Tuesday, January 29, 2008

3 Generations

Having Mom and Jesse here to share Scotland with me was wonderful. Watching Mom was interesting. Sometimes we are so much alike it scares me. Mom’s first views of the town were much like the first time I saw them – I knew exactly what she was seeing, thinking and feeling. Jesse and I are enough alike that I knew what would fascinate her, too. But with Jesse she often has a different view of things. Maybe it is an artist’s eye or maybe it is just a younger, fresher take on things. Site seeing was definitely interesting with the two of them.

I knew Mom was enjoying her time here in Scotland. It was her first time to Europe, and she was determined to keep up and see everything that she could. Mom would have loved seeing more of the world, and it certainly would have been easier in her younger years. My parents were successful people. They had time and money in their retirement years. So why didn’t they do some traveling? Mom and I discussed the question. My dad exuded strength, knowledge, capability, security, and confidence, but when it came to travel, there was only one place to go and that was to Red River, NM. He was a history major; you would think he would have wanted to see the places he read about. He had some good friends who made several trips to Europe and even begged Dad to come with them, but Dad would not budge. I have blogged about my brother inviting Mom and Dad to attend a function at the White House back in the second Clinton term. Dad, the yellow dog Democrat, refused to go. Mom and I wondered if the thought of traveling was just too much of the unknown for Dad’s comfort level. Was he afraid that his lack of travel expertise would make him look less macho? Or was he truly so in love with RR that he would go no where else? He could have traveled in the other season and still had his summers in RR. Maybe it was that Dad was such a creature of habit, he was just not willing to try something new. Mom always wanted to stay in RR on into the fall to see the aspen trees change and enjoy the off-season with her friends, but Dad had to leave RR by Labor Day in order to get back to Texas - his excuse was football season. Go figure! Looking back at my dad and doing some amateur psychology, I would say that Dad had some insecurity that he hid well. He was still a great Dad.
Mom was a real trouper here. We hit the town of Aberdeen and walked her skinny legs off. We climbed the hill to the Castle at Edinburgh and walked the Royal Mile. We shopped till we dropped. We hiked Mom through the woods up to Crathes Castle and all over the gardens there. Then to top it off, we hiked her out to Dunnottar Castle in the cold ocean wind. She did it all and I am very proud of her.

Having said all of that, I am glad that I am off "border collie" duty. Herding Mom and Jes around was fun, but tiring. Entertaining is fun, but it gets old. Sharing a bathroom with two other women is less fun (poor Toby had to share with three women). This morning I put Mom and Jesse in a taxi bound for the airport and assume they are on their way home as I type. I haven’t had much time to write or think for that matter. I have just been throwing some photos on the blog and running. Hopefully I can go back and put down some personal thoughts on my time in Scotland. In the meantime, I have lots of photos to share – some artsy – some fun – some beautiful. I feel like I have lots to do.

Monday morning, Mom, Jesse, and I caught the bus in Aberdeen and rode the short distance to the town of Stonehaven. This is the same trip that Toby and I made on our first weekend here. Some of the photos may seem the same, but this time they have people in them. I may steal some of Jesse's photos because they are more artsy.

The weatherman said that the day was going to be sunny to partly cloudy with wind up to 20 miles per hour. The temps were to be in the high 40's by noon. Liars! Around noon, what sun we had disappeared behind some ominous clouds. The wind was very cold and probably much more than 20 mph. I am sure the temps never made it to the high 40's. The good news was that it did not rain. In fact, the clouds were sort of a perfect setting and although the wind was cold, it was still a great day.

Jesse took lots of pictures. She was all over the cliffs, castle and beach. She looked into every nook ad cranny. She climbed on ever staircase. She absolutely loved Dunnottar. It was the perfect Scottish experience. With the wind blowing in her hair and her running across the green grounds, she looked the part of the Scottish lass - even doing the dishes in the castle kitchen.

The tide was out as we walked to the castle, but as we started back to Stonehaven, it was coming in. Mom and I walked the trail, while Jesse walked the beach. She would have done even more exploring, but she had to meet up with us. We planned on stopping in Stonehaven to have a late lunch and warm up, but the pub as not serving food when we got there. So we had a beer and sat by the fireplace before catching the bus to Aberdeen.

Mom and Jesse did some last minute souvenir shopping. Then we met Toby at an Italian restaurant called Rustico's. It was good, but not as good or as nice an experience as Toby and I had earlier. Still, it was a nice send off for Mom and Jesse. If nothing else, they should be able to sleep on the plane home.


Dawn said...

It sounds like you succeded in really making that trip special to your Mom, Lou. What a wonderful adventure for her, with Jesse as her traveling companion and you as her tour guide, that just made many special memories for years to come! Your pictures are beautiful today,and we're still missing you all :)

Buck said...

I second Dawn.

Interesting story... and theory... about your Dad. While my father did a lot of traveling with the AF, he stayed put after he retired. I did everything I could, short of kidnapping him, to get him to come visit me while I was overseas. Nope. Not a chance. He parked his old butt in California and to my knowledge left the state but once in 15 years (or so), and that was under pain of divorce or worse when my step-mother wanted to go to Hawaii. Why do we get like that? (He said, conveniently ignoring the fact HIS passport has been expired for four years now...)

Wow, I feel for Toby! One man + three women + one bathroom = Aiiieee! ;-)

And, today's photos were Great!

Bag Blog said...

"Wow, I feel for Toby! One man + three women + one bathroom = Aiiieee! ;-)"

Buck, you don't know the half of it. Mom opened the door and walked in on Toby twice. The second time, Jes and I explained to her that if the door is shut, then Toby is in there, and that she should knock. This evening he got his book and went to the "office" to read - he said he was "safe" now that Mom was gone. And the toilet paper we have gone through - the hotel will probably charge us extra!

Becky said...

Beautiful pictures, Lou.

My mother never liked to travel either. As a result, we seldom took vacations when I was young. Today, I'd love to travel, but don't have the means to do so.

Jo Castillo said...

Those look like 3 nice gals for Toby to be stuck with! Nice you were all together. Nice memories. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

Alison said...

Love the photo of Jesse high on the hill above the harbor... what a beautiful place! Am green with envy but happy to know you are enjoying your time there!