and generous hosts. She also warned me that Frank had experience a stroke and was therefore difficult to understand at times. From the moment we walked into the house, I was won over. What a sweet couple! She served us tea, pizza, little sandwiches, and small desserts. Pizza and tea, you might ask? I didn’t question, I just ate! The couple house sits dogs when people go out of town, so they had two Yorkshire Terries who kept our attention for a good portion of tea time.

Before we knew it, the time came to head out to Dunmore Bowling Club for a night of bowling. Now, before you start imagining us gathering at an indoor bowling rink, dispel all American understanding and expectations for bowling. The Dunmore Bowling Club is an outside bowling green with four “rinks.” There are no pins involved; instead, there is a jack, a small white ball that serves as the point of hopeful conversion for the “bowls.” The bowls, instead of being equally-weighted bowling balls with three finger holes, are slightly oblong balls that are weighted with one side being heavier than the other and the goal being to have a bias in the weights so that the ball ultimately curves toward the jack, depending on how you roll it. Now the aim is to get your three bowls (or, consequently, your teammates’ other six bowls) as close to the jack as possible by either rolling them to within a close proximity or knocking opponents’ bowls out of the way, etc. After one night of bowling, I am certainly no expert, but this website spells it out, if you’re interested (Dad) (http://www.fedbowls.co.uk/).

When we first arrived, Lora stayed with me and introduced me around. Then, when it came time to draw for teams, I was sure she would ask to make sure we could be on the same team. She certainly didn’t! In fact, she asked around for who was on my team, and while I thought her motive was to switch to get us both on the same team, she just asked the first person who indicated they were on the same team as I was to help show me the ropes. I was surprised and nervous! Thankfully, though, a sweet woman named Christine came to my rescue. She befriended me and talked me through the game, as did two of the other gentlemen playing in my rink. Oh, and by the way, all of the club players were over 55 except for one guy near my age who was aloof and sort of a game spoiler. Anyway, the men on my rink were helpful and silly, laughing at and with me at all the right times and joshing with me as I learned how to play.

Esmie with her third "bowl."
Overall, it was a very fun night, and I would definitely do it again (if I could ensure that I wouldn’t almost get frostbite from the cold!). I have no idea who won or even how the score was kept, but I know I had fun, and that’s all that matters. As we were leaving, one of the men leaned into Lora’s car to say goodbye to Lora and me, and he said to me, “See you next time, hen!” What? Lora later explained that “hen” is the same thing as “girl,” so it was as though he said “See you later, girl!” Okay...another phrase that definitely needed translation!

We got home around 10pm tonight. Since we really only had snacks for dinner, Lora fixed me up another snack to take upstairs as I got ready for bed: Seed Sensations bread, smoky garlic cheddar cheese, and fresh strawberries. I worked on email some, loaded pictures from my camera, and charged my iPod.

Time for BED! What a good day. Cheerio!

Yum!

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