Jamie Came to Visit and we Drank ALL of the Wine

When I was 14 years old and a freshman at Victoria High School, a junior girl I didn’t know came up to me and asked me to dinner. I told her I couldn’t. I already had plans. She asked about the next night and my extremely shy self reluctantly agreed. I was a Reserve in our high school’s dance team – about to move into my Sophomore year where you are actually part of the team. As a sophomore you have a Big Sis – a senior – who looks out for you throughout your first year on the team.

She is also responsible for hazing you and making you look like an idiot.

No shaving, proposing to strangers with your bathing suit inside out, dressing you up to go door-to-door collecting money to take them to dinner, waiting in doorways for any juniors or seniors to cross the threshold before you traveled through, frying like bacon in front of all the cute senior boys… Who would have thought that random selection from a crowd and moderate hazing would lead to a life-long friendship?

I still remember awkwardness I felt while standing in the doorway of the locker room leading to “The Cage” where Reserves changed into our dance clothes while Jamie asked me to dinner. We have shared a lot of life between then and now. Words cannot describe how Brett and I felt to have our friend that’s really family visit us here. A friendly and familiar face goes a long way when everything and everyone is new.

Jamie joined me in dropping Mia off at nursery one day. One of the nursery teachers asked if Jamie was my sister.

I said yes. She’s been my sister for the last 20 years.

Below is a snipit of her time here this week. It doesn’t nearly capture the laughter, the deep and shallow conversations or the comfortable silences that come with a lifetime of knowing the other. See you warmed our hearts, Jamie!

Top 3 4 5 Moments of Your Holiday:

  1. Getting through security alone!
  2. Seeing a proper autumn – leaves changing color.
  3. Drinking wine with my bestie 🙂
  4. The bookstore!
  5. Kicking Brett and Saundra’s ass in Monopoly

What did you think Scotland was going to be like? What were you expecting?

Jamie: Dreary, cold, rainy, cobblestones, people falling short of “Texas friendliness”

What was most surprising?

Jamie: The driving. Feeling like you’re going to hit the cars next to you or get hit. Feeling like, “EEEEE! They’re going to hit me!” I didn’t expect for it to be as gorgeous as it is. One of the first things I noticed was all of the hydrangeas in people’s front gardens and how pretty they were set against the gray houses.


What have you learned? What do you think will stick with you?

Jamie: I’m a big girl! I can travel alone. That a faster pace of life isn’t always best. The need to be open-minded to other people’s situations and experiences. I like Cullen Skink! Never thought that I’d like a food called Skink! Not all smoked salmon is the same.


Footdee (Locals pronounce it: Fitte)

Jamie: It was cute! I really enjoyed seeing all of the little houses and gardens and seeing how people lived in a little village and took care of each other.


Cognito Deli

Jamie: Cognito is one of the reasons why layering is so important! You go from being chilly and bracing the wind, to this warm and cozy area/shop where you want to just shed as much clothing as possible. (Saundra: The cocktails help with that too!) I like that they have small, medium and large glasses of wine! (Saundra: Although the first two sizes are rather silly.)

The smoked salmon! The smoked salmon and the garlic cheese bread! Who would have thought it fit so perfectly together?! But it does!


Dunnottar Castle & The Bay

Jamie: /Dun-otter/ you mean?

Saundra: Ug. Yes.

Jamie: Well worth the hike and just out of this world. It was eye opening to think about the history that’s happened there. I will dream of the fish and chips from The Bay!


Bullers of Buchan

Jamie: So we have the planner – the unit of inquiry that talks about the power of water and ice and wind – but to see it in true form, left me in awe. The dangers and the people that live so close to that little place…and I still want to know how they got the crab traps out! I know it had to be a boat but I’m not sold on that answer. I want it to be something different!


New Slains Castle

Jamie: Creepy as hell! The birds – huge black crows flying around. The memorial flowers gave me chills. Which then took me to a dark place of wondering what I would yell out if I were to fall off the cliffs.


Newburgh Beach

We tried to see the seals at Newburgh Beach but the tide was so far in that we couldn’t walk around the massive dunes to see the seals lounging on the beach. We did see a couple in the water though.


Banchory/Crathes Castle

Jamie: I LOVED Banchory! I thought it was adorable minus all the olds. It was a cute, quaint little place. I found it SHOCKING that people would close down their shop if they had a baby. That would NEVER happen in the states.


Saundra: What do you want to say about Crathes?

Jamie: I could live there. It was really neat to see the things that were set up: the baby furniture, the markings and paintings on the ceilings. While the gardens were gorgeous, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more in bloom. You could tell that they were in transition. They had some massive leaves on their trees!



Brett, the kids (even Mia) and I already miss you!! LYLAS

Big thank you to Peter for allowing Jamie the time to become more internationally minded and to Sarah, Pam, Lisa(s), Kristin, & Brooke for holding down the fort while everyone was out. I’m sure that there was a minor crisis that you all handled beautifully.