The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The End of A Very Eventful Year

2008 was certainly a year of change for me. This time last year I was in the middle of dismantling my life in Tucson, preparing for a roadtrip across the country, spending a few months with family in Pittsburgh and then my big move to Scotland in the fall. Aside from a little cancer scare and surgery in the spring, most of the year went well. My house sold in July, I did some fabulous traveling over the summer and got to know my cousin Paul in Virginia. Unfortunately, my dad's house didn't sell in time to settle the estate before I was to begin school in Sptember at The University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness. My plan was and still is to use my inheritance to pay for my schooling. But it became clear that my dream of moving to Scotland and starting a degree in Scottish History was not going to happen in 2008 so I got a deferment from UHI and decided to move back to Germany until I could get to Scotland. Lucy and I arrived the first part of October. I love Germany and it's wonderful to be close to Nikki again but I still dream of the day when I touch down in Edinburgh, headed for my new life in the Highlands.

I just got back on Tuesday from Christmas in Colorado. We had a great time. I got to Ruth and Bill's on the 15th and the kids were all suppose to arrive on Saturday the 20th. Michael was the only one who actually made it in as planned, despite the snow storm that hit Seattle. Shauna wasn't so lucky. Her flight on the same day and at the same time, was canceled and she spent the weekend doing the quintessential holiday airport dance going from counter to counter, spending the night in a hotel next to the airport because she was afraid that if she went home she would never make it back, going from counter to counter again the next day, taking a flight to anywhere that would get her out of Seattle, staying in another hotel, and finally making it to Denver on Monday. By the time she arrived in Gypsum that night she was glassy eyed and very happy to see family. Nikki and Bert had arrived the day before from their roadtrip through the Southwest so we were finally all together.

The next week was spent hanging around the house, hiking through the snow, going to Vail and then to the Martins' for Christmas Eve, the Martins coming to Gypsum on Christmas Day and shopping in Glenwood Springs the day before we left. Ruth fed us mountains of food, I did mountains of dishes, we talked economics and politics with Bill and played with the new puppy. Nikki and Bert went showshoeing, and we went to the Glenwood Pool. It's the world's largest naturally heated outdoor swimming pool. The water comes from the underground mineral hot springs and they actually have to cool it down before it reaches the pool. It's a bit nippy when you first walk out of the poolhouse in a swimsuit into temps below freezing and you have to be careful that your bare feet don't slip on the ice as you scamper to the pool. But once you're in! Aaahhh!!!

There were lots of hugs and kisses and a few tears on Sunday. Michael flew back to Seattle, I returned to Germany and Shauna, Nikki and Bert flew to Wisconsin for more Christmasing with Wade, Sarah and the little sisters. And Steve! He wasn't able to join us in Colorado (something about spending Christmas with his own mom...?) but he flew from Michigan to spend this week in Green Bay.

I got a nice surprise on the way home, though. I flew from Denver to Washington D.C. where I had to change planes. When I handed my boarding pass to the gate person in D.C. the scanner beeped. "Oh," said the man, " so you're the lucky one." My reaction was to think, Oh god, what?. "New seat assignment" he said and handed me a new boarding pass. I got bumped up to Business Class! You know, get on the plane and turn left instead of right. OMG! It's like a whole 'nother world. Drinks before take off, a hook for your coat, individual linen tablecloths, appetizer, then salad, then entree, then dessert. I could put my legs straight out in front of me and not touch the next seatback with my toes. When I wanted to sleep my seat back reclined almost all the way down. And I had an adjustable footrest! That was great 'cause you know how my feet don't always reach the floor. This way they didn't have to just dangle, which gets very uncomfortable. There wasn't even anyone sitting next to me so I could put all my crap in the seat instead of trying to shove it under the seat in front of me, which I couldn't reach anyway!

Alas, all good things must end. We landed in Frankfurt...without my bag. It was chillin' in Atlanta. The bad news was that it had all my stuff in it. The good news was that I didn't have to schlepp it home (it was considerably heavier on the way back). The airline delivered it to me last night with everything intact, including the tequila.

As soon as I got home the first thing I had to do was to go pick up Lucy. When I got her home I could see the change in her. She's lost weight since I left and she's even more unsteady on her feet than before. She ate a bit of dry foot at first but then nothing. She was interested in my food though so I coaxed her with some canned kitty food. She liked that. I'm not sure what's going to happen. I hate to think that we may be getting near the end. I don't know. Maybe I'm just being melodramatic.

Anyway, I hope this new year brings you all health and much happiness.

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