June 14th. It is Flag Day in the United States and my flag is out on the balcony. I should not be here in the U.S. on June 14th for a really nice reason. This is not a short story, so get settled.
Some dear friends that I met because of genealogy are the kind of friends that can knock you off your feet. They presented me with a check that would cover a trip to Scotland to research my Stuart, Edwards, Allardice/yce, Grant, Leighton, etc. families. I would research in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and visit Strathdon, Brechin, Arbroath and places in-between. I have an issue with a one sparsely kept parish record so I needed records that are not microfilmed or digitized. I was going to make a late spring trip back to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to check some additional records. I figured I would contact the travel agent and travel later in 2020.
My friend Liz Kelley Kerstens was going to England and Scotland earlier in 2020 with a friend of hers. They were also going to see the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals play in London at Olympic Stadium on June 14th. I had been with Liz and other friends at the Family History Library in January 2020 and we talked about our upcoming trips. After our return to our homes, I heard from Liz. Her traveling friend was no longer able to go with her. Would I consider moving my trip up to June? I could attend the Cubs game with her. Yes, this long-time Minnesota Twins fan thought about going to London to a National League game. It sounded interesting, but there was no way I would be ready. She sweetened the deal by talking about other things we could do. She would do the driving, too! My Copping and Saggers ancestry is from London and Essex. The next day my oldest granddaughter practically commanded that I use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I did tell Liz that I would go to London with her. We both have Essex ancestry so that would be a stop. We would include my research and specific place visits in Scotland and add some sites from Outlander. This trip was getting more exciting all the time.
Then Covid-19 hit. We talked about it and eventually decided the trip must be cancelled. Then Covid-19 attacked the world and we knew our cancellation was totally warranted. The games in London were officially cancelled as of April 1, 2020. (Hmmm, April Fool’s Day but none of this pandemic is a joke.)
So, today I am imagining myself in London, sitting in Olympic Stadium (now called London Stadium), cheering as Liz’s Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals, and chewing on something probably not healthy, and thoroughly enjoying myself.
I was at the 1987 World Series game here in Minnesota when the Twins won the pennant over the St. Louis Cardinals. Imagine seeing them play again 33 years later and still cheering for their opponent. I am issuing a slight apology to my St. Louis friends. I will get to Scotland at some point when I feel it is safe to travel. I think my Grandpa Stuart would want me to eventually get there.
© 2020, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.