When I was told about my Scottish ancestral roots, I took it to heart, and read everything I could (for my age) about Scotland. I loved looking at the pictures of the Highlanders. I was so happy when my grandmother started sending kilts for me to wear to school. I had three kilt pins. My knee socks matched the plaid of my skirts. I had blazers with crests on the pocket. (I went to public school, but was often mistaken for a parochial school kid.) I had crisp white shirts and a couple of vests. But I didn’t have a sporran. I couldn’t really see why I shouldn’t have one. Unisex was not a word back then, but the Highland dress code certainly looked that way to me, and so I couldn’t understand why, if the men could wear kilts (the same as a skirt to me at the time), then why couldn’t girls wear a sporran? (Honestly, it still bothers me that women are burdened with purses.) Sporrans are just so darned convenient!
Soon, I received my first Shetland Wool sweater, and I was hooked immediately. To my pre-teen self, Shetland Wool was a doubly good thing, for it represented both Scotland and Shetland ponies. I still wait out the long hot summers, looking forward to the days when it will be cold enough for me to wrap myself in a thick, soft wool sweater.
On my first trip to Scotland, I knew that the only thing I wanted to bring back with me, other than stories to tell and memories to keep, was a handmade wool sweater. I was happy to find one the first day we were there, and it is still my favorite even though I bought two more and two more again on my next visit a year later. We bought a kilt for my son when we were there. It had to be hand-made for him because he is so tall. Oh, the ladies at the kilt makers shop Daiglen of Scotland in Tillicoultry couldn’t fuss over him enough as they measured him! I think that they were as pleased by the fact that an American 18-year-old was having a kilt made as they were by his good looks and polite demeanor. The kilt would take weeks to be sent Boulder, but we left the shop with good wool kilt socks for him, he made good use of them while we were there, and his beautiful sporran!
NEXT: the realization of Cellular Memory