Friday, January 24, 2014

A Scottish Celebration

“Well Alfred,” said Mother, looking at the sumptuous Scottish dinner laid out before them.  “Our Scottish housekeeper Agnes Findlay has done very well by us this evening.  Look what she has provided for dinner.”

Laid out on the table before them were Scotch Eggs, Cock-a-Leekie Soup, Baked salmon with terragon, Colcannon, Kale Salad, and for dessert Black Bun, that rich traditional Scottish fruit cake.

“What a wonderful way to celebrate our annual remembrance of that fine Scottish poet, Robbie Burns,” answered Alfred, bowing his head and praying the old grace that Robbie prayed at a dinner for the Earl of Selkirk centuries ago.

Some hae meat and canna eat,            Some have meat and cannot eat,
And some wad eat that want it,         And some would eat that have it not,.
But we hae meat and we can eat,       But we have meat and we can eat.
Sae let the Lord be thankit.                So let the Lord be thanked.

            “Alfred,” asked Mother, what do the words Ne Oblie on your family crest mean?”

            “It means, Do Not Forget,” said Alfred.  “The crest and our tartan tell us that we are actually part of Clan Graham; that is the Grahams of Montrose, our ancestral home.  The Eighth Duke of Montrose said, "the best of our traditions are contained in the ideals of chivalry, bravery, and Christian service to our fellow man. Of all the Scottish Clans Graham of Montrose is known for it loyalty and faithfulness.”
            “That certainly describes you, Alfred,” said Mother with a big smile.  “You have always been chivalrous and brave, and your loyalty won my heart a long, long, time ago.”

            “And you, Mother, have always been my Rose,” said Alfred breaking into that lilting melody of the old Robbie Burns song,

O my Luv's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luv's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luv am I:
And I will luv thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

            “Alfred,” said Mother, actually blushing, “Whatever would I do without your love?  With your love and support I have decided that I will go to the Talliaferro family reunion.  Thank you for being willing to go with me.  I couldn’t go without you.”

            “And you Mother will always be my beautiful Rose of Montrose,” replied Alfred.

The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is
intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort
given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is
God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture
in the knowledge and love of the Lord. 

[The Book of Common Prayer, p. 423]

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