jean-clad legs hike along a nature pathway

Folk on Foot – Music, Conversation, & Nature

In my memory, it always starts the same.  A voice — deep, and Scottish — rolling out across the empty space, "Out here, there is no time…. Time is our imagination." Then, comes the violin.  It lingers, and lilts, filling the spaces where the words have once been.  I hang every sound; follow them across time …

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stack of books against faded background

Books of 2020 – Part One

We may not be able to travel right now, but we can read.  In fact, through reading, we often explore much more than if we were actually traveling.  Reading allows the opportunity to stand in another's shoes; to empathize with someone's journey.  Through reading we challenge ideas, broaden worldviews, and learn something new. Here's a …

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Has COVID-19 Changed You More Than You Thought?

The mountain laurel are blooming, and I find myself taking more time to stop and admire them.  Did I do this pre-COVID?  Did I pause to admire the delicate cup-like shape of their whitish-pink flowers?  Or wonder if the heavy rains helped them bloom more profusely this year? I also find myself noticing more bird …

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broken paper heart hanging on a string

These Things Shouldn’t Happen…But They Do

I was walking through the small, Scottish village on my way to a trail that would take me up through the bracken and into the hills where the pines of the eastern Cairngorms still stand tall. He was painting a house.  His drop-cloths were spread out, a ladder was propped against the cute, two-story building, …

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“Exploring” Your World Without Leaving Quarantine

Coronavirus quarantine has put a stop in our travel plans…. In fact, it has put a hold on all our plans.  We function day by day, even hour by hour.  Our daily life has changed drastically.  For some, the challenge is food, bills, childcare, and/or the overpowering reality that you no longer have a job. …

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Exactly How Long Is A Portuguese Lunch Break?

It took me four days in Porto, Portugal before I could order a coffee properly — with the right tonal inflections — and get the resulted I wanted:  The tiny cup of black espresso. Now, I could finally sit like a local, soaking in the time and sunshine at the café's outdoor table; my tiny cup sitting …

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beer glass sits on wooden table

How to Navigate the “Rounds System” of Irish Pubs

The Irish seem to have an unspoken secret code when it comes to ordering drinks at the pub.  It's a cultural tradition I find easy to understand in theory, but, surprisingly, more difficult to navigate in actuality. It always starts off easily enough; you walk into the pub, sit down, and strike up a conversation. …

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Enjoying the Craic: the Friendly World of the Irish Pub

There is nothing in the world quite like an Irish pub: The warm, murky lighting, the  wooden floor that seems to gently slope in every direction (set a marble down, and there's no telling where it will end up), the hum of voices, the shoulder to shoulder hustle, and the strains of music and laughter …

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A rooftop view of Glasgow, Scotland from the Lighthouse.

Glasgow At First Sight: How I Fell in Love With a City I Barely Knew

I fell in love with Glasgow in the space of a breath — instantly and unexpectedly.   I had made my way across a grassy swath of Kelvingrove Park, and was now street-side, trying to orient myself for a day of exploring without looking too conspicuously lost or ignorant.  I don’t know why this particular …

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