Persley Walled Garden Walk, Aberdeen, Scotland

In The Pipeline: June

Tea in the Lake District, In The Pipeline, June, Chino News

Hey there happy Junebugs!

If you were to come over for a cup of tea today, (YES, a cup of tea, because it is 49 degrees F here in Scotland, not 87 like it is in the rest of the world during summer), I would say to you,

Welcome to our chaos. Come on in. Pull up a chair at the table covered in what I’m trying to decide to keep or get rid of. Do you need anything?

You might say, Oh dear, it looks like you’re moving. Where are you moving?

Me: Oh I’m not sure. Yes, we are moving. At least, I think we’re moving. The UK will kick us out once Taido’s no longer a student and our current visas expire. But as for where we are going, well, no. We don’t know yet. 

You: I think maybe you need a something a little stiffer than tea.


No really, actually I have a lot of peace about the surmounting unknowns in our life right now. This week I wrote in giant letters on my kitchen chalkboard:


and then in little bitty letters:

the plans I have for you.

Because the I KNOW part of Jeremiah 29:11 is what I’m currently finding super comforting.

The LORD knows where we will be come September 1, 2016. To me (and to you, dear reader), it remains a surprise.

So stay tuned. But another tiny part of why I might be feeling so much peace about the future is that in less than a week, Ben, Simon and I will be on a plane bound for Arkansas. We are headed for 8 glorious weeks of real summer. Where you sweat and sit by the pool and drink fruity drinks full of syrupy substances that are illegal to use in the UK.

Friends. I am so happy to be heading home that someone should slap me and be like,  How can you be happy about going to the pool when your whole future is hanging in the balance? Shouldn’t you be figuring out what you are doing with your life?

And I’ll be like, Dang, that’s the exact kind of gibberish I’ve been saying to my oldest two children for the last several years and now I understand why they don’t find it so helpful.

On the serious, I cannot wait to connect with hometown peeps and my family and spend some like REAL LIVE IN PERSON face time with folks I haven’t seen in too dang long.

Bring. It. On. Dogtown.

Just TRY and make me complain about the heat.

Oh YEAH, here’s a few sum-sum-summertime links for you!

We are OBSESSED with Zootopia, which for some odd reason is called Zootropolis in the UK. (WHAT??) The theme song is my current happy kitchen dance jam. Seriously, this movie is for all ages.

Also, when I have needed to laugh lately, old episodes of SNL’s Family Feud have been the ticket. This one was particularly hilarious to me. 

Always leave good reviews if you can. YES!!

Why You Can’t Trust Yourself (especially if you are empathetic…ouch!)

A simple way to find the answer to any problem.

I went to a Eurovision party last month. If you’ve never heard of it (like me), you’re in for hours and hours of YouTube Euro-discovery. Start right here with my favorite Australian/South Korean gal, Dami Im. Don’t be confused by the fact that neither of those countries are in Europe. It’s for the fun! Just enjoy it. And. She. Is. Precious.


One of my favorite tour companies, Context Travel is now doing a literary tour of Edinburgh for families. Because you know…JK Rowling.
I LOVE British seaside towns, so I saved this list of ones I’ve never been to for the future.
I thought it would be fun to do a list of classic UK experiences for the Huff Po, and it was published today. How many have you done?
I mentioned last month how much I loved Caroline Knapp’s The Merry Recluse. Tragically, Caroline died of lung cancer when she was only 42. So, after I finished her memoir I found this beautiful book that a friend of hers (Gail Caldwell) wrote about their friendship. It’s called (and I love this title) Let’s Take The Long Way Home. It’s a huge testimony to how good this book is that I gave it five stars on Goodreads even though relationships with animals play a primary role in the storytelling. If you are a dog lover, you are going to adore this memoir, but if (like me) you are not, the writing is so superb that you won’t mind. And more importantly, it will make you want to go and hug your best girlfriend(s) right now. So. Beautiful.
That’s it for me for June.
While I’m gone this summer, the blog will be automatically featuring more Scotland memories and beautiful posts about my April trip to Italy with the kids. I’ve already written them all so watch out for those to appear every Monday for the next eight weeks. I hope they will make you want to plan a dreamy trip to Italy (or somewhere else of your own choosing!)
I might pop in every now and then in real time from my white plastic pool chair, but I can’t promise anything. You should probably just come on by and say hello in person at Overbrook Pool.
If you’re lucky, I might share my 44-ounce gulp with you that I bought at the gas station for 79 cents.


  1. Can’t wait to see you friend!!!! You can also sit by the pool at 4 Wayside Drive anytime you want! Love you!

    1. I get in late on Thursday, so don’t be surprised if there’s a big splash at midnight outside!! XOXO

      1. Come on out!!!!

  2. Alison, thank you for sharing your lovely stories with us. I am still looking back at your site as your hiking tales are helping me plan my own trip; thank you for sending me to the walk highlands web site. I am enjoying planning the walks for my family visit in August (and I will be the one lagging behind). Enjoy your summer and I look forward to the next chapter.

    1. Thank you so much Adrienne!! I can’t wait to see what you get up to! Have a wonderful trip!! XOXO

  3. Wow, this post really resonates with me. I wasn’t going to comment, but then you brought up the Gail Caldwell book that I listened to recently. Great story, wonderfully written.
    We lived in Scotland in the late ’60’s. This weekend, my sister posted a photo that was taken of us when we first arrived. We were on a beach nearby our house. We were so excited–a beach! Then we realized the water never got warm enough to swim in. As much as Scotland had a lasting effect on our lives, we couldn’t wait to get back to the States, home. My sisters and I returned in 2005 and I felt like Scotland was my home. I can’t wait to go back.
    Thanks for sharing your journey. I can’t wait to read about the next adventure.

  4. Oh, Mary I love that you shared this. I like the idea that Scotland will always still feel like home when we come back to visit, especially since we’ve dug roots and planted bits of our hearts here!!

    Glad you enjoyed the Gail Caldwell book. I’m wanted to read her newer one now. Have you read anything else by here??

    Thanks again for stopping by + commenting! 🙂 XO Alison

    1. No, I haven’t read anything else by her yet. I need to add her to my Audible queue.

  5. It was so good to see you Sunday. I know you are happy to be home, and thawed. LOL

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