Scotland…My family

I found myself thinking a lot about my roots over the weekend and I felt compelled to share a little about my family.   This is not beer related but it certainly speaks to who I am and to my core values.

I am very proud to be Scottish!  I didn’t always feel that way.  When I was young, I would correct my parents when they said we were Scottish.  I was actually born while they were working in Canada so in spite of the British passport, I wanted to declare myself as Canadian.  I guess that was the early sign of my fierce independence.  But as a young adult, I realized that you can take the girl out of Scotland but you can’t take Scotland out of the girl.  I guess my love of beer probably comes from this fact!

My mum & dad where Scottish to the core.  We are from a tiny wee town called Lochgelly which is in Fifeshire.  Not many have heard of Lochgelly.  It is mostly known for the coal mines which are no longer open.  It is one of the poorest towns in Scotland today.  My family were coal miners for generations and my dad started working underground at the age of 14.  He worked along side his father and brother in the Jenny Gray pit.   He had a very difficult life but I never heard him complain once.  My mum was sent to work at age 14 to live with a wealthy family in near Pittenweem to serve as a companion for their daughter.  I can only imagine how scary it must have been for her to leave home at such a young age.  My parents were next door neighbors in Lochgelly and my dad married my mum when she turned 17.  They were married until the day he passed away in 1997.  My mother fell to cancer in 2002.  I miss them both so very much.

My parents made many personal sacrifices to give me a better life.  Immigrating to the United States being a big one.  My dad always told me to thank my lucky stars that I was now living in country with such vast opportunities.  Thankfully I recognized this to be true early enough in life to have it sink into my core.  I am not sure who said this but there is quote I really relate to: “Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.” The example of hard work set for me by both parents is the foundation of my being.  If I am willing work hard, there is nothing I can’t accomplish.


4 responses to “Scotland…My family

  1. Hi there Art Of Beer. Where in Canada were you born? I’m from right here but on my Mom’s side my Grandma was from Blackpool & Grandpa from Glasgow. When they came to Canada on a sailing schooner they first worked and lived about 1 1/2 miles from where I live now.

    Take care & keep enjoying the good life, Len

  2. My dad was working at a mine in Goderich, Ontario when I came along. We were there only briefly but lived in Canada a few different times; mostly Eastern. There were so many Scottish people in Canada back in those days. I am not sure if it is still a common immigration point these days though. Have you ever had a chance to visit Scotland? It’s a beautiful country with wonderful, friendly people…

    Cheers Friend!

  3. I think that the word “Honor” comes to mind for me reading this. You can do a lot in your life to honor what they did for you. I feel like most Scots are very honorable people from the things I’ve read, films I’ve seen and Highland games I’ve attended.
    I’m glad you have grasped your roots. I’ll be excited to see what you come up with for your venture your seeking.


  4. Great story .. thank you for sharing with us!

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