A Journey Through the Land of Our Ancestors

 John and Loretta Layman

Ceud Mille Failte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes! This is Loretta. For most of my life, seeing Scotland had been my heart’s desire, but John once would have been happy never to leave American soil. Then, after going to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, he began to think that a visit to Scotland might be fun. And so we went, in May 2004. Still, the trip was my dream, and John was willing to go wherever I wanted, no matter how remote, and in spite of having to drive on the wrong side of the road, from the wrong side of the car ... for sixteen hundred miles and thirteen days. It was sometimes a daunting task. Imagine my surprise then, on the plane leaving Glasgow to come home again, when John smiled at me and declared, “We are coming back to Scotland!” Then I thought, having seen and done all I had dreamed, that my journey of a lifetime could not have been more perfect ...

So come, all our friends and family, and pull your chairs around.

Come listen now and watch and see, for we are Scotland bound.

We'll tell to you a roving tale of sights along the way,

Far up to great Culloden Moor and down to Wigtown Bay.

Loch Garry and Loch Lomond and Ness's tide we saw,

The Cree, the Doon, the Dochart too that left us deep in awe.

The Clyde, the Forth, the Sound of Sleat that take you down to the sea.

The River Nith, the Almond too, are calling out to me ...

(Paraphrase of the Traditional Scottish Folk Song "Come All Ye Tramps and Hawker Lads")