A week from today, I will be at the 146th Highland Gathering and Games, hosted by the Caledonian Club of San Francisco. It’s the largest Gathering in the US, and a time for me to spend immersed in the music. That’s my favorite part. I love the feeling of the emotion in my heart when I hear pipes and drums. I’m all for the marching bands and the ballads, but the bands that play the wild tribal, traditionally based, music are my favorites. I am happy that Albannach will be there again this year.
Last year, I had never heard Albannach before and I called my son Kyle as they were playing. All I said was “Listen to this…” and held the phone up toward the stage. When I put it back to my ear and asked, “What do you think?” without missing a beat (sorry! ~ my inability to resist a pun is something I inherited from my father) he said, “Sounds like Albannach” Amazing. But not really, he’s one of the most aware people I know.
I also discovered Highland Titles last year. I thought that buying a bit of Scottish land would be a great 25th birthday present for Kyle. The fact that the title Laird came with it just made it more fun! Of course, there wasn’t any way that I was going to let Kyle lord it over me (oops, sorry, again), so I bought a plot of land for myself, too. After all, I have everything to do with the fact that he has a birthday, so I felt I deserved sharing in the gift.
I got everything arranged well before his birthday in October, and then had him on the phone (he in Colorado, me in California) when I emailed the pdf of the Deed of Title naming him a Laird of Glencoe.I went through my photos from my second trip to Scotland (he and I did the first one together) and found one that I had taken in the highlands just near Glencoe and emailed that as well. I’ll bet our land is just on the other side of that hill.
Kyle is a person who has three kilts and wears them at every opportunity, gave himself a Gaidhlig middle name, and uses the original Scottish spelling of his last name. A bit of Scottish pride there! He was thrilled with his gift, and as we read through all the literature together, he was even more happy that we were supporting a sanctuary for wildlife and holding part of a protected land trust.
Kyle attends the Longs Peak Highland Festival in Colorado, which is held a week after the Games here. I am sure that this year we will again be calling, txting, and sending photos back and forth, comparing our experiences. When I see the Highland Titles/Lochaber Estates people next week, I am going to be sure to let them know that he will be stopping by to say hello in Estes Park.