This weekend is the 23rd annual Illinois St. Andrew Society's Highland Games. I have been attending these games off and on for the last 10 years. My father's family hails from Dysart, Fife, Scotland. They arrived in the U.S. in 1842 and eventually settled in Northeastern Iowa. In a genealogical search, I discovered the original family name of "Thomson" received the addition of a "p" in the 1830's. I am not sure why. I am a life member of the Clan Thom(p)son Society and the clan genealogist posits that because Scottish census was taken by people of Irish extraction, they may have heard a "p" sound when one did not exist. Knowing this has helped me trace my ancestors back to 1768. I probably can go back one more generation before there simply are no records.
On Friday, about 1 p.m., I will be in Oakbrook, Illinois setting up my tent.
Yes, I will be wearing my kilted skirt and sash. I used to lug a table and chairs to the games. Two years ago, when my clan's annual meeting was held here, I rented tables and chairs and thought, "You doofus. Why didn't you do this before, other than being Scottish and cheap?"
I bought this fabulous old map of Scotland at the Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago last year but didn't get it framed. This year, I was going to get it framed. The frame and mat and glass sit in the living room while I update my blog, but, hey, that's a step in the right direction, right? Right? I'll get it done if I have to do it Friday morning before packing the car.
Behind my tent is the athletic field. Yes, telephone poles are tossed at this games. Hay bales are thrown up and over a bar, as are weighted stones. I like to see if the athletes match their biker shorts to one of the colors in their kilt.
I have made a list of things I have to do before I pitch the tent. I ordered some Clan Thompson stuff to sell which will make the table look less empty. But what really makes the tent are people.
I generally am alone as there aren't many of us, but my friends will sometimes show up for a bit. Last year, a member showed up with his family and they walked the parade with me, which was nice. If you are reading this and live close enough to Oakbrook, stop by.
Just a word on the cats because I know a few friends are following that saga. They seem to have no problem eating the kidney food Dr. Labek recommended. Of course, that's the expensive stuff, (insert heavy sigh). Betsy isn't going to get fluids tonight as I have a headache and I have to search for the plastic bins I'm taking with me and bring them to the living room. I bought some Fancy Feast and both ate everything I put in front of them. It's garbage night and I really should drag a couple bags of litter to the curb. I'm tired.
I looked at the weather for Friday and Saturday and it appears it's going to be just like last year where we had a pouring rain for a couple hours both Friday and Saturday night. Yes, I have put up and taken down the tent in the rain, but I would rather not.
So, off to do an archeological expedition in the basement. If I'm lucky, I know exactly which bins I need. If not, well, I'll be surprised then. "Oh so THAT'S where I put this."
Beverage: Black currant tea