Wickedness never was happiness. I would not have swiped that tantalizing little tub of Tiddlywinks from the ironmonger's shop of the generous Cunningham family in Golspie. I never let on to anybody and it never occurred to me to brave a return of same. To assuage my guilt I eventually tried to let the gaudy little plastic discs flow away with the water of the burn [creek]--but it didn't work. No--stealing what belongs to others is a sin to be avoided.
Honor is to be prized. I should NEVER have allowed myself to be persuaded by Rita to ditch my excellent friend Helen and go bike-ride-exploring with Rita. My lovely friend Helen never spoke to me again, which was hard enough punishment--but the guilt from my thoughtless action has remained with me ever. Is it too late to make amends?
A smiling, helpful wife is a treasure in life to a working man. I believe I would be more mindful of this when my working man came home; when he needed something . . . To put one's spouse before one's self is, I believe, a sublime form of charity. And the little civilities mean so much.
Oh--I forgot something that could have sent my life in a totally different direction . . .
When nearing graduation, I felt strongly that I should move in the direction of either nutritiion or manuscript editing as a career--but had no idea how to plan for such careers, and no-one I knew who could advise me. So my default plan was to attend St. Andrews University and continue in my "study" of French and German languages. In actual fact, I am not very much of a literature person but very much a language person, and I did adore my studies in the origins, development and usage of language and would go to the Language library to study on my own.
Advisors were not even in evidence at this Scottish university. so I chose a postgraduate course in secretarial studies (though I really knew perfectly well that I was not cut out to be a secretary). I'm glad for the great typing skills it brought me, but I really did not enjoy my job at the Foreign Office, and was simply not very good at it. (How I got the posting to Vienna is still a mystery and a miracle to me.) I made a mild attempt to get into advertising, without success.
I would have done well pursuing English and Writing. I know this because I surprisedly got awarded joint first prize for writing, out of 400 students, in the only English class I got to take at St. Andrews.
Meanwhile, a girl almost exactly my age was dreaming in Austria of a career writing novels. She had already received acclaim at school for the way she could bring ideas to life with words. But life took her in a different direction too. Fast forward to 1969: Krista and I meet for the first time at our joint LDS baptism at the Boecklinstrasse chapel in Vienna. A short time later, our paths diverge again. But forty years after that, we join forces, she writing her wonderful novels and I giving much-needed editing and proofreading help, compensating for my friend's scratchy English grammar skills. We "twins" are both doing what we dreamed of as young girls!
You have such a way with words! I especially love your description of the wife of the working man. Isn't it amazing how we are often led in the directions we find ourselves? Great story.