I've added a new category to my blog entries: FUN. I submit as evidence the above photograph: that's Evan (the one walking) and Ethan (the one riding), our two sons, thankfully being glad to attend the 143rd Scottish Games hosted by the San Francisco Caledonian Club on August 30, 2008.
I say thankfully, because this was one of our Family Magical Mystery Trips, wherein I tell the family (sons and husband Jim) "Please check your calendars and reserve This Day for a family fun day", and then when that day arrives we all pile into the car and I take them some place FUN, only the thing is, they have no idea where we are going or what we are going to do! Needless to say this can be risky. However so far they have really enjoyed all such days.
I was a little nervous about this day because in April three of us (Evan could not go) had already attended a Scottish Games in nearby Woodland. I was afraid they would say "But we've already done this! (except Evan)." To my relief, they were good sports and I need not have worried.
I really wanted to see the games in Pleasanton, because it is the largest gathering in California, and that's saying something! And it was fun. The fair grounds are a nicer venue, and there was quite a lot more music and other vendors than the Woodland games. At the same time, we felt that our local games had a more intimate feeling, with a more passionate crowd there, truly proud of our Scottish heritage, not just folks looking for a weekend diversion. (shrug). I don't know.
Since April I have officially joined the Clan MacFarlane, in honor of my Great Grandmother MacPartland (a variant spelling of the clan name) from Loch Lomand and Coatsbridge area in Scotland. I even bought one of our tartan sashes, which I wore at the Pleasanton games:
We went to the clan representatives tent area, but the MacFarlane tent was temporarily closed. Some helpful people in a nearby clan tent explained to us that the MacFarlane folks were gone but would sooon return. I said, "What, are they out stealing cattle or something?" As intended, this brought a guffaw of laughter from one of the women in the other clan tent.
Aside: (From the MacFarlane history: For much of their history, the MacFarlanes were a very turbulent lot. Their rallying cry, "Loch Sloy", signalled many a night raid to "collect" cattle from their richer neighbors to the south and east. Their slogan "To Lift the Cows We Shall Go" gives ample notice of intent. They were so competent that the full moon was known as "MacFarlane's Lantern".)
So anyway, we didn't get to meet the clan members but we did get to see The Wicked Tinkers in concert, and they put on a good show. My favorite part was when the drummer went through the audience and let a little boy, maybe four years old, play the drum. He was wild with excitement and joy!(I don't know what that lady with the camera is).
I also really enjoyed the (Australian) digeridoo music from their newest band mate, a droning musical instrument that complemented the bagpipes nicely.
I am still unsuccessful in convincing any of my men (husband or sons) to get themselves a kilt. Spoil sports!
Our last family fun day was the trip to see the Dale Chihuly art glass exhibit.
I am well aware that soon our sons will fly the nest (indeed they are barely here now), so I am making a special effort to plan Fun days for us while I can. I think the surprise factor ( their not knowing where we are going, and what we will do) is a big part of the Fun. They want to be surprised, and I love to plan it all. I heartily recommend it!