My husband’s old holiday ornament is Santa in a kilt with bagpipes. Mine is the thistle, national flower of Scotland. That was an interesting job post.

My husband is part Scot, he blends in with skin tone et al but is a head taller than everyone else, which allowed me to find him when crowds split us apart. I’m part Irish, more than great-great aunt Mary would ever know from my demeanor. Also Brit, my grandfather. See, one family can put the isles together in three generations, and help with the Swiss, Poles and Germans before WWII. Peace. Done. I’m not dealing with the Middle East.

When we returned home to the States I missed something other than the persistent Catholic/Protestant rivalries and SWAT Teams over soccer games. My husband never awakened because of bottles being thrown in the trash at 3 a.m. from the pub next door. I never missed that glass breaking back home. I missed random bagpipes on the streets.

After college I had a place on the only two-way street in town, the only one that allowed 18-wheelers. They’d go down and back up the gears and make tons of noise that in a few weeks was a lullaby for me, not for guests! Hey, I had mice in my walls as a kid and they put me to sleep. I bought a sofa in my new cool place for my aunts to visit and they didn’t sleep a wink all night because of the trucks. I slept so I could empty boxes and assemble my new bookcase the the entire night before and fill it with books. I did it wrong the first time, Allen wrenches. My bete noir. I learned how to use them because I needed to keep a set in my new car a few years later.

When we arrived home I’d wait for the bagpipes in the morning and they never came ’round. I’d love nothing more than a brief marriage renewal ceremony and small event for family for our 15th wedding anniversary. If I ever get to do it, it’ll be informal, but I’ll need bagpipes. Chi mi a-rithist thu (I’ll see you again). Dee



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