Sunday, 30 December 2012

'Tis the season...

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish a Happy New Year to all my readers!
   I apologise for being awfully absent from blogging, but I'm sure you've all been busy over the holidays and will forgive my tardiness.
   This year's Christmas, like last year's, was very different from all the rest we have had as a family. Last year was the first Christmas without Mum and Aubrey. Mum had recently passed away so her absence was felt constantly, and Aubrey was on a Caribbean cruise with Sara for their honeymoon. We tried to enjoy ourselves, but the stress of preparations along with emotional battles made us exhausted, feeling that we were 'going through the motions'. We did our best.
   This year was the first Christmas that Aubrey and his wife Sara celebrated with us, Shanae has also moved home for a bit so once again we had 5 Boyns' round the table for Christmas, it was rather lovely. As Father Christmas has an awfully busy schedule, us 'childer' have had to accept that he no longer visits us, giving younger ones the magical experience we had in our childhood, and so the tradition of opening a sack full of presents in the wee hours of Christmas morning have somewhat changed. The weeks leading up to the big day, I spent sorting boxes all over the house and cleaning, rearranging so we have a bit more order and space. We bought our tree in the traditional Boyns' fashion - promptly on the 23rd December, and spent the next day finishing off decorations, whilst also rearranging the living room furniture on Christmas Eve!
   We woke up Christmas Morning, had breakfast - sponsored by Capain' Crunch and Lucky Charms - got ready and went up the village to place a Christmas heart wreath on Mum's grave. We saw a few other people in the yard as well, remembering their loved ones on such a pivotal family holiday. It was nice to spend a few moments remembering how things used to be, and thinking how strange it is to be able to carry on after such a significant part of us is gone.
   The rest of the day was spent enjoying cooking Christmas dinner together, watching the Queen's Speech, listening to Dad's speech, and opening gifts from each other in the evening. On Boxing Day we had our first visit from 'extended family' that being Sara's parents and her sister, and we enjoyed a second Christmas Dinner with even more people crammed into our little dining room. Our Christmases always involve scrounging to find spare chairs, hearing bad jokes and having wrapping-paper-ball fights, and I'm jolly glad they do.
   I felt this year for the first time that I really can make the holiday special, by simply playing my part. Parents know they have important roles to play in getting their children's wish lists to Santa [amongst other things], and grandparents know they can spoil their grandchildren as much as they like because - it's Christmas. Older siblings' roles are to be a united front in making sure the parents aren't driven crazy by too many little jobs, as well as keeping a flow of laughter circulating the house. The little children are there to remind us of the magic surrounding these holidays, the feeling that whatever you wish for can come true, that there is a man in the sky who will bring us the things we need, and that no matter what happens for the rest of the year Christmas will always mean family, hope, joy and lots of cake.

Friday, 14 December 2012


   These past few weeks of being home after America and my Birthday have been such a roller coaster. I miss friends in America and Scotland and even those that are closer but haven't yet been able to see. I have renewed some old friendships and made new ones too, and I'm forever grateful for the opportunities God gives me in that. But I find that adjusting to the way Dad does things in the house is a task in itself, and learning how to live together again is a work in progress. Sorting things in the house is a mission, not one I relish in but one that needs done, and eventually maybe we'll get the place looking like Christmastime. 
   Often I wish I had been the one to go, and not Mum. I think she would know what things were and where they were meant to go, what needs kept, who to send Christmas cards to and maybe even know their addresses by heart. In dark times I wonder who I can pour my heart to, who will encourage me, who will tell me everything will be OK, because that used to be Mum. Now, I have close friends, and you. I write words and shoot them out into cyberspace and you read them. I hope they make you think, I pray they are useful to you as they are to me writing them.
   A few of my friends have started blogs recently, Cassidy (infamous on here by now) put this poem on her blog a few days ago and checking up on her posts tonight I read it and felt as though Rudyard was talking to me. 
   I know I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me but it helps to have friends supporting me too, so thank you.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
’ Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!
                                                        — Rudyard Kipling

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Hold on when you feel like letting go.

   A passage I have always loved is "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep," but what happens when people do those things at the same time?

   When Mum passed away, we did not mourn as others mourned. We had Faith that she was not gone, she just relocated, and we will see her again. Our anticipatory grieving had our hearts and minds unravelling for years, but we rejoiced in our hope and in knowing she was no longer suffering. Confusion was particularly prominent the weeks surrounding her death. Last year Dad, Shanae and I celebrated Christmas. We already knew it was going to be different last year with Aubrey and Sara being away on their honeymoon, but without Mum as well, it was quite an awful occasion. We went through the motions, and I clung to our childhood traditions, trying to clasp an essence of festive normality.
   I am reminded of Mum's absence every day and special occasions are times when we would all definitely be together. So whilst preparing for our annual get together, as well as rejoicing with those who rejoice at this time, we will mourn with others who mourn. Like every day, it will be hard. Because I now understand this more, I am aware of others close to me who are struggling this month, and would like to make you aware of them also to keep them in thoughts and prayers.
   One of my school friends passed away recently, and I am reminded of another school friend who's brother was found drowned in a river about two years ago.
   We have family friends are going through tough times with the Mother having been diagnosed with terminal cancer in the summer.
   Other friends have just had twins, both in and out of ICU at just a month old today, whilst also caring for their other two children at home.
   Another of my friends feels she can't celebrate Christmas this year, it wouldn't feel right without her Grandfather around; whilst another friend's family will try and celebrate Christmas even though their Mother decided to leave them a few months ago.
   A guy I know is having to face the possibility of getting a prosthetic foot for Christmas this year, he's in constant agonising pain with it but uses his situation to encourage others around him in hospital. A true fighter.
   I read an article about a couple who know their baby is going to die soon after the birth at Christmas. They will have spent just over 9 months with their daughter, the majority of it without seeing what she looks like.
   These are just a few of the situations I am aware of, there are several more I haven't mentioned, including things on the news, and I know you know hundreds more. Whilst some may wish to forget their troubles and anxieties at Christmas time others can not, and must soldier on, knowing they won't have a normal, happy Christmas this year - and maybe not ever again.

   Santa's Grottos, bright lights, red hats and rosy smiling faces, the Christmas hustle and bustle is something which can not easily be escaped for those who may wish to dodge it this year. For those worrying about things other than matching Christmas crackers, well-wrapped gifts, uneven window lights and misspelled greetings cards, my heart goes out to you. I pray that you find a peace in the chaos of the season, I hope you find a joy in today just like any other day and I wish you all the best in whatever you find yourself doing this month.

If you are wanting to do something to help those perhaps not looking forward to the holiday season because they aren't able to celebrate, Shelter and Operation Christmas Child are two great charities which you can look into and maybe even help them along in their quest to spread the love.

Monday, 3 December 2012

More than words.

"Saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you. It's not that I want you not to say, but if you only knew how easy it would be to show me how you feel, more than words is all you have to do to make it real; then you wouldn't have to say that you love me 'cause I'd already know." [v1. to 'More Than Words' by Extreme]

   As humans we are forgetful people with low self esteem, we need constant reminders of others approval towards us through 'likes', 'retweets', a constant flow of human interaction, physical proof of our accomplishments or material goods to remind us of our success. It sometimes seems that no matter how much we know or have we need more, and we need reminders of it. The same can often be applied to relationships, even if we've heard 'I love you' from someone before we need to hear it again - just in case it's the last time you get to hear it, or to check that they still do love you. If someone offers their hand 'if there is ever a need', there is often hesitation in taking them up on it - even when you know you would do the same and more vice versa. We are a forgetful and distrusting people. I'm not going to tell you to say sweet somethings to at least 10 people today, rather, don't overuse phrases like 'I love you' or 'I'm sorry'. Yes, use them abundantly but when you do - make sure mean, and show it, afterwards."Let your yes be yes and your no be no." Don't cry wolf, be sincere.

   We wouldn't need verbal reminders if our actions displayed these sentiments truly.

   As Christians we say we live by faith, not by sight. We say we love our neighbour as ourselves. Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last is the only way to achieve true Joy...
   We may say we live by faith but we overly worry about situations, waiting for outcomes or hints of the answers we want to the prayers we offer up to Him. We say we understand the concept of loving our neighbour but we talk about each other in spiteful tones behind each other's backs and segregate ourselves, we forget that we can still Love someone with opinions different to ours. We know how to have J.O.Y., but we want things now, we want things fast, and we get frustrated at others' sufferings or poorer abilities than ours hindering us. We forget the fruits Jesus told us about, of patience, kindness, generosity and self control.

   On a bitter sweet note, one thing I cannot stand is insincerity; When Mum died people would say 'I'm sorry for your loss' and I often wondered what they meant, really. I don't doubt that most people really were sorry that we would no longer have Mum with us - every day, those who knew her know just how much was taken. They were perhaps sorry that we would not have her by our side for family occasions and the other 'big' events. But I did wonder what some people meant by it, if they merely uttered the phrase because they thought it was the right thing to do. And that can be Ok, I get the sentiment of wanting to say the right thing in a can-be-awkward situation but for me I sometimes saw it as fake in a time calling for utmost humility. Death is a part of life, it's the one thing we can all count on inevitably, so why should we have such a problem with accepting and talking about it? [Pretty much the whole reason for my book.]

   So why do we say things and not live by them? Tell people we love them but forget to show them love. If only we didn't have the choice to go back on our word. If only we understood that we really don't have that choice if we are to be honourable, to live and Love like Him. 

Friday, 30 November 2012

Twenty One.

   I am 21. Crazy.... Well, pretty logical actually, and I often feel older than that but still - it's a good number to reach. Just over a week ago Dad and I went up to Dundee to catch up with friends, celebrate my 21st Birthday, pack up my things and move me back home. As well as celebrate [my first] Thanksgiving with the Galloway's in Glasgow! So much food. Good times.
    I apologise for not blogging in a while I have about 3 posts on the go and a 'thought' to come is one which I've had up my sleeve for times such as these when indecision and procrastination call... I also have many thoughts running through my head today. Today was the day of the funeral of a school friend, my thoughts have been in her family and friends who are grieving at this time - more on that later as well. 
   Another thing is - life. Just a small subject.. I am in the process of clearing out my room, replacing old with new and I came across an old diary in which I said some interesting things, prediction kind of things, which are now coming to light. It's funny how life just works out sometimes, how you can look back on what you've done, where you've gone and who you've known and think 'Oh wow, nice one God. I see what you did there.'
"There must be a day or two in a man's life when he is the precise age for something important."
      - Franklin P. Adams

A thought: Maybe it's time to take some advice of my own?
   When I was younger and we would go out as a family into town or to visit an attraction we would sometimes be given a bit money to buy ourselves a wee something to take home. My sister would chose something sensible like pens or a book, my brother would either buy a small sturdy toy or he'd ask to save his. But I would always go for the shiny, plastic, fun-for-a-second toy like an artists 'pallet' with hard tablet paints and a tiny brush, or a mini fake Barbie when I had other real ones at home. My Dad told me not too long ago that when I did this he hated saying yes because he knew it would last 5 minutes and then it would break or, as usual, I'd get bored with it. A waste of money. Fickle, I realise I was only a child though. This does parallel well to situations such as moving house, relationships, jobs, etc. But in some of these things I have often leaped with my heart before thinking with my head. This history tells me two things about myself which I have recently become conscious of [I guess this is growing up]: 1) I need to be careful what I invest in things and 2) I need to recognise my reaction before concluding that's how I really feel.
   I won't say much more on that, these are just things I need to consider more, and a warning against hastiness.. If it's worth a lot, it'll take a lot.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Sound of Silence.

   There is something quite powerful in silence. Dramatic pauses, ellipses and quizzical pondering make for memorable moments in speech and literature. But what of life?
   Today I was reminded of the silence, the calm, which comes after the storms and trials of life. Some struggles amount to mere pot holes in the path on which you have walked through life; you look back at them, triumphant. Others make as diversion signs, making you go in a different direction, and maybe one day you understand why. But there is storm that will come which will tear up all ground around you and make it so you can no longer continue on your journey, indefinitely.
   There is a school of philosophy which professes that our life is defined through our motional experience. Meaning that your 'life' is a movement. From when you stirred in your mother's womb to the last time your chest rests from breath, you would have moved on the earth continuously in bounds, strides, sways and tumbles. I find this fascinating, and for analogy's sake wonder if the idea could be stretched past motion and into sound so that our whole life is, in effect a song, and when it ends - there is silence.
   Upon finding out that one of my school friends passed away yesterday morning, I felt a calm creep into my mind. Anxieties and excitements for the week, trivial thoughts for the day and just about everything else seeped into an abyss and I sat, surrounded by silence. I regretted not keeping in touch more since we left school two years ago, I was sad I hadn't heard more of her illness to be there for her, I was heartbroken for her family and close friends to have lost so much so soon, I tried to process the thought of never being able to see her laugh again. I know that she was with her family until the end, and she had many friends who were with her through it all, and I am thankful for the good memories I have of her from past school days.
   I am reminded that we are here just a moment before we move on, we need to love each other while we can. It shouldn't take death to realise that we have a life worth cherishing, but so often it does. Even considering the death of my Mum last year, it still shocks me at how short life can really be. I know of so many who are going through life and death trials and it makes me feel useless not being able to change the outcomes. I understand that death is a part of life but, sometimes, I wish it really wasn't.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Home is where the Heart is.

Hello England!
   I have shared with you my emotional and thinking process in me moving out of my city flat into a family home after Mum's passing. And also a little in thoughts about a possible move in the future - but these past 8 weeks have given me a new thought on the phrase 'Home is where the Heart is'. In this time I have come to a greater understanding of what it could really mean, and how it will affect me for the rest of my life.

   Someone asked me the other day how many new 'Facebook friends' I had added over my time in the States. I wasn't quite sure, as I think only a month's additions is shown on your page and mine said 15 'new friends', but the number is probably double that (by mathematical calculation). That is not to be boasting at all, it is merely to say I have met that many people who I would like to keep in touch with. The only boasting I can do, is in that I am part of such a wonderful family that allows me to care for a lot of people, and vice versa. I am quite an open person, and find it quite easy to talk to just about anybody. I tend to get comfortable with people quickly, and because of this I get to share such interesting things with them. There are three things I want to tell you to make my point:
     Firstly, Cassidy is a girl I met in Henderson, TN. We spent some time together and within just 3 days became so close. We have some things in common, I couldn't necessarily tell you what her 'favourites were' - except pugs - but we bonded over mutual grounding and a fundamental understanding which leads us to strive to be the women we want to be. It is an honour to know her. My friendship with her is just one of many I was blessed with in my time away.
    Secondly, years ago I was at a Youth Weekend (retreat) in a girls' class we were talking about 'how far is too far' - you know the lesson - and it was mentioned that even holding a boy's hand is like giving him a piece of your Heart (so you need to be careful you don't give yourself away before you meet that one person you want to share everything with.) I use this lesson as an analogy - rather than physical aspects of love I am talk about sharing acts of kindness, experiences, memories and wisdom which I call Love.
     Thirdly, I thoroughly enjoy getting to know people. I find people fascinating. How different we all are, yet how similar our Hearts tend to be. We hear expressions like 'I could never love them more than I do right now' or 'my whole heart belongs to you' and I have been there. Yet I continue to Love and Love and Love, and even when my Heart feels broken, or shattered, I still find capacity to Love all the more. If you have children you truly understand how your Heart seems bottomless, because even with each new addition to the family you Love them the same, unconditional, utmost amount. 
   N.B. With these things considered I have seen that we were made to Love one another. As a Christian I believe we were made to Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength - first and foremost, but there is always room to Love your neighbour as yourself.

    So, I was really upset the night before we left America. I couldn't quite figure out why until it came together in my head like this: I was sad because I felt as though I had gained so much, had so many fantastic memories, pictures, souvenirs, gifts to take back with me, but I also felt as though I was leaving something behind. Every teary-eyed conversation, be it from common sorrows or sheer hilarity, made an impact on me. I felt as though pieces of my Heart had been left with these moments and these people I had encountered. I fell in-love with fellowship, with the different relationships we can have with one another. 
   I am blessed to have been given many opportunities in my life to really get to know and Love people. Some so well that I think that when we Love someone we give them a piece of our Heart for strength and safe keeping. Whether it's crying together over similar struggles of grief at a dining table with sweet ice tea, playing card games and end up talking about past relationships with a new acquaintance, sitting beneath the stars talking about hopes and dreams with someone you've always-known-but-have-never-really-known, you're sharing your Love with people.

   Going back to the phrase 'Home is where the Heart is', I am learning that Home really IS where your Heart is. Be it in one place or a hundred. The truly awesome thing about Love is that it is infinite, it is overwhelming and it sometimes does surpass understanding - to the extent even that a born and bred Brit can feel 'at home' sippin' sweet tea and shootin' skeet with the best of 'em. ;] I consider my family to be one that extends to many wonderful people across the pond, and I realise 'yeah, I could get used to this...'
   But when I sat, a little begrudgingly, in 39A on the plane in Nashville airport, knowing I would not get a decent sleep or meal for the next 24 hours, a face with a smile came into my mind and I stopped caring about how I would get home, just that I would. I knew that I was travelling back to a place where I had stored little, medium and large pieces of my Heart, and everything was OK. 
   Home is where your Heart is. Be it vested in your family, friends, acquaintances, cultural traditions, land history or hopes for a brighter future, when possible, people will go where they most want to be. For me, for now, it is in the house I grew up in, the residence in which my Mother and Father built a home, the place I first learned to truly Love. So, yes, I am happy to be home.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Remember, remember...

 I am back from my travels with Dad in America! We are safe and soundly back on British ground and even though I was sad to leave, I am happy to be here, and thankful it was a smooth journey. More on that later, though.
   Upon coming into Peterborough I recognised the Showcase Cinema (We need to upgrade to an Odeon...) the Peterborough Cathedral and the race track where Oswald's House won Sports Day when I was Vice-Captain (thought I'd slip that in somewhere!). Memories flooded back to my time here growing up, and although I hadn't been away long - except the two years I spent in Dundee at University - I found I had missed it, and in many ways this is my true home. 
   Memory is an interesting thing as when I stepped out into the brisk, but surprisingly dry, weather I couldn't help but feel that it was Christmas time. After all it was cold, and I was at home. Coming into the house was strange too - everything was more or less as we had left it, I just remember there being less mess... ;]

   Before Mum passed away I had a creeping fear that I would forget her. That I would forget how she was before she became ill some 5 years previous, then forget her laugh, her smile, her subtle Northern Irish accent.. I was afraid that over time, the 19 years I spent with her would fade from recall and become too distant and blurry that she would cease to be a part of my mind, and essentially, cease to be a part of me. 
   A few days ago Britain celebrated what is known as Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, where the countries remember 'gunpowder, treason and plot'. We celebrate the capture of Guy Fawkes in 1605 as he was about ready to blow the House of Lords to smithereens with barrels of gunpowder he had meticulously stowed and was guarding before he got the go ahead to light them. We do this by having bonfires, fireworks, sparklers and other things pyromaniacs would be jolly excited about. Today Sunday 11th November is also our country's (And the rest of the Commonwealth's) Armistice Day, or Poppy Day, (or Veteran's Day if you're in America) falling conveniently on the same day as Remembrance Sunday, where we remember the lives and sacrifices many people have made in service to our country. Celebrated since the end of the War To End All Wars, specifically after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles to end WWI - on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. At the time 11:11 we hold a minute's silence in respect and reverence.
   As people, we are mortal. We are not meant to last forever, our bodies decay - to the pessimist, every hour we live brings us closer to our last. But this is a fact of life. We celebrate and set apart periods of time to actively ponder upon events or people who have impacted our lives, out of love. It is brilliant to remember these things once a year, to make them special and truly lifted up above all other things on that one day. So celebrate your freedoms, celebrate others who have made your life wonderful, do not be idle and forget those who love you - for in your time of need they will not forget you.

   We remember because it is an act of love - to spare a thought for the one who brings you joy.

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:16

   We must remember before it is too late and we forget.

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, 'I find no pleasure in them.'" Ecclesiastes 12:1

    We remember so that we have hope for the future, and a continuous motivation to keep us going.

"But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you." John 15:11
"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." 16:4
"These things I command you, so that you will love one another." 15:17

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 16:33

"People will not remember what you say, they may not even remember what you do, but they will remember how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
Here is a poem based on the rhyme 'Remember, Remember'  which is told to remember Guy Fawkes on November the 5th...

Remember, remember, wee child, your Creator,
Every morn when you awake from your sleep.
For when you closed your weary eyes, you said your goodbyes
To the world, but He graced you and let you to keep.

Remember, remember, my friend, your defender,
In days of sweet joy and lonely pain,
For he created them together - the one and the other,
For purposes unknown until He let it be shown through His plan ultimately in gain.

Remember, remember, dear brother, your redeemer,
When you see the poor man by the way,
Be he poor in his pocket or heart under lock, it
Is surely your duty to share with him the bounty of good news you enjoy every day.

So remember, remember, every time you surrender,
That you are highest when in prostrate to Him;
For He lifts up the weak, richly blesses the meek,
So fear not when you fail, for His LOVE will prevail overall for the ultimate win.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Travel Journal #11 - The end is nigh...

Sunday 4th
   Today we went to church with Bob and Dad have the sermon. Good stuff. *I'm in two places at once.* :] We went to Fuddruckers for lunch and I had an amazing Buffalo burger with sweet potato fries and sweet tea! We head back to the house for some hot tea before Dad's class in the evening church service, and spent time with Sherry when we got back - she'd come home from her wee holiday :]

Monday 5th
   Today I had my first Mani-Pedi experience with Sherry! For those of you less understanding of women's beauty rituals, this is a manicure and pedicure - makes your nails pretty on your hands and toes. :] We went to a salon run by some nice Chinese people and had a laugh with them whilst I got beautified! Now my fingernails change colour with heat!!! Black/maroon when cold and pink when warm, useful stuff.

Tuesday 6th
   Up early, packed the car and head out by o7:40 from Swansborough, NC to Gallatin, TN. That's a 11 hour drive, not including rest stops, lunch  and dinner. We went via Virgina - as you do, for a bit more of a scenic route, and also checking off our 9th state this trip! We got to stop off and see Patrick Sullivan (Dundee Youth Minister) in Cookeville as well which was nice, not seen anyone from across the pond in a while! And we'll see him again when we're back in Scotland. Arrived in Gallatin by about 10pm and spent some time with the Carnes' and the American Political televisual feast before heading to our much needed comfy beds!

Wednesday 7th
   Today was our last full day stateside. We had a good sleep and made sure cases were packed and under the limit - having to ship some books Dad happened to 'acquire' on our travels... We have successfully packed everything. We're taking 2 extra cases and I'm taking an extra hand luggage bag. Manoeuvring our way on the London Tube will certainly be an experience... After having dinner at Chick-fil-a we went to church for Dad to give the last  of his BBS presentations, finally found Will :P, and went back to Bill and Anna May's to watch Duck Dynasty with them and the Carnes. Ok, so you NEED to watch this program. 'Duck Dynasty' on A&E TV in America and somewhere online otherwise. Hilarious stuff. Proper Southern culture, right there. :]
   Just set my alarm for 06:30. Not too bad. Then we'll be off. 

America, it's been grand.

Truly grand.