My life was forever changed last summer during the month of June when I traveled to England and Scotland with my four daughters, Krista, Becky, Rachel, and Anna. I never knew that one could fall in love with another country or the people, but I did.
For several months after I arrived home, I had a literal ache, a homesickness for these lands. Becky dreamed about the places we traveled also. Krista dreamed of the places we had visited, as well as other cities and villages there. Just a few days ago she returned home from an authors tour of England with her daughter Jessica, who just graduated from high school in May. She and Jessica visited some of the cities of her dreams on her current trip. What an adventure she had! And what a curious thing to be so enamored with a land.
For Brent and I this is our first trip together out of the USA and I am very grateful to be going with my dear hubby. This is a trip of a lifetime for us and although Brent does not like to leave his cave and his easy chair very often, he is actually kind of excited to go! We are booking our trip tomorrow and may fly out as soon as one week. We are going for many reasons, including research on Brent’s historical novel, family history, genealogy, visiting cities and villages where our ancestors lived, visiting Ruth, my best friend from high school in Inverness, Scotland, and staying with new friends, Bishop and Sister Gardner in Inverness.
That is enough reasons, would you agree? But there is more.
This will be a journey of discovery–to learn more about our families and our roots. Brent has some roots in the British Isles but his line is mostly from Austria as it is called today but originally it was part of Prussia. I have learned that I am related to Robert the Bruce, the King of Scotland, who fought to gain Scotland’s place as an independent nation and is today remembered as a national hero there. Visiting the castle and fortress in Edinburgh, Scotland where he lived and worked with William Wallace (Braveheart) was very emotional for me.
Courage and the willingness to sacrifice everything for freedom is a quality that has always left me with deep reverence. Of course most of my ancestors were ordinary people who struggled their way through life just to have the daily necessities. It is those people, who are buried in the many nameless graves there, that I think about the most, however I connected in spirit to one specific ancestor there, Countess Ada de Warenne. She lived in Huntington, Scotland, about 12 miles west of Edinburgh. She was a woman of wealth and means, and yet she used her influence for good, helping the poor in many ways-for example, she build a bridge for the poor so they could cross the river without paying a toll. She also was instrumental in building a church there where the nuns would care for the poor during the time of 1140-1178 and beyond. Those edifices are still standing today as a memorial to her. Being in her land and walking where she walked was like being on holy ground to me. With God’s good grace, in the coming days, I will return to her land and share more with you.