Well, the house is now a shell, and most of our things have been taken away to storage. Very soon another family will move in and will make the place their home. I wish them every happiness.
Tomorrow we pack up a van with what we need to live in Michael’s rented flat in Glasgow for the next month while work is done on our new house. My indulgent decision to book a hotel room for these last days has been a lifesaver. Tilly and the Dafter have taken refuge in the hotel while Michael and I have worked on final packing and cleaning at the house. We’ve moved house 10 times before, but this move has been the most complex we’ve ever undertaken. And we’ve been so blessed with good wishes for our “flitting” (lovely Scottish word for a house move). So far, so good!
We have all had some tearful moments these past few days, which is to be expected. Even Tilly has been “crying” – strangely, her eyes get a bit mucky if any of us is under extreme stress! (Then it clears up – I took her to the vet the first time it happened, when the Dafter was being bullied.)
I will always have very fond memories of our 21 years in Aberdeen, where both our children were born (even if we didn’t meet Our Son until a few years later). This move has brought certain things more clearly into focus for me, and made me think about what I’ve most enjoyed here.
What will I miss? I’ll keenly miss a few dear friends, and my church. Another South Holburn Parish Church family has just announced that they, too, are relocating. “How do you say goodbye to these people?” my soon-to-be-away friend asked me. I answered, “You don’t. It’s impossible. You just say, ‘see you later’ and know that you’ll keep in touch.”
I’ll really miss the language here, too. There are people in Aberdeen from all over, but I love overhearing people converse in Doric. I’ll miss “fit like,” “the toon,” “quine,” “loon,” and “affa fine”. I’ll miss the long Aberdeen ‘a’ (“Ah wis fair ponnickin’!” ["I was fairly panicking"]). I’ll miss the Student Show, which has been consistently brilliant over the years. I’ll miss the granite, too. Since growing up in Portland, Oregon, I’ve always loved the combination of grey and green, so Aberdeen has been the perfect place for me in that respect!
I’ll miss the unusual ads on the buses:
Don’t ask me to explain what that’s all about. I have no idea!
I’ll miss walking along the River Dee, and the beach. I’ll miss Crathes Castle Gardens being so nearby, as well as Glen Tanar and all the fun places and castles along Royal Deeside. I’ll miss my garden. I’ll miss the dramatic, snowy winters. And of course I will really miss the fabric of the city – the Victorian architecture, Education Salvation and Damnation, Union Terrace Gardens and the spires on the city skyline:
Although my blog has covered many things that are important to me – ranging from family life to knitting, faith and cat antics – in some way over the past three years it has been a kind of Hymn to Aberdeen. It’s not the best-written hymn ever, but my love for this city has found a great mode of expression here. And the Scottish saying is comforting: “Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again.” I will come back to visit!
So now we are at the “jumping-off-point”. That was what St. Louis, Missouri, was called in the days of Western expansion in 19th-century America. The wagon parties gathered their supplies, engaged their guides, and “jumped off” onto the Oregon Trail. Although we are also going West, our journey will not be nearly so far, or so hazardous, and we will not have to say goodbye forever to our friends here. As far as my blogging goes, I will be without my trusty PC for about a month. I think I have set everything up so that I can put photos on my laptop and keep posting – but we shall see! Even if I can’t manage to post much, I can still visit other blogs.
Thank you all, dear readers, for your many good wishes over the past months and indeed years. I have been incredibly buoyed up by them, and the same goes for Michael and the Dafter. We really can’t thank you enough.
Here goes! See you on the other side!