So often at these Highland Games (read: always) we are busy throwing and miss the rest of the Highlander activities. These springy dancers, some of which are Heavy Athletics competitor’s kiddos:
Yup. Haven’t taken in even one dance.
The Clan tents?
Nope. Busy throwing. Oz loves the Clan tents and will spend hours talking to them so at least there’s that.
And the Bagpipes, ahhhhhh, the bagpipes. At this past June’s Milwaukee games, we actually knew people who’s Pipe band was performing and surely we’d be done by 5:00 pm to watch them all parade into the stadium! You guessed it, missed it. We were still throwing Caber and were a good 30 minutes away from beginning the WOB.
So when I was asked on Friday to grab my guys and head over to Lake Forest for the Bagpipes and Bonfire event, I thought maybe I’d finally be able to see some pipes in action. And oh boy, did I ever!
But before the pipes, were these guys…
Ya, that would be kilted jumpers. It was really quite awesome. Then came the pipe bands, a total of four I believe. The quick snapshot of them coming around to the field with dancing shadows on Potawatomi land honestly made my heart swell. To be able to stand there, with people who have come to mean much to me, my Bigg and Oz and just take this in was quite amazing and I quickly became verklempt. (I like the older couple in the foreground of the shot. I hope Bigg and I look like that someday.)
We enjoyed more music, and Scotch! Thanks to Craig Morehead and his more than generous sharing of the bottle of Aberlour 18 he just brought back from Scotland. Mmmmmm Mmmmmm good. Laughs. We also enjoyed lots of laughs. We had to move back after the bonfire was lit, it was a bit fiery…
I was fading and knew goodbyes were moments away and there I went again, verklempt. Everyone in this crew has been so welcoming, so friendly, so crazy and I realized that I’ve taken for granted seeing them every month since last March, pretty much. Not liking goodbyes to begin with (too many of them when I was too young to remember) I jumped up, we packed up the car and started our rounds of hugs. I was okay until I got to Jason. See, I wouldn’t be nearly the thrower I was this season without his help and that he so freely gives his time and expertise and friendship had me a bit choked up. Good thing it was dark. heh. Saying thank you seems too small. Maybe if I win the lottery or something I’ll get he and Jane a half track (that was Oz’s idea.) That seems a bit more on scale with how thankful I am.
I have a chance to throw one more time this coming weekend with a whole new crew and I’m looking forward to meeting new folks and getting a practice in with the 21# “heavy” weight I’ll be throwing more next year in the Master’s group. But these guys? They’re tops. I’m thankful to Kevin Neis for the invite, throwing with this group has been a highlight of the year and I’ll miss ’em for sure…
.I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.