We’ve been doing a lot of traveling this summer, which has resulted in a serious lack of blog updates. But we did remember to take our camera with us!
This summer has been busy with the combination of farming, kid care, and the usual academic work. I haven’t been running up against a book deadline, as I was last year, but this time around I was traveling a lot more, giving papers on new projects. I’ve been away from home 5 weeks of the summer, three of them with kids in tow. We had our heads down so much last year, between my book revisions and Sydney’s launching a farm, that we were glad for a chance to move around a bit this year.
Katherine, Nathaniel, and I spent a week with my parents and extended family at a reunion in Oklahoma over Memorial Day weekend. Lots of heat and ticks, but nice to see everyone again. The kids and I then drove with my parents up to Iowa. I have to say, my hometown has gotten a lot more interesting now that I no longer live there. The elementary-school playground is much more fun than the old one we had when I was in school, and my town now boasts a lengthy bike/walking trail that runs right through the middle. The latter would have been handy for all of my walks home from high school . . .
My parents also kept the kids for a week while I gave a paper at a conference in Colorado, after which we headed back home to Kentucky. And then July was Faulkner Month. I spent a week in Virginia, hunkering down with 8 other editors for a digital humanities project on William Faulkner. I’ve been part of the collaboration for six years now, and it’s great to finally make some lasting connections and friendships in my areas of specialty. I saw some members of that group two weeks later, when Katherine and I met my mom in Mississippi for my final conference of the summer (on Faulkner! in Faulkner’s hometown!). More on that later.
Meanwhile, Sydney also tried juggling farming and conferencing this summer: after a brief trip to Iceland with friends just after school let out (tickets were cheap), he hopped from Seville to the Netherlands for two back-to-back conferences early in June. I just hope he continues getting such opportunities to speak when the kids are older, so that I can tag along.