Sunday, June 08, 2008

Adventures in Travel

You may have noticed my conspicuous absence from the blogosphere. This is because I have been on travel for nearly a week.

I left on Monday for Austin, Texas, where I was attending a meeting. It was a planning meeting for a big convention which is being held there this year. The meeting went well and I got a lot more work done at the times when I didn't have any meetings and while I was in the airport.

I came back home on Thursday, just in time to hop in the car and drive up to Lexington the night before my dad's retirement party.

Yes, my dad is finally retiring. His department held a nice reception for him on Friday, and invited his family to come too. Four of his siblings made it to the party, as did Laura, one of our bonus sisters, and myself and my family.

In honor of the momentous occasion, Laura and I composed a song in Dad's honor. It's a family tradition to sing a silly song immortalizing the person whose accomplishments are being celebrated. All three of us sisters participated in the composition of the song. I realized while I was in the shower last Saturday that "Yellow Submarine" was the perfect tune for it. So the song started out with:
In the town where I was born,
Lived a man who cared for trees.
And he told us of his life,
And his fight against plant disease.

The song was a big hit, and we had people singing along with the chorus ("He's a hero of plant pathology / plant pathology / plant pathology."). Dad wasn't embarrassed at all (Darn! That was part of the goal!) and lots of people came up and complimented us on the song.

We enjoyed seeing so many relatives. They were all gone before noon on Saturday, but we stayed on with Dad and Marvis until Sunday. Dad took us strawberry picking on Saturday. He knew of a field experiment where they let you pick strawberries for free, so we picked at least three gallons of strawberries, which Jeff and I are in the process of cleaning and freezing. Oh, they are good! I'm saving some out to give to my colleague who was kind enough to take care of my summer student while I was gone all week.

On Saturday night we went out for pizza to celebrate Father's Day with Dad. Afterwards, we went to the park and us four adults hovered over the one child in the group. Vinny had a good time playing on the playground equipment and swinging. We had a late breakfast this morning before taking off for home.

I had a good time in my travels but I am glad to be home. I am looking forward to getting back to work and to meeting my student.


rachel said...

Sounds like an awesome party!

Jenny F. Scientist said...

Field-experiment strawberries? I am burning with fruit envy.

Rebecca said...

Jenny, just move to a place with a land-grant university, and befriend some agriculture students or faculty. You too can pick field-experiment strawberries!

ScienceGirl said...

I was making a very likely guess that you would be going to this convention, but now I know for sure (I am on the committee as well :) Perhaps I'll get to meet you in person some day!