Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Adventures and Travel

Loch an Eilein, Scotland | Photos

This week I enjoyed looking back through photos D took on our 50th wedding anniversary trip to Scotland three years ago. If I had to pick one place I’d love to revisit, it would be Loch an Eilein. It’s got everything–mystery, 15th century small castle ruins on an island, and a gorgeous 4.5 mile hiking trail around the lake.

The proud male duck at the top is guarding his mate who’s hidden in the marsh grass, sitting on at least one egg.

For perspective, here’s an overview of the lake, with that mysterious island in the distance. Can you see the bit of stone emerging from the trees? The hiking path goes right around the perimeter, offering several views of the island and castle.

So here we go…one foot after another. Loaded with water and snacks. Sometimes the path was smooth. Sometimes it wasn’t. Good hiking shoes required. We walked through stands of towering pines and meadow-like blankets of heather and thistles.

Here’s the best view we had of the castle ruins. Make up your own mysterious, romantic story….

From this point, we walked around the top of the lake and followed the path on the opposite side of the island. The path so far had been friendly for wheelchairs or walkers, if a bit bumpy. Beyond this point we went through several rough, rocky patches along with a few uphill climbs. Still, it was beautiful, and gave us one more good look at the castle ruins.

Finally, after walking for what seemed an eternity, we came to the end of the hike. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Well, most of it anyway….

Happy Friday! Here’s to a weekend of dreams come true and the creative rewriting of our worst nightmares.

Thanks to D for all these photos, and thanks to you for visiting the gallery!


©Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 September 2018
Photos taken by DAFraser, September 2015 in Scotland

Attic Memories

The attic is bare, and our downstairs spaces are now crowded with boxed books, old photos, cards, letters and files. They’ve invaded the basement and every room below the attic. All this because it’s time to give the attic a new life. After a bit of dry wall repair, painting, carpeting, and a handrail on the attic stairs.

D began the project weeks ago, sorting things out. Keep, toss, or give away. Especially books. Academic books occupied at least 75% of the attic. In rows, like a library. His and mine going back to our college years. Scholarly, earnest, serious books we used as students, professors or administrators.

During the last two days I spent most of my time in the attic, going through my piles of accumulated evidence and memorabilia from teaching, travel and family life.

Here are things that made me teary, exhausted or both.

  • Seeing how many places D and I visited for vacations or professional trips. Takeaway: Marrying D was a great way to see and hear about the world.
  • How many postcards I’ve purchased as a way to bring some of our travels home. Though they’re small, they remind me of more than appears on the postcards. Keepers.
  • Reminders of my large extended Renich family. Sadly, I don’t anticipate more official Renich family reunions. I loved looking through old reunion photos and family newsletters. More keepers.
  • My long emails to Diane when I visited Kenya for the first time (1997). I was terrified Diane might die (of ALS) while I was gone. I also wanted to take her with me in my emails. I wanted her to see in her sharp mind’s eye exactly what I was seeing. Irreplaceable.
  • How many recorded notes I kept over the years. Formal and informal. Back then it was about having a written record of appointments, meetings, interviews and important events. I didn’t trust my memory. But I did trust my bankruptcy court note-taking skills. It also helped me keep my listening and observational skills sharp. No, I didn’t keep all the notes. And yes, it gave me little pangs when I let most of them go.
  • I was astonished (if not exhausted) at how many students touched my life. And the wild, wide diversity of countries and cultures they brought into the classroom. Not in an online setting, but in person. Many struggling with English as a second language. Many going through life crises and changes in professional status. Too many now gone from this life. And many I probably wouldn’t recognize if I saw them today.

Despite the emotional and physical exhaustion of the last few days, I’m grateful for this look back into a world I won’t experience again. Sometimes it’s difficult being on the outside. Still, I don’t want to go back. I love life as it is—even though it’s not always neat and tidy.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 March 2018
Photos taken by DAFraser

I like to see it lap the Miles —


How’s your imagination? Here’s a riddle from Emily Dickinson. Can you guess the answer?   Read the rest of this entry »

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