Thursday, June 2, 2011


Have you ever had one of those days when just about everything you do reminds you of some other time in your life? Memorial Day weekend we attended the 44th Highland Festival, an annual tradition in our town, and I suddenly realized how long I've been here, and how much of my life has revolved around/evolved here!

The first time I ever attended a festival was as a student in college, which was VERY long ago - 1971. In fact, I've even been part of the parade a time or two - like the time I rode with my sorority on a float, dressed like a scarecrow maybe? That memory is fuzzy - I wonder why:). I have built floats, lawn decorations, and attended many a Scottish celebration.

But the fun doesn't stop there. Then I settled down here...raising a family...and the fun REALLY began. I didn't have to build the floats anymore, or ride on them, but I wheeled strollers to every parade, then sat on rainy stadium bleachers or inside gymnasiums which absolutely vibrated with bagpipe music and the hum of many voices chatting, encouraging children, giving last-minute instructions - all to watch our budding Highland Dancers work to earn their points, medals and trophies. Let's not forget mopping up the disappointed tears of our offspring when they did not get a "prize."

Of course, besides dancing the children marched in the parade as members of one or another school band, sometimes playing instruments and sometimes twirling flags. Perhaps we waved as they walked by with their scout troop, as well. Riding on floats as part of some organization or another, or the year we had someone on the Highland Festival Queen's court, rounded out the many ways we have participated in this Scottish tradition.

Fortunately, there is usually something new and "updated" in each parade. This year I was particularly taken with this unique way to sport a kilt.

And just when you think you have it made, the kids have left the nest and we can choose whether or not to listen to the drone of the pipes or fight the congestion of the crowds - --grandchildren. In the parade, riding floats, and dancing their little feet off. We have laughed ruefully a few times, that's for sure. But we support the next generation the best we can,just as we've been doing for many years.

This year I may have seen a new spin on an old theme, as Daryl took his place in the parade, driving the cutest little airplane-cars a child would ever want to ride in. A granddaughter by his side....they made the parade route zoom by.

And one more year we watched our sleepy community rise into full Highland spirit, welcoming crowds of people from all over the world, celebrating the Scottish heritage of our town. Returning to normal on Sunday evening, we stored many new memories in journals and scrapbooks and drawers.

Do you have any traditions you "just can't miss?"


Christine said...

Awwwww.... I miss the Highland Festival! I must say, though, that all the memories I have of when IIIII was in the parade are not "fuzzy" at all (*gasp* MOM)!!!!

Sandy K. said...

I was actually thinking about that while doing the post - you were very lovely on that float. We were very proud of the way you handled the "situation." Love ya, daughter.