Sunday, March 12, 2017

Flying home but not without a hitch!


   We arrived at the airport where Bobby dropped us all off. He then proceeded to Enterprise to turn in the van and get a taxi ride back to the airport.

While he was gone we checked in our luggage. We were relieved that each piece we checked in did not exceed the 50 lb. limit. We had spent quite a lot of time reshuffling things to make that happen. (Which would prove to set me up for a delimma)

Hung out with Maridith and the boys while we waited for Bobby to return. They were to leave around 4pm. A few hours after our flight.

Bobby returned and we shared a few parting moments and hugs. 

I think the look on my face is pretty transparent. It was time to say goodbye! It was something I had resigned myself to. Though reluctantly. After our last lingering hugs, my husband and I made our way to security. 

And then it began!

   My backpack didn't make it through the first scan. I thought, "Oh well, nothing to worry about." After the second scan, they began asking me questions about the contents. Especially the box full of books.  Bobby has thought he would mail it home but reconsidered after we found out how much it would cost. We decided that I would bring it home with me in my suitcase. Now this wouldn't have been a problem, IF I had left it in my suitcase. But remember the reshuffling I mentioned that I had done to keep my suitcase within the 50 lb. limit?  I had taken that box out and put it in my backpack instead.

   What I had failed to remember was that Bobby had put a knife in with those books that he wanted to give to a friend back home. I had totally forgotten about that! If Bobby had of known that I had put the box in my backpack, he could have warned me about the knife. However, I never told him!

   The security people proceeded to take my passport and boarding pass. And directed me to sit on a bench and wait for the police to come and open the box. Bob waited awhile with me before the police came. He waited for as long as he dared. Finally, we decided that he needed to go on to the gate to explain why I wasn't there. (Though the police assured me that I wouldn't miss my flight!) I felt frightened, alone and abandoned.

   I waited and waited. I sat on that bench praying like I had never prayed before. Pleading with God that I wouldn't miss my flight and that He would keep me from panicking. The whole time I sat there, I never remembered about the knife. 

At last the police arrived and unpack the box in front of me. When they pulled out the knife, the shock on my face must have convinced them of my innocence. They concluded that it was an oversight on my part. Of course, they confiscated the knife. They returned my precious passport and boarding pass. 

   I fairly flew to my gate.  All the passengers, except me, had boarded the plane. Bob had explained to the gate attendants what had happened. 

   The plane was to leave at 12:05 and it was about 11:47 by the time I got to my gate. Unbeknownst to me those police were trailing me the whole time. I was so focused on following the directions to my gate that I didn't have time to worry about if I was being followed or not. 

   The attendants were super helpful and assured us the plane wasn't going to leave without us. And they were right. But we were the last ones on the plane. I have to say that of all the predicaments my children have gotten me into, this was at the top of the list to date.

   But if you were to ask me if my dream trip to Scotland was worth all this trauma? I would reply, "Oh yes, and then some!" But I don't want to ever go through something like this again!

Wow, after what I had been through, these beauties were a welcomed sight!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I am so glad we had this time together!

8-24-15 Monday morning

   After breakfast and a round of picture taking, Marcus arrived to take us to his house. The plan was to leave for the airport after bidding farewell to the Wadsworth's, Marcus and his family.
The Wadsworth's and Benny

Marcus, Dorothy, & Kate
   When it came time to say our final farewells, my heart certainly wasn't in it. I left our new friends, who felt like old friends, accepting the reality that all good things at some point have to end. But I left part of my heart there, especially in Larkhall. Sam and Francis will be our forever friends!
Sam, Francis, and Sarah

   It takes about an hour to drive from Larkhall to Edinburgh! Driving through the countryside I tried to  absorb all the beauty of Scotland that I could. The logistics of our plan was to turn in the van to Enterprise, pick up the luggage they so graciously had kept for us, then get a taxi to take us to the airport. 

Belted in and on our way!


My photos don't do Scotland justice!

Highway signs!

This country gal is partial to a hayfield!

Impressive mountain !

Roscoe travels so well!

I don't see how Bobby drove on the wrong side of the road but he did beautifully.

Maridith knows how to stay focused!

Bob did a good bit of front seat driving & navigating !

I just enjoyed every minute!

Almost at the airport!

 All that was left to do was to say goodbye to each other. Or so I thought! My last moments in Scotland would prove to be more unforgettable than I could have imagined. Tell you all about it next post!!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

It's amazing what God can do when we open ourselves to friendship!

Larkhall Baptist Church
Evening Service

   After a short rest at the Manse, it was time to walk next door for the evening service. Bobby brought Shep over and Sarah brought out the legos for Shep to play with. Bobby proceeded over to the church which was only next door to prepare for the evening service. 

   As with Bob and I, Stuart would first interview Bobby & Maridith then Bobby would preach. I am always impressed to hear Bobby & Maridith's testimonies about their call to missions. I understand so much better now that when God calls you to something, He equips you to carry out that call. I see the wisdom of that borne out whenever I have the privilege of listening to my son and daughter in law as they describe the life they live.

   Bobby's sermon was based on taking God's Word to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). His questions was, "Where do you serve?" A question we all need to ask ourselves, I think!

   We lingered around after church saying our farewell's to our Larkhall Baptist church friends. This wasn't very easy for me. While I was glad to be heading back to America, and my home on the farm, the desire to remain in Scotland pulled at my heart.

   But the preparations of packing had to be made. Returning to the manse, I spent the next few hours repacking our suitcases. It soon became all to apparent that if I was going to pack all the souvenirs I had bought, I had to leave some of my clothing and articles behind. (had to keep each bag at 50 lbs. or lower)

3 pair of jeans (they are weighty), a favorite pink top, some p.j's, about 4 T-shirts, most of my toiletries, a book (Highland Legacy), socks, and pair of dress pants. After all, most of these could be replaced when I returned home by a quick trip to Walmart and Goody's.

   After the feat of packing was complete, I went downstairs to enjoy a time of food and fellowship with  the Wadsworth's and several of their close friends. It was just one more reminder of the common bond that exists between Christian's. No matter where in the world we gather, our friendship and fellowship is instant and oh so sweet!

   I noticed that I had lost a charm from my bracelet while at the table. My daughter had given me the charm and I really hated to loose it. Fortunately, it was discovered lying on the floor in the living room. We had gathered there to watch a Scottish comedian on tv (sorry, don't remember his name. But he was funny) and it was found on the floor by the sofa. (Alas, it was lost once more after I returned home. This time for good :(  

   My last night in Scotland was crowned by tender moments as Rachel finished showing me the scrapbook she had made of the remembrances of her mum. With each turn of the page, it was as if Ruth, herself, was allowing me to share a glimpse of her life that extended beyond our emails. 

   Ruth and I both favored the works of Jan Karon. Her work, The Mitford Series held prominence in our libraries. So you can imagine the tug at my heart when Sarah asked me to choose a book from that series for my own. I chose the first one, At Home in Mitford. Here it sits in it's new home on my bookshelf. I shared mine and Ruth's story on Jan Karon's Facebook page along with these photos. 

"It is amazing what God can do when we open ourself up to friendship" Sarah Wadsworth


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sunday lunch around a Scottish table!

Lunch with Kate & Marcus.

   I was thrilled that Kate right after hearing my testimony about fiery darts, ordered a Kindle copy of my book, Fiery Darts: Satan's Weapon of Choice,  as did a few others at Larkhall. My heart's desire is that God will place this book in the hands of other's who like me have allowed negative thoughts to rule their thinking. The following verse explains my motivation:
He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4 HCSB
Lunch with Kate and Marcos was the icing on the cake for me after visiting Larkhall. My family, the Wadsworths, and Ms. Dorothy, Kate's 91 year old mum gathered around this lovely table for the sweetest of fellowship and a delicious meal. 

Ham, roast beef, couscous, potato salad, lettuce salad, natural beats, lemon cream cheese, a trifle, and mixed fruit graced the table before us. I ate and enjoyed every dish.! And I wasn't the only one. Kate is a fabulous cook!

Kate's mum, Ms Dorothy, was a delightful lady. She encouraged my heart as she shared her travels with me. I was encouraged because she, like me, followed her son to another continent in some of those travels. And also like me, she was in her golden years as she trotted around the globe. Knowing she accomplished all this traveling as an older lady, gives me much cause to hope that I can do the same. 

After a brisk and lively time of fellowship, Sarah invited me to visit her mum's grave. I was deeply touched to be asked.

Sarah and Rachel's brother, Matthew, had been working on Bobby's computer and drove us over to the cemetery. On the way we stopped at the Coop (a grocery store) to pick up some flowers.

We stood there in silence for awhile, each lost in our own memories of this beautiful lady. This was not how I wanted to greet Ruth. Being here at this spot for this reason was the only part of my dream that wasn't fulfilled. Sometimes God's will is beyond our understanding. In those times we just have to accept it! This was one of those times for me. 

Sarah and I joined in prayer, thanking God for the friendship I shared with Ruth and for the wonderful wife, mother, and friend she was to so many.

We walked back to the Manse and prepared for evening services. Bobby and Maridith were to be sharing their experience on the mission field. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Speaking at Larkhall


   There I was sitting in the church with all that was familiar to Ruth about me. I was a bit overwhelmed by the reality of it all. Ruth had described this church to me on several occasions via her email and later by her Fb posts. I was a contradiction of emotions! Happy beyond words to be there, but feeling a deep sadness because Ruth wasn't. (If you remember, Ruth had passed away from cancer in the fall of 2014. We had been e-pal friends for about 10 years)

   Bobby (who everyone there called Robert) spoke first. He directed his words to the children and afterwards showed a video of their work in S. Sudan. He did an excellent job, very engaging. 

   Then as is the custom at Larkhall, the children were dismissed to their own worship service. I felt very comfortable for they conducted their service much as Faith did back home. Contemporary choruses  were sung, being read from words placed on the big screen (you can see the screen behind me in the above photo) I can't say I was familiar with the songs but they were beautiful. 


The order of service for that day was to conduct a brief interview with Bob and I, then Bob would speak. Bob spoke for 15 minutes! Don't remember him ever being that brief😄

   Stuart introduced me as the only friend of Ruth's that he had never met. But Ruth had told him about me and of my dream to come to Scotland. 

   I have included the audio of that interview. I was pleased to be able to share how Ruth and I became friends, and of my family, and about my book, Fiery Darts. (Please let me know if you are not able to open the audio link above)

   After the worship service, we gathered in the fellowship hall for tea and coffee with cookies. Just like the previous churches we had visited. The fellowship was warm and friendly. Because of the bond we share in Christ, we felt like lifelong friends immediately. No matter where I have gone in the world, this is the way it goes when I meet fellow brother's and sister's in Christ.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Larkhall, for a second (and last time)

Farewell Arran!

8-22-15 (Saturday)

   We left for the ferry a little earlier than planned. Reason being, Bobby was going to have to drive to Edinburgh as soon as we arrived in Larkhall in order to pick up Maridith's computer. (She was having it repaired at the Apple store there) So instead of arriving around 2:30 has originally planned, we arrived at 10:30. We didn't get to leave on the 10:30 ferry, but were able to leave on the 11:30 one. This gave us a little time to grab a bite to eat in a nearby coffee shop. 

   The trip on the ferry was as pleasant as it was before and this time somewhat warmer. I found a place to sit in the dining area with Roscoe and treated ourselves to ice cream. Bobby and Shep showed up after awhile then Maridith. Lastly, Bob joined our party. 

   I simply love riding the ferry. It reminded me of the ferry I rode crossing the English channel 20 years ago with my daughters.(Doesn't seem it was that long ago!) We had taken a European trip with a group from Munford High School for a combined senior trip for Kathy, and Rachel (who was a high school freshman at the time)! Each trip was uniquely filled with memories that I draw from time and time again.

   As it turned out, Marcus offered to drive Bobby to Edinburgh to pick up Maridith's computer. This was a godsend! So while Maridith and the boys relaxed at Kate's, Bob and I reconnected with the Wadsworth's. 

   Eventually, a taxi arrived to take us to the restaurant where we met Bobby & Marcus (who had showed up first) then Kate. We laughed and visited with each other as if we had been life long friends. The servers were as fascinated by our accents as we were theirs. All in all, we packed memories in abundance of that precious time. 

   Bob and I thank God for Kate and Marcus, for they have taken Bobby & Maridith into their hearts. This gives us the sweetest of comforts knowing they will watch out for our loved ones when they move to Edinburgh next year. 

    Upon returning to the Wadsworth's, Bob and I were able to share some special moments with this family who had become like family to us. Rachel pulled out the album she had made from the pictures and memorabilia of her mum's to show me. I know creating that album kept her mum close. It will be something she will return to again and again to receive solace. 

   I spent the rest of the evening preparing thoughts that I would share the next day in Stuart's church. Stuart had invited all of us to speak. I was deeply touched that Stuart was giving me an opportunity to share some personal thoughts about Ruth and about my book, Fiery Darts: Satan's Weapon of Choice.This was one of those times (and I had known many of them on this trip) when my cup was running over. 

   We spent a full and memorable weekend in Larkhall. I will share more next time!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Arran: Parting is such sweet sorrow!

View from front door of our cottage!
Parting shots!

   As I was reading over my journal, I came upon an entry that I should have posted at the end of my last post. So I will share it here, but connect it to November 23rd post.

   As Bobby and I were 'strolling in the gloaming' the evening prior to our departure, we agreed that Scotland, especially Arran, was more beautiful than we could have imagined. While we slowly walked the path leading away from our cottage, I recalled how earlier in the week, as I was walking this very same path, I had met a young man named Robbie who was working on his home, and engaged him in a conversation. He told me how much he loved living on Arran, and described it as a very safe place to live–especially for children. "It's sort of like a place that's not been contaminated by the current horribleness of the world," he said.
  In sharing with Bobby the young man's description of this dreamy island, we both agreed it could have been the setting for Brigadoon. Separated from the rest of the world and not contaminated by it.

Parting shot of our quaint home on Arran.

Well, as they say, "All good things must come to an end."


  Scotland, especially Arran, exceeded my expectations. Her cool but pleasant climate, her warm, friendly, gracious, and hospitable people, her spectacular pastoral landscapes, her gentle and peaceful pace of life made it hard to leave. But as wonderful as all that was, she was not My Home. America, Quito, TN is my home and where I belong. I was ready to go home! Nevertheless, making this trip to Scotland was the fulfillment of a dream. One that I will thank God for the rest of my days.

As we departed the ferry, we drove by ASDA. In America we  refer to  it as Wal-Mart!

   However, there was one more trip to make. We drove to the ferry, boarded and set out in the direction of Larkhall. We were eager to return there for one last visit with Kate, Marcos, the Wadsworths, and Sam & Francis before returning to the States.