I may disappear from online for a few days. Please don't be surprised if I don't post any new articles for the next several days. The mailing of the Plus Edition newsletter on Sunday also is in jeopardy. Chances are I won't have any electricity. All this is because of a new addition to my family tree.
Starting last winter, I have been leading the life of a "snowbird:" I spend my summers in pleasant New England weather and my winters in equally pleasant central Florida. It has been a great life, until now...
Last week, my daughter presented me with a new granddaughter (Emelia Kate, 8 pounds, 1 ounce, mother and daughter are doing fine). I wanted to be present so I flew back to Massachusetts at the last minute and was here when my granddaughter was born. Life is great! Or, at least, it was great for a few days.
Before leaving Florida, I checked the ten-day forecast for Massachusetts and everything looked great. The weather was supposed to be sunny and cold the entire ten days. Of course, New England weather forecasts are notoriously inaccurate for even ten minutes, much less ten days... I booked a return flight for the evening of February 8. That's today.
You may have heard on the news that the biggest winter storm in more than twenty years hit New England today. Forecasts vary but all the weathermen are predicting at least two feet of snow accompanied by 50 mile-an-hour winds inland with 70 or 80-mile-an-hour winds along the coast. (I was to fly from Boston's Logan airport, which is built right on the salt water in Boston Harbor.) The storm should peak about 8 PM this evening. That's the exact time I was supposed to take off from Boston.
Some weather forecasters are predicting even more than two feet of snow and all seem to agree that the high winds will form snow drifts of three to five feet high or more in many locations. The governor has demanded everyone stay off the highways. No planes are flying.
So here I sit marooned in the house in Massachusetts, not in sunny Orlando.
Even worse, the power companies are advising customers to expect widespread power outages. If the power goes off, it could be off for two to five days. Of course, when falling limbs down power lines, they usually break telephone lines as well. Cable television and most all the Internet providers also lose service at the same time. In the past, cell phones have usually continued to work during all winter storms but sometimes get overloaded as everyone starts calling their friends and relatives.
I am rather well equipped with a laptop computer (plus another laptop I can "borrow" from a family member) with fully-charged batteries. I have spare batteries and no less than two different "air cards" that connect to cell towers' 4G wireless data networks. In theory, I should be able to remain connected. However, I know from past experience that planning doesn't always work out as expected. Even if the hardware all works, I will be tempted to minimize usage in order to preserve the batteries as long as possible.
The bottom line is that I might not be able to post articles for several days. Please be patient.
I would also like to apologize to the Imperial Polk Genealogical Society of Lakeland, Florida. I won't be there tomorrow to deliver the presentations as previously scheduled.
I wish I was in Orlando...