We took trips to castles and Shakespearean landmarks, where our third son, who is named after a Shakespearean character, found a new sense of identity, which he is still very proud of. We took the train to Wales where we saw miles and miles of carpeted hills covered with woolly sheep that seemed so low to the ground, as if God, who has a special place in His heart for these animals, had given them a small advantage in eating by making it easier for them. We saw moss-covered rock walls and foggy coast lines where the horizon was impossible to discern.
We discovered a love for Indian food and untamed English gardens. And we got hooked on the ease and convenience of public transportation. Pastries stuffed with beef strips and gravy, and yogurt that was so heavenly we swore we saw the containers lift off the table once or twice.
Today I went with a couple of friends to sing at a nearby nursing home. I was leading some Christmas hymns when one of the older gentlemen asked if we could sing something patriotic for Thanksgiving. Of course! Great suggestion! As I flipped to the page for My Country 'Tis of Thee I noticed God Save the King, which is sung to the same tune, on a neighboring page, and I found myself having warm feelings for England. It doesn't take much to be reminded of a place when you have created real memories there. So on this Thanksgiving holiday I send a salute across the pond to those early Englanders who settled my home state of Virginia in 1607. We are connected. Thank you for your independence and vision. Cheers!
*Feel free to email me your guess about my son's Shakespearean name.