Greetings from America!

Are you surprised to read that? Well, you should be since very few people knew about my trip. I mean, even my parents didn’t know! Which was the plan, as I was trying to surprise my Daddy for his 70th birthday.

And I think it might have worked. Or at least he pretended not to know… (Either way, I saw the tears in his eyes so I know he was pleased to see me whether he knew I’d be there or not.)

You see, for his birthday my sisters decided to have a family dinner at The Old #3 (Dad’s choice). He was expecting to see most of his daughters and their families. (As I live in Scotland, it was assumed I’d be absent.)

But when he arrived, most of his siblings-in-law were there, too. Which was a great surprise to Dad.

After all the exciting greetings of “wow there are more people here than I expected” I was given the go-ahead to leave my hiding place in the restaurant’s backroom.

It took a moment for Daddy to realise someone was standing in front of him… but he seemed quite pleased and surprised (as did Mum) when he looked up.

Here’s a wee video of the big reveal, when I explained that I didn’t get to the post office in time to send his card and birthday monkey, leaving me with no choice but to hand-deliver them.

Anyhow, I am here in the Homeland for about two more weeks. But my laptop has died so I am waiting on a newly ordered one. This means I might be a bit quiet for a couple of days because typing on Mum’s split keyboard is pure agony. Especially as the letters are worn off the keys and I can’t touch type!

But I’ll be sure to share stories of my travels soon.

Photo: Copyright Parker Eberle; used with permission. L-R: Royann, Veronica, Jessica, Dad, Celeste, Mum, and Me.

Video: Copyright Virginia Soderstrom; used with permission.

[Note: I owe a special, massive thank you to two of my sisters who helped with the surprise by helping with the cost of the flights. Being a starving PhD student means trips like this are a financial challenge, and their generosity is appreciated more than words can say. I am excited for the day when I am back to full-time work again so that I can either pay them back or pay it forward.]

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