What It’s Like to be a White, Conservative, Christian Woman on Facebook These Days

FEELING A LITTLE RIDICULOUS 

On Friday, January 20, I shared a photo of me and two friends at the spa. The overnight was a birthday gift to my friend from her husband and we were ridiculously spoiled. Seriously. While I was receiving my Swedish massage, and, in particular, when the massage therapist wrapped my feet in warm towels, I kept repeating over and over in my mind, this is so good, it’s ridiculous. And trust me when I say, visions of starving children, women marching on Washington and homeless people huddled around fires paraded through my mind more than once.

Before posting the photo of us, my friends and I joked about the caption and landed on this: “Some women march on Washington. We march to the spa. #merica”

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It was ironic. And silly. And yes, ridiculous. But that was the point.

At first glance, some may have just seen three privileged white women. And I suppose we are. But that’s not the whole story. Is it ever?

A BRIEF HISTORY

In rural Connecticut 1973, I was born the daughter of white teenagers. One set of grandparents were Polish immigrants, coal miners and tobacco farmers. The other set farmers and blue collar workers. My parents divorced when I was two and my dad left us. My mother remarried and they had a son, but when I was six, my stepfather became ill. To support our family, my mom worked a full-time insurance job and waitressed at night. We moved 21 times before I was twelve, the same year my stepfather died, at which point my mother bought a house. Even though we moved a lot, I attended the same school district in Simsbury, Connecticut for 12 years. Then, in the midst of a rebellious adolescence, I became a follower of Jesus Christ.

When I was 18, I met a white man at a local, beach volleyball pit (sand, no beach). He had lived his entire life in Simsbury, had just graduated junior college and was painting houses for a living. His parents were married as were his grandparents; they were financial professionals, doctors and nurses. We had our first daughter together when I was 19 and he was 23. We married that same year and had a second daughter seven years later. Over the years, my husband has worked his way up through the aerospace division of a local company and I have focused primarily on being a mom while working as a nursery school director, bookkeeper and now, a church Communications Director. We own a 1500 square foot cape and I drive a used car, enabling us to pay for private high school, college tuition and travel more than we once did. (Though my husband’s frequent flyer points come in handy!) We are also active in our church and community and do what we can with our time and money to make the world a better place. Could we do more? Definitely.

ABOUT MY PRIVILEGE AND WHO I AM TODAY

Do you recognize privilege in that story? I do. I’m white in a country that has a history of oppressing people of other races and ethnicities. I had a parent who provided for me and grandparents who helped when they could. I had the opportunity to attend one of the nation’s top public school systems. I married a white man who had two parents, grew up in the same education system and whose parents paid for him to go to college. Our families continue to live nearby and have always been supportive.

I am grateful for all the opportunities that I have had, especially because most of those are not privileges I chose. I did not choose my skin color, my parents, my school system or my husband’s background.

Yet there are other, less glamorous things I didn’t choose, as well. I know what it’s like to grow up poor in a wealthy town. To have a fourth-grade teacher tell my best friend, in front of the class, that I am “no good” and not to hang around me, simply because I live in the wrong part of town with an unconventional family. To be home with a sick parent and baby brother while the other parent works nights. To share a two-bedroom apartment with my mom, brother and grandparents. To juggle school and an afterschool job with whatever extracurriculars I can manage. To be made fun of for being a stupid, clumsy “Polack”.

My friends from the photo have similar stories. They were not rich and their lives were not easy. But, yes; they, like me, were born with some privileges. They, like me, do not know what it is to grow up oppressed. But they, like me, do not take that for granted. They are kind, compassionate, loving women who are committed to their families, work harder than half the people I know and give of their time, talents and money to make the world a better place.

Perhaps the greatest irony is that these two women and I are a united voice for the equality of women in the Christian church and culture. We are also, in various ways, actively engaged in ministries such as racial reconciliation, investing in under-resourced communities, the fight against human trafficking in Connecticut and bettering the lives of those in Greater Hartford and around the world.

AFRAID

How I hate to think that my post of the three of us offended and perhaps even hurt people we care about. I generally avoid political discourse on social media for that very reason – because I have friends, colleagues, family and acquaintances on far ends of the political spectrum and I love them all. I never want our political differences to come between us. Ever.

But, if I’m being totally honest, as a Christian woman who leans conservative but also does not fit in the classic conservative box, I feel marginalized when it comes to having a voice that is respected in the current atmosphere, especially on social media. I am not suggesting that my plight is the same as that of a black woman or a gay teenager or a Muslim immigrant. I simply want you to know that I do feel a bit bullied into silence; and most of that pressure comes from other women. I am truly afraid to say what I believe for fear of being misunderstood, judged, lashed out against and so on. But most of all, I am afraid of losing my friends.

In this era of click-bait headlines, soundbites and comedy show newsgathering, who has time to hear my story of how I was adamantly pro-choice until I experienced the physical, emotional and spiritual ravages of abortion firsthand? Who wants to sit down over a cup of tea and hear me tell of my first and limited childhood experiences with people of another race, and how that unknowingly shaped my relationships with black people for decades thereafter? Who wants to hear me explain why I believe that individuals, churches and other shared-value organizations can better meet people’s needs than the government ever will? That I would love to be able to give more of my time and income to building relationships with people and investing in their lives?

Can you be curious or interested or respectful, without shutting me out or scrolling away?

HEARING IS SOMETHING WE DO

The question is the same for me as it is for you. Are we willing to hear one another? Biblically, the word “hear” is often used as an active verb that results in the hearer doing something in response to what he or she heard. On a good day, we may listen to the words we say, but how often do we really hear?

Actually, have you ever noticed that the word “hear” is literally part of the word “heart”? To truly know you, to know your very heart, I must do more than listen, I must hear.

So if we were to try to hear one another today, to know one another’s hearts, what would be the “doing” part? I’m no expert, but after all this blah blah-ing I thought I’d offer up a suggestion that begins and ends with love.

  1. Love: Love is a choice and a verb. So, first, choose to love the person despite your differences, by being kind, compassionate, truthful, respectful, and gracious.
  2. Let Go: Set aside prejudice, judgment and all defensive weapons. (I’m thinking figurative weapons but setting down literal weapons is probably a good idea, too.)
  3. Listen: Pay attention to what the person is truly saying, not what you think they are saying.
  4. Look: Try to see things from their perspective. Ask yourself, what does life or this issue look like to them? How does this differ from my experience?
  5. Learn: Seek and embrace new insights and understanding from their knowledge and experience. There is always something to learn.
  6. Love: Continue to actively love the person regardless of your differences. Then consider (and ask God) how what you learned can help you better love those around you.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to hear what’s truly on the hearts of those women who didn’t feel represented at the march? What about those who felt so compelled to go that they gave up time, energy and money to travel across the country to march in the freezing cold? Imagine if we made an effort to understand the neighbor who voted for Trump, or the sister who voted for Clinton or the co-worker who voted for a third-party candidate.

Or this lady, who voted for Ron Swanson.

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BEGIN AND END WITH LOVE

I know I’m beginning to sound a bit like a Beatles song or a Coke commercial, so I will wrap up with this: in my experience, I have found that most of us, at our core, want the same things.  We love our families, our friends and neighbors and we want them to experience all the best that life offers. We love our country and this world. We are seeking what is good and right and best for our future and the future of those who come after us. We may not always agree on how to get there, but our hearts all long for the same things – truth, goodness, beauty and love.

This very universe we inhabit began with love and someday, will end with love. And all the acts of truth, goodness and beauty that have colored in this vast, dark, mysterious expanse of time and space, will live on like gems refined in the fire of a thousand suns. So let us run after these things together. Truth. Goodness. Beauty. And may we always begin and end with love. ~NP

What do you think? What did I miss? Do you have anything to add? Or changes you can recommend? Because I am here and I want to hear you.

© Nichole Q Perreault

 

 

 

Unexpected Gifts

Sometimes, I read old blog entries and I’m like, “Wow, did I really write that?” It’s weird to hear a message from your five-years-ago-self. Super weird. But this came up in my Facebook memories today. And, I say this with as much surprise as you might: it’s good. Like really good. Hahahahaha. Merry Christmas my friends!

Lightning Bug

Photo by claritaPhoto by clarita

Do you remember that Christmas present you always wanted but never got? I found mine while reverently flipping through the Sears Wish Book, eyes wide, excitement bubbling through my veins. I circled the picture over and over, practically cutting a hole through the paper with the tip of my pen. Then, when I showed my parents, they promptly informed me that a Barbie Dream House was not in the budget nor would it fit in our two bedroom apartment. Even after a letter to Santa and some earnest prayers, come Christmas day, among all the presents under the tree, there was no Barbie Dream House. So goes life. Sometimes, we ask for one thing and get another.

Most of the time, such disappointments are small and quickly forgotten. But at other times, they hurt. Imagine the child who wants a set of paints or a guitar but…

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When Thanksgiving is More Than Sacrifice

When I wrote this post last November, I was deep in the throes of grief, mourning the loss of my youngest brother. Over the next year, I would find that, sometimes, God’s on a roll. It wasn’t enough for Him to shatter my physical family…He shattered my spiritual family, too.

This year, offering thanksgiving is more than a sacrifice. Offering thanksgiving terrifies me.  

You can’t know all He’s taken this past year because I can’t tell you. But know this…even a young, bright, blossoming tree may be, just under the surface, experiencing the ravages of an unwanted enemy…and if you could open up that tree and look inside, you would find a hollow, empty space that once was full of life and liquid sunshine.

He gives and takes away.

This summer, I was in a meeting where each person was asked to share something for which we were thankful. I figured that if I couldn’t thank God for the crap (Don’t like that word? Here are few alternatives. Feel free to mentally censor.) happening in our lives, I could at least thank Him for food, shelter and, well, air conditioning. So I did. Three days later, our air conditioner died. It’s like He was mocking me.

Thanksgiving doesn’t just hurt. Thanksgiving scares me.

He gives and takes away. And we are left to suffer.

Who is this God I worship? The One who asks for our gratitude and then snatches away the very things we thank Him for? The One who inflicts pain then wants to comfort us for the very pain He’s inflicted? That sounds like abuse, not love.

I can hear my pastor now: “No! God’s not abusive!” (Because he literally preached that last Sunday. I recommend a listen. Especially if reading about my experience is difficult for you or leaves you asking a lot of questions.)

Still I can’t help but ask: What happens when all around you God’s promises go unfulfilled?

We are not the only ones. I watch as friends and family cry out to Him for help, for intervention, for hope, and He is silent. I watch as they ask for bread, but He gives them a stone; as they ask for fish, but He sends the serpent.

Unfortunately, in these trials, even the most well-meaning people place the burden on the broken. “Do this. Say that. Pray more. Worry less. And you’ll see…God will work it out.”  We like that logic because, however subtle, that logic implies we have the power to fix the problem. And if we have the power to fix it, then we are in control. We so desperately want to be in control, that we fool ourselves into imagining God’s omnipotence is subject to our actions. 

I’ve had a lot of time to think about that this year. Now, when someone tells me “Do this. Say that. Pray more. Worry Less.” here’s how I respond:

Anytime God wants to show up, He can. We have prayed. We have begged and pleaded and wept and wailed. We have followed His systems. Trusted His people. Waited on Him to work. And everything He’s provided arrived tainted. Sure, He gave us bread…with stones baked into the dough. Yes, there were fish…stonefish laced with venom. We have asked. And He has answered as He has pleased. We’re waiting. Anytime He wants to restore what’s been plundered, He can. He’s God. It’s on Him.

He can mock me if He wants. Or He can bless me. He can withhold His promises. Or He can fulfill them. He can hand me a fish and watch as the poison leaches into my blood. Or He can bring us living water and food fit for a King. He’s God. He can do whatever He wants. And He will.

That is the black, breath-sucking, untethered truth: He gives and takes away. He is not tame. He is not safe. This is the God we struggle to face. All-powerful and unpredictable. He will not stay inside the lines. He answers to no one.

Last year, I could offer thanksgiving even though every blessing was tinged with pain. This year, I am simply too afraid.

I am no longer the “wounded, angry child” who climbs into her Father’s lap.

I am become the battered, fearful one who hides behind the couch, monitoring her Father’s every move. How can she trust the Father who helped others by causing harm to those she loves? No, she won’t hold out her hand for the gift of shiny gold because she fears the razor blades that lurk beneath the glittering paper.

Don’t judge her too harshly. She fought. A long time. Because she understands her heart…how quickly it slams shut when threatened. So with trembling arms and locked knees and feet slipping, she held back the massive door as it bore down on her. She battled longer than even she thought possible. But it’s a heavy door. And she is so very tired.

Before you blame her, or shame her, or think you know better, remember, He gives and He takes away. He is not tame. He is not safe. But they tell her He is good. And she is waiting.

© Nichole Q Perreault

Winter’s Coming but Spring is Here | Reprise

This is one of my favorite, dearest, most precious blog posts ever  –  for no other reason that the power of the revelation God gave to me that day. I try to share this every year and today, with the snow and rain and bitter cold, seems like the perfect day to remind us all that Winter is Coming but Spring is Here. 

Winter. A season of painful exchanges: flip-flops for bulky jackets, warm breezes for

cold floors, the sound of crickets for the hum of the furnace, which, let’s face it, is basically the sound of money burning.

But the exchange that weighs on my body like a wet, wool coat, is that of light for darkness. Each autumn day, the coming winter snatches another two or three minutes of sunlight, replacing it with night. We wake in the dark, go to work in the dark, come home in the dark, eat dinner in the dark….

As of today, there are 53 more days of sliding headfirst into the abyss.

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Scotland Road Trip | Day 11, Kilt Rock, the Quiraing, Fairy Pools and More….

Day 11. What a beautiful day. Blue skies. Sunshine. In the 70’s. A little heavenly really.

As much as I love road trips, I don’t feel like I’ve experienced a place – really connected with a place – until I’m outside, breathing its air, walking its paths. So this day, as we hiked the hills of the Quiriang (pronounced kuh-rang) and walked along country roads and climbed through fairy pools, I felt alive. Alive in Scotland. The clear skies and warm sun probably helped a bit, too.

Coastal Views Everywhere 

We started with a drive up the eastern coast of Skye toward the Quiraing, and watched the sun break through the clouds to the east, kiss the water and turn it silver. On the horizon, rows of mountains faded into lighter and lighter shades of blue.

Old Man of Storr

We drove by the legendary Old Man of Storr, an unusual rock formation jutting up from the hillside, which can be seen for miles and miles. When surrounded by these kinds of things, one begins to understand why the Scots so easily believe in fairies and sprites.

Kilt Rock

Next stop: Kilt Rock. Just look.

Gorgeous right? These pics were a favorite among family and friends on social media. Some day I would love to see these cliffs from the water, but for now this will do.

The Quiraing

We didn’t have a lot of time to dilly-dally (I’m going to claim that’s a term a picked up in the UK) because we wanted to walk the Quiraing, and apparently, with one single lane road in and out, the place gets a little crazy between 10am and 4pm. And remember…we were driving the Red Dragon. So onward and upward we went.

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Scotland Road Trip | Day 10, Mysterious Cargo, the Isle of Skye & Faerie Glen

I find myself putting off these last few posts. Partly because the vacation glow has almost entirely faded, and I’m fully back to what we know as “the grind”. But mostly, I think, because I feel completely, wholly, entirely, incapable of conveying to you the beauty and wonder of this place known as the Isle of Skye.

On the Way
Having driven the northern route days before, we took the southern route along Loch Ness toward the Isle of Skye. On the way we stumbled upon cafes nestled in the trees, little paths to the loch, waterfalls and this bridge which captivated us all:

In one small town, we were waved over to the shoulder by a police officer passing by in his car. When he came alongside the red dragon, he told us we had to wait for an oncoming extra-wide load to pass. “Extra-wide load” may have been an understatement. More like “super-massive-immense-ginormous-extra-wide-and-extremely-long” load. These babies mystified us for a day or two:

The looked like airplane wings without the flap, lights or anything mechanical at all. Then, a couple days later, while discussing alternative energy sources, I shouted, “Hey! I bet that’s what those big white things were! Windmill arms!!!” Because there’s LOTS of windmills on this windy island.

Not gonna lie. I was pretty proud of myself. #winning

Finally in Skye
Just before arriving in Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye, we stopped at the Aros Visitor Center so Jean could ask some questions about the various sights in Skye. But funny thing…in Scotland, just about any place can call themselves a Visitor Center. Even if they have absolutely no information helpful to visitors at all, except perhaps to point them to the real visitor center, which is where we went after lunch. I had a pretty tasty grilled cheese (or “toastie” in Scot) and if I’d known that would be the best meal I would have for the next three days, I might have savored it a bit more.

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Scotland Road Trip | Adventures in Laundry

Soon I will be coming to the most anticipated part of our Scotland road trip, the Isle of Skye. But first, can we take a moment to chat about laundry? Specifically, the adventure of doing laundry in the UK?

About halfway through our trip, while in Inverness and the Isle of Skye, we stayed in rental homes instead of hotels. Excellent timing for doing laundry. One would think, anyway.

Laundry Adventure, the First
Our first rental home slept 12 – 14 people.

Our rental home in Inverness

Our rental home in Inverness

From which one might easily conclude that said home would include at least one washer and dryer. Our last rental home in Orlando slept 18 and came with two, not one but TWO, super-size washers and TWO super-size dryers. But that was America. And this was Scotland.

The house in Inverness did, thankfully, have a washer and dryer. We located the front loading washer straight away. (See how I got all British on you there?) Yes, we found the washer straight away. Now it was a small washer. But that’s to be expected because pretty much everything is smaller in Europe. (Except the beers. The beers are definitely bigger.) We bought a German dishwasher a few years ago and for the longest time, I called it my mini-dishwasher. But the machine washes so well and so quietly, I grew to love the tiny little thing. So I was expecting smaller, yet good quality appliances.

But where the heck was the dryer? We figured they couldn’t possibly have a clothesline with the kind of rain they get. Finally, after searching for 20 minutes…maybe longer…we found the dryer, which had been right before our eyes the entire time. Why, you ask? Because the washer and dryer were actually one and the same machine.

Yes. I am serious. That is actually a thing. One machine that actually washes and dries your clothes. One tiny machine for both washing and drying.

Washer Dryer in Inverness

There’s the scientific wonder.

And yes. Yes. YES! They could have made room for a dryer somewhere in the 3000 square feet of house. Even a stackable would do.

We were so stunned you would have thought we’d just stumbled on an alien civilization. What? Why? How? Why? Trying to wrap our brains around the scientific wonder that is the washerdryer combo, Jean and I started to explore the functionality. We’d already come to accept that the machines…I mean machine….was small and that, as a result, doing laundry would require more time.

And we were slowly accepting that if we wanted clean socks and underwear (which, in case you’re wondering, we did) we would need to entrust our clothes to this foreign machine of the future…or the past…maybe it was new-fangled thing that went bust. I mean, a logical person would have to assume that a machine that both washes (makes clothes wet) and dries (makes clothes unwet) will have to sacrifice the quality of at least one of those two actions. Right?

OK, well whatever. We moved past that. And we started analyzing symbols and pressing buttons (come to think of it, we were kind of deciphering alien technology) and here’s the kicker guys: to wash and dry one (miniature) load of laundry would take five hours. Five hours! FIVE HOURS!!!!!! FOR ONE. TINY. LOAD. OF LAUNDRY.

HOW DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE?!?!?!

Do they have real washers and dryers in their own homes? If not, how often do they wash their clothes? Do they actually wash their clothes? Do they wear disposable underwear? Do they wear underwear at all? Do they wrap their kids in plastic? HOW DO THEY DO IT????!!!!

OK. OK. Well I’ll tell you what we did: a grand total of two loads of laundry in that house, almost entirely consisting of socks and underwear. The best part was seeing Doug’s jeans. Maybe it was the small tub and lack of fabric softener but his jeans came out of the washerdryer wrinkled like crumpled newspaper and so stiff they practically stood up on their own.

Jean and Steve opted to wait until we got to the house at the Isle of Skye. A risky choice if you ask me. Which you didn’t. But you’re going to find out anyway.

Laundry Adventure, the Second
Isle of Skye. Our house there was located on a hill overlooking a firth. Absolutely stunning views. Cute little home. Nice neighbors.

Not our house but the view from our house.

Not our house but the view from our house.

But the laundry situation? Well, the clothes line out back should have been our first clue. The second clue? Our towels…rolled up nicely and placed in our bedrooms. When I picked ours up off the bed and moved them to a dresser, I noticed they seemed a little damp. Nah, I thought. They’re probably just cold. 

We found the washer. And no joke guys…NO JOKE…it was smaller than the previous washer. More like a half washer really. Looking at the half washer from the front, it seemed normal enough, but look from the side and you’d see that the half washer was indeed only about 12 inches deep. I AM NOT KIDDING.

HOW DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE????!!!!

The dryer? Oh we found it, alright. Folded up next to the washer.  A drying rack. (In the very space large enough to house an electric dryer.) Oh and there was a hanging rack above the washer. And of course the clothesline.

Thaaaaaat explains the damp towels. After my shower that night, I used one of those towels, which provided enough absorbancy to dry my face and left arm.

Clotheslines are nice, I guess. Charming. Economical. Effective even…in places like New England in summer or the mid-west or the desert. You know…places where the sun shows her face and the sky DOESN’T RAIN 364 DAYS OF THE YEAR!!!!!

Just grabbing clothes off the line minutes before leaving the property... PC: Jacquelyn

Just grabbing clothes off the line minutes before leaving the property… PC: Jacquelyn

Let me ask you, are these people just so used to the rain that they’ve completely given up the fight? Just thrown in the towel? (Though not in a dryer, obviously!) Has dampness become a way of life for the Scots? Do they just think, why bother? I’m going to get wet again later anyway. 

Oh, we used the teeny, weeny washer. And the drying racks. And when that didn’t work, the clothesline. Which made the whole washerdryer combo in Inverness seem like a luxury appliance.

Thankfully, we had beautiful weather those two days. Even so, when we drove away toward Fort William, we did so with damp clothes in the van.

Why, Scotland? WHY?! There are better ways to live!!!

God bless America. Land of washers and dryers. Big ones. Fast ones. Separate ones.

 

Scotland Road Trip | Day 9, Orkney Isles

Guys, I’m so freaking tired. One of our family mottos is “Work hard. Play hard.” We didn’t choose that motto, like, “Hey, we value you hard work and fun so let’s live at the speed of light.” No, it’s more like we woke up one day and realized, “Wow. We work hard. And we play hard. Even our vacations are intense.”

But how else do you vacation in a country you may never visit again? On the go, morning ‘til night…I wouldn’t have it any other way. And you should see Jean and Steve in action. I hope I have as much energy, enthusiasm and fortitude as they do when I’m in my 70’s! Heck, I hope I have as much energy as they do now!

And I mean that ever so much more after our 16-hour tour to and from the Orkney Isles.

We left for the bus station at 5:50am to be there by 6:45am, to exchange our voucher for tickets. Because that’s what the instructions told us to do. But we arrived at the bus station at around 7:10 to find that the station office doesn’t open until 7:45. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Fighting off some very bold and big sea gulls in the meantime.

Jean after she chased away the bully sea gull

Jean after she chased away the bully sea gull

The coach bus eventually arrived around 7am. I think our tour guide – if you can call him that – has probably chosen the wrong profession. Socially awkward and having missed a shower or two, this guy only spoke to us when absolutely necessary and if he was speaking about sites along the way, he sounds as though he was reading from a script.

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Scotland Road Trip | Day 8, Scotland Described, Loch Ness and a Family SCORE!

Scotland’s Landscape: Unique and Familiar
As we drove through towns, parks and cities of Scotland, I often asked myself “What does this remind me of? How would I describe this to people?” Well…I think I’ve got something:

The landscape of Scotland combines the best of coastal California, inland New England and coastal Maine. (Remember, I’m talking landscape here, not weather. We’ll get to that another day.)

Like New England in summer, Scotland is green – green trees, green grass, green underbrush, green moss – all attributed to the copious amounts of rain that fall year-round. When driving through some parts of Scotland, particulary the lowlands, I easily forgot I was in another country, and rather felt like I was cruising through the Berkshires, Vermont or New Hampshire. So many familiar looking trees, rolling hils, sheep and cow farms.

No wonder early immigrants named New England and Novia Scotia (translated “New Scotland”) as they did. And I’ve been to Novia Scotia, in particular Cape Breton, and yes, that area does look like Scotland. Perhaps I should have started with that comparison…. But for those of you who have never been to Cape Breton – which I’m assuming is most of you – I will continue.

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Scotland Road Trip | Day 7, A Family Find

Elgin Cathedral
We left Aberdeen for the northern city of Inverness, and on the way, we stopped at Elgin Cathedral. Abandoned after the reformation, the cathedral lies in ruins. Isn’t it interesting that we find ruined things so interesting…so beautiful? What does that mean for us, on those days when we feel like our lives lie in ruins? Something to think about. I obviously don’t have time to explore that question today. I’m a zillion days behind on my blog.

Somehow, the rain seemed fitting as we walked among the broken pillars, the moss covered stone, the floating archways and the gravestones.

A Family Find
One reason Jean wanted to come to the town of Elgin was to find information about her ancestors, some of whom lived in nearby Belle Moray. (Have I mentioned that Jean’s a genealogist?) So imagine her disappointment when she arrived and discovered that the town flooded years ago and still lay deep under water.

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