Saturday, March 29, 2014

a spring update

The first day of spring began with sideways rain and wind. Scotland. We are excited for longer days and slightly warmer temps. Each winter we hibernate in our flat spending our time drinking tea and watching movies in our slippers, so we're pretty happy that spring is here. Daffodils and crocuses bloom and already we've been more energized in the morning with the sunlight pouring through our bedroom window.

I'd like to interrupt my normal posts of photos or events and get back to the basics. So, how are we doing? What's new with that PhD student? Do we have accents now? Here's a spring update:

This year has been a difficult one so far. In short, we've had some hopes and plans not work out. Whether is be personally or professionally, life doesn't always listen to what we want. Already, I'm seeing wisdom and growth come out of these hard few months. Every once in a while I look back over our time in Scotland and am quickly reminded of God's continued faithfulness. Regardless of our circumstances, He gives us peace.

Garrick works long hours and pursues every avenue he can, so with every "yes" comes many "no's". It's the life of academia, but it doesn't ease the sting of rejection. I think everyone has felt it at one time or another. I'm very thankful and proud of the hard work he puts into his PhD, book reviews, conference papers, grants, and much more. He was made to do this, and it shows.

I'm enjoying my new post in Admissions and have found it to be a wonderful department with room for personal development. My office view over the West Sands and Old Course never gets old. My list of hobbies continues to grow. I feel mediocre at all of them, but I think that's the nature of a hobby. For the past four weeks I've eliminated gluten, dairy, sugar, red meat, and caffeine from my diet. Despite cravings for chocolate chip cookies, I've never felt better and this motivates me to keep going!

Life after St Andrews is no longer a distant idea, but an impending reality. It's equally exciting and scary. Garrick is happy living anywhere in the world, and I'd like to stick to the English-speaking countries. Surprise. Our community here is still awesome. Last night I hosted a Buy & Sell event with women from the St Mary's community and it was a success. My wee flat was turned into a charity shop for the evening!

Spain is on the horizon in May. We'll spend 10 days in Barcelona and the Costa Brava area. Garrick has planned a conference taking place in June, and he will travel to Vienna in July for ISBL (International Society of Biblical Literature). In November he'll visit San Diego for SBL, and I'm hoping to jump to pond as well to meet my new nephew due in July!

Tonight we're having roast chicken with vegetables, wine and cheese, and then relaxing with a movie. Life is good because God is good. Anything else? Just ask.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fife Coastal Path: St Andrews to Anstruther

The Fife Coastal Path stretches for 117 miles. Today, we hiked from St Andrews to Anstruther, completing 18.5 miles! Our friends, Adam and Lindsay, joined us for the journey.

We filled up on blueberry pancakes and eggs before setting out at 8:30 this morning. The tide was out, the sun shone, and we had lots of energy. The first leg of our journey was from St Andrews to Kingsbarns, about 7.5 miles. Stone steps led us up and down from the beach to the bluff. We watched golfers tee off at the Castle Course and stopped to collect a few pieces of sea glass. Then the path went inland. We trekked through farm roads and stumbled upon ruins of stone houses and finally the trail took us out to the sea. Adam found a few geocaches along with way and we chatted with other hikers. Once we reached Kingsbarns, we ate lunch and all agreed that we could keep hiking for while.

The next leg, Kingsbarns to Crail, was fairly flat and we alternated between the beach and the grassy trail. We all remarked about the dramatic differences in the coastline as we hiked further. From sandy beaches to rocky cliffs, the Coastal Path has it all. The Kilminning Nature Reserve was especially beautiful. Once we could spot Crail in the distance, tiredness set in. We sat down on the first bench we saw and took in the sun and views.
Without the support of the others, I don't know if I would have gone the last three miles to Anstuther. Our goal was to reach Crail, but we had a few hours of daylight left and Garrick and Adam head their hearts set on fish and chips. So, we set off for the final leg. We stopped a few times as our feet needed some rest, but we finally rounded to bend to the Anstruther harbour and couldn't stop smiling. We devoured fish and chips and then walked out to wait for the slow bus. To our surprise, the express bus pulled up a minute after we arrived at the bus stop. It was a serendipitous day: lovely weather, perfectly timed tides, good friends, fish and chips, and a convenient bus ride. Next time we'll begin our hike in Anstruther for another section of the Fife Coastal Path!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

North Street

We walked to church this morning without our jackets. Although a bit windy, the sun shone brightly off the stone buildings and heated our faces. Our church meets at the Lawn Bowling Club, and we sat facing large windows looking out over the bright green grass. We're so thankful for Cornerstone. The community has really become family. After the final song, Garrick was itching to get on his bike, so we hurried home. While he was away, I grabbed my camera and set out onto North Street.

St Andrews has three main streets: North, Market, and South. I'd like to capture them before we leave. We only have one or two years left, depending on when Garrick submits; I can't believe it! So, here is North Street through my lens.