I don’t get out much anymore, but I still feel that my world is very large. Friends come to visit. My sons telephone to share what they have been doing. I listen to recordings of books. My caregivers tell me about what is going on in their lives.

My emails are also important ways to stay in touch. Yesterday I received a message from Lesley Richardson, a relative on my father’s side of the family. She and I share a deep interest in genealogy. She has just returned from Scotland where she visited many of the places from our family’s past.

Lesley’s letter took me back to those places and people I had visited, too. Here is her message.

Dear Evelyn,

I hope you are doing well. I meant to write you when I got home from Scotland, but things have been so busy here. I have been looking through my pictures, notes from my trip, and my copy of your book Our Corrie Family Records.

What an amazing trip it was! It was beyond my wildest dreams. As I mentioned in my last email, Muir Hunter was such a nice man. He was so excited to show us the Terregles churches and cemetery. He took us up the hillside to look down over Clunie.

We left with copies of maps and Corrie information that they have there at the church. You are quite the celebrity there!

From there we went to Kirkcudbright and I got in touch with John Corrie of Tongland. We made a plan to meet at his home for lunch the next day. John took us out to see his farm and he fed his Belted Galloway cattle.

Sandra fixed us a cold lunch of salmon salad which was delicious. John showed me his books and family crest. Then Sandra brought out the Corrie ring made of gold and agate. She also showed us a hunting bow, christening gown, and decanter that have come down through the family.

We met John again two days later at the Borgue Church cemetery where we found Father John’s grave and those of some other Corrie family members. Then John took Barb and me to see the Corrie land.

He took us to a beach that he and his family love. We shared it with a herd of cattle that didn’t seem to mind us. Then he took us to Senwick House that is now used as an assisted living center. It is beautifully maintained.

We walked in the back to the gardens and I thought about our ancestors looking out at Brighouse Bay from the same place as we stood. After that John had to go to get ready to leave for Edinburgh for the Royal Highland Agricultural Show where he was to be a steward.

I wish that we could have had more time in Kirkcudbright. I was so impressed with how friendly everyone was. They went out of their way to help us. I met a wonderful cousin and I hope he and Sandra will keep in touch with me. I can see why you fell in love with the place and made a second trip there. Maybe another trip will be in my future. You never know!

Thank you for all you have done documenting the Corrie Family. I hope this letter finds you well.

Best wishes always,

Lesley Richardson

It has been many years since I visited Scotland. I will probably not go again. That made Lesley’s letter very special.

Tonight I am going to turn my attention to Iowa Public Television coverage of the talent show at the Iowa State Fair. I enjoy this program every year. The best performers from Iowa’s ninety-nine county fairs will be on stage. I especially like to hear the young pianists. I am amazed at their talent.

Tomorrow I hope to hear more about RAGBRAI when one of my sons calls. Jeff and Bob were on the bicycle ride across Iowa in July. I am still enjoying their stories of friendships they made along the way. Iowa seems at its best during that ride. I can imagine being in so many of those small towns with churches serving meals and groups offering pies.

Years ago I would say that my door to the world was my mailbox at the end of the lane. Now that door includes the internet, television, and much more. Add friends and relatives, and I can still imagine going anywhere.


Oatmeal is a traditional ingredient in Scottish cooking. Here’s a recipe for delicious Oatmeal Pancakes.

1 ½ cups rolled oats

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tablespoons oil

¾ cup flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of salt

Combine oats and buttermilk. Let stand about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs and oil. Combine dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fry on a hot griddle. Serve with syrup, fruit, or preserves. Makes about 12 pancakes, depending on size.

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