Although we’ve been enjoying some time with everyone home, we’re suddenly going to be doing a bit of traveling, two at a time. On Thursday, Katherine and I will fly to Memphis, where my parents will pick us up and drive down to Oxford, Mississippi, home of Ole Miss and the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference. I’ll be spending most of my time at the conference, where I’ll be giving a paper, and Katherine will be spending her days with Grandma and Grandpa Birdsong. Given the temperatures, I think our time outside will be limited to short adventures and early morning walks (I’m all for acclimating, but it’s been about 60 degrees here in England most of the spring, and Katherine’s definitely never seen 100 before!). Although I am a little nervous about juggling family and work time while there, I am excited to see my parents, glad to be back in Oxford, and excited about the opportunity to talk to other Faulkner enthusiasts, both professional and not.
Less than a week after Katherine and I return from Mississippi, she and Sydney will fly to Nova Scotia for a month, where Sydney will get to be a farm boy again and Katherine will have her Penner grandparents and uncle all to herself. After the past few weeks, when we’ve seen a bit more fighting between the siblings, we’re looking forward to doing some one-on-one parenting. Katherine can read books without them being torn by her brother! He can cuddle up with me without having a big sister jump into the mix! I think he and I may have to have some adventures of our own, since it’s a lot easier to travel with one baby than with two in tow. Besides, I’m happiest when hatching plans, however modest, and I know that there is a lot of England we won’t be seeing once the school year starts.
Sydney and Katherine will return just in time for us to mark our seventh wedding anniversary in the middle of August, so we can look forward to a nice reunion celebration.