Stories from Scotland: Home again, home again
When I was a little girl out doing errands with my mother, I would know we were done when she announced, “Home again, home again, jiggity jig.” It’s a line from a nursery rhyme: “Off to the market to buy a fat pig; home again, home again, jiggity jig.”
For some reason, I have the same habit of saying that whenever we go home. In this case, home is now back in Scotland.
And so, as our plane touched down in the UK after a 10-hour flight from Denver — normally a great excuse to catch up on any movies we may have missed through the summer, aside from the fact that we were traveling with a 6-month-old — I announced, “Home again, home again, jiggity jig!”
In case you missed the last installment, my husband, baby and I live in Scotland, in the beautiful region of Fife, better known for St. Andrews than for Kirkcaldy, where we reside. My husband, Ryan, is a professional hockey player, and this is our sixth hockey season abroad (last season, we were in Scotland and for four before that, Italy).
In the summers, we call Steamboat home, but for now, it’s Scotland.
It feels good to be back. We live on the North Sea, which is obviously a drastic change from the Rocky Mountains. When in Scotland, we drink Scotch and drive a tiny car you would absolutely never see in North America; we drive this car on the wrong side of the road, more commonly known as the “left side” over here.
Instead of hiking in the mountains, we check the tides and go for walks on the beach. There aren’t things like happy hours and huevos rancheros and outdoor concerts — all the things Steamboat does so well. It’s a little gray here, and it can be damp right next to the sea. But coming back to Kirkcaldy feels like coming home.
Right away, the Edinburgh airport was familiar. One thing that always makes me feel at home is the local airport; if I know my way around it, I feel comfortable. And as we drove to Kirkcaldy, it felt as though we had never left, had never spent the summer driving on the right side of the road. We settled right back in.
I think a lot about “home.” Ryan is from Steamboat; I’m from Massachusetts. Everett, our son, was born in Scotland. We move twice per year — once to wherever the hockey world takes us, and once back to Steamboat for the summer — and we’ve been lucky, with Ryan’s career, to go back to the same places for multiple seasons.
We don’t have a house that we call home. We don’t own furniture. Our driver’s licenses have Steamboat addresses on them, but we’re there for less than half a year.
There are a lot of sayings about home out there: “Home is where the heart is.” “Home is wherever you are.” “Home is where you hang your hat.”
Right now, we’re lucky enough that ourselves, our hats and our hearts are in multiple places.
And so, I’ll be here once per month, bringing updates, observations and anecdotes from Scotland — from my home to yours.
Sophie Dingle is a freelance writer currently living in Scotland. Dingle’s husband, Ryan, is a Steamboat Springs native and professional hockey player; you can follow their adventures online at sophiedingle.blogspot.com.
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