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‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called

-A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

April…a time of stirring. The coast is stretching and yawning, shaking the snow from it’s eyes, and finally starting to rise on green shoots and budding trunks. Anticipation is in the air…peepers squeaking excitedly, rain pattering on lake surfaces recently released from ice, birds greeting each other after far flung winter journeys. In the harbor, the sounds of hammering and power tools carries across the water, and the plastic doors of the schooners’ winter frames are thrown open.

To those of us in town, this is a sure sign of summer days to come. The schooners, or windjammers as they are called here, are “fitting out” for the coming season…decks will be refinished, cabins repainted, masts stepped up, and sails replaced. The activity is an eager mad dash, as boat crews rush to get it all done before the first guests arrive for sailing adventures in May.

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Schooners ready to shed their winter coats…

Yesterday, the sun was shining and it was warm. Truly, unequivocally, warm.  A friend of mine and I set out in the afternoon with our dogs and took advantage of the sunshine. While the dogs crashed through puddles, scrambled over rocks and under tree trunks with wild abandon, and generally explored the newly thawed world, we talked about how it was time to “hurry up and wait”. So much anticipation of things to come….so much patience required!

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Afternoon walk

Gardens to be planted…when the ground thaws. Kayaks to push back into the water…when the sun warms the water.  Trails to revisit…when the ice is completely gone. Flip flops to wear, ice cream flavors to try, grilling, sailing, boogie boarding, day tripping…so close…but…not…quite…yet…

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For me, however, the anticipation of weeks to come brings an almost painful joy. My planned return to Scotland is just weeks away. Like a horse with muscles tensed and bit jangling between her teeth, I am straining towards the day my journey begins.  Idle moments are spent poring over train timetables, reading Scottish papers, checking the weather in Edinburgh, daydreaming about returning to sights seen, experiencing new locales, and reuniting with those whose company I’ve missed. The anticipation could be frustrating, the patience in short supply, but…I’m loving every moment of it. It’s like holding a gift that is waiting to be unwrapped…or Pooh Bear’s pot of Honey.

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A few shots of Scotland from last spring…

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Tantallon Castle

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Dunkeld

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Glencoe

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Urquhart Castle

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Inverness

 

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