Never Lost


I feel a blog coming on. About being lost. Not that we’re ever lost—just temporarily misplaced. Misplacement happens often.

Alan and I just returned from a mini-vacation packed with adventure. The adventure wasn’t in the vacationing, it was in adverse events and circumstances.

For example, we were scheduled to leave on Friday, but when we got the car serviced, the garage found a split tire rim. It was mid-afternoon on Monday before we were able to pack supplies into the vehicle and begin our adventure.

We were only 20 miles from home when we got lost the first time. Alan had wisely printed off map directions for reaching our destination on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. We dutifully took a left turn off the main road—as the map directed—to the first roundabout. Then we went around the roundabout again, and again, and again. None of the four roads leading off the roundabout were marked with any sort of directional signs and one of them looked like a cow trail through the countryside. We gave up on the map directions, went back to the main road, and miraculously found the next turnoff without the map.

Getting to Skye from where we live involves taking miles of one-lane roads with occasional passing lanes. Thus driving the number of required miles to our destination would have taken a little over an hour in the U.S., but took four hours. By the time we got there, it was late.

Our first stop was for food. Unfortunately, the restaurant we had enjoyed so much on our first visit was closed. Almost everything was closed. As a U.S. citizen accustomed to 24-hour restaurant service, I was irritated.

Back on the road, we followed the directions given to us by the retreat we had booked. Skye is 60 miles long with many stretches of 40 MPH speed limits and steep, winding stretches. It turns to one lane when you pass the last major village, and drivers must dodge sheep. It was getting late when we took an impossible looking 90-degree turn and vertical hill leading to the retreat—or so we hoped. However, the road we were on split and went off in two different directions, neither of which were marked. Both roads went over cattle guards, so after driving down both of them a short distance, we finally picked one and went with it. Need I mention that it was the wrong one? We figured that out when we realized that we were driving around in circles and passing the same landmarks again and again. That meant going all the way back up the road to the fork and taking the other road. It was getting late and dark and after four hours of driving, we all needed a break. All includes our 50-pound rough collie dog.

So…down the new road looking for the fourth house on the right after we got to some place that starts with a “K” that I can’t begin to either spell or pronounce. Again, we failed to find our destination. It was nearly dark by then and the road we were on was becoming so rough and the scenery so wild that we suspected we were lost yet again. We were.

two thatched

When we turned around to go back—not sure where we were going back to since we hadn’t found anything resembling our destination yet—Alan spied a sign on the door of an old building with an aluminum add-on. The retreat!

Within a few minutes of finally reaching our destination, we thought about returning home minus the “vacation.” The bedroom, an upstairs loft, had such low, slopping ceilings that Alan and I had to walk around the bed bent double, and even then we kept banging our heads, backs, and shoulders against the ceiling. Then there was the problem with the dog. The dog is no problem. She’s a dream! The problem was the slippery, narrow, steep, open staircase. Angel Joy is recovering from a nerve disorder that had made her lame. To go up steps, she must lean against a wall and crawl up. When she tried that on the slick stairs, she slid back down three steps and tumbled off the landing at the bottom. She refused to try again. So we had to put the dog on her bed and use it as a stretcher to carry her up and down the stairs. Oh…and did I mention that she weighs 50 pounds and that the stairs were steep and slick?

We toughed it out and actually had a great time except for the head-hitting and dog-carrying details. We left a day early, driving four hours through snow.

Some call Skye a place that God created just to show off. We would agree. Every scenic combination in the whole of Scotland is repeated on the island. From the only true mountain in the UK to castles—both ruined and restored—the island has it all. Even a glass bottom boat that takes visitors out to view seals, otters, and other wildlife.

Yup. We enjoyed our vacation, even the adverse bits and pieces. Life is that way. Good days and bad. The good are fun and the bad are character building—or so we’ve been told. And after this? Heaven. So we’ve got it made even if we don’t ever get back to Skye to see all the parts we missed while we were temporarily misplaced!

We never get lost.

castle moil close

6 thoughts on “Never Lost

    • You’re right, Michelle! The unknowns are part of the thrill…except I admit that I’m so thankful to be able to walk right up to my bed and get in without battering my head on the ceiling and so thankful that Angel Joy can walk right in and tuck herself in beside me without being carried! Glad y’all had a blast at the London Book Fair. I feel so badly to have missed it. I would have loved to meet you and the gang in person. Sadly, we had this booked and paid for back in October and it was non-refundable. Perhaps next year…

  1. Oh Steph. You have made me laugh again. This is so you. It’s like reading a Miz Mike book. I could just imagine it. And yes, the tough bits are all part of the experience…tough at the time, but you make the re-telling worth it. Thanks for the giggles, dear! Love it!

  2. Thanks, Val! It gives us the giggles, too, now that we’re home and not banging our heads against the ceiling or carrying poor Angel Joy up steep steps! But I am really sad at heart that I missed meeting you & all the gang at the London Book Fair. I would so love to have been there, but I’m thankful y’all had a great time! Loved your blog about the London Book Fair and the great pictures!

  3. Those kind of “character building” holidays are great to look back on and for telling stories about! poor Angel Joy and your backs! Sorry we did not see you in London. I know we would have had a giggle xxx

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