Saturday, February 1, 2014

St. Andrews, Fife

Jeff has been in Scotland for five and a half days.  We are half way there to hugging him and all asking questions a mile a minute as bags are unloaded and unpacked.  I am sure it will take weeks for all the stories to tumble out.  Weeks to really get a clearer picture of all the people he has met and places he saw.  Until then, he is sending emails filled with pictures.  The Subway in St. Andrews, the oldest tree in Scotland, a seal swimming in the surf, the coffee house where Harry Potter was written, even the first steam locomotive ever invented.  They are taken and sent knowing what his three boys would love to see.  The phone call filled with descriptions of the people he has met.  The people we will serve and live beside.  He knows what my heart needs to hear also.  He said it has been the rainiest winter in a long time.  The pictures are filled with washes of grey in the background.  All the colors of the building muted by the skies.
     The boys and I have stayed busy sledding, and drawing, reading late into the night.  We have poured over maps and pictures trying to be able to picture his travels and our future a little more.  St. Andrews is a small town located in the Kingdom of Fife.  The Kingdom of Fife is located between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Fourth.  (Try saying that three times fast.)  A Firth is what we call an estuary.  The University of St. Andrews was established in 1413 and is the third oldest University in the English speaking world.  University students make up one third of St. Andrews population.  The oldest golf course is in St. Andrews.  Golf is actually a really big deal, with seven courses in all.  There are two beaches.  The West Sands Beach is where the opening scene for Chariots of Fire was filmed.  There is even ruin of a castle to explore.  Tentsmuir Forest and shore, part of the National Reserve, has a huge towering pines and the beach holds a large population of grey seals.  Scotland has 40% of the worlds grey seals population.  And that is just what we have discovered this week!  We have learned so much of where Jeff's feet and eyes have now been.  Please continue to pray with us as we move forward.  I am sure once bags are upstairs and laundry is humming,  once the boys are tucked in, we will get to talk and pray, to begin to plan the next parts to this journey.  We will continue to update as we do.
     One more thing we are celebrating here this week is Ian learning to draw hearts and write his name.  It as if suddenly the magic of letter shapes and sounds make sense.  But more than his name, yoda, cat, mom, he has been writing DAD with hearts over and over.