It's been a while since I posted here. I've been doing a lot of Facebooking, however. Reading, writing and commenting over there has taken time away from my composing anything for these pages. In an attempt to play catch up I have a few comments/observations.
On a personal level:
Daughter Jessica has made The Big Move. She left Grandma's house in New Jersey and, with a packed little Yaris and her cat Jake, drove out to Anaheim, California to begin a new chapter in her life. She has friends out there that she met in college and others she met on line. She and Jake are sharing an apartment with three of the latter that is a short distance from Disneyland and has access to several Apple stores. She has job applications at both.
Relative to that move, Terry and I have been packing up much of what Jessica left behind and hauling it to the Aerie for sorting and storage. The trips back and forth to New Jersey (three so far) have been exhausting but productive. They have also been a bit of a challenge to schedule around possible snowfalls and rush hours, and to navigate when we miscalculate and get caught in a snow squall. I-80 the other day was a bear when there were several accidents including one that shut the west-bound lanes down completely. Luckily that was j-u-s-t passed our exit to turn north. Unluckily, it meant everyone had to take our exit which lead to one hellacious back up.
If nothing else, I've got a lot of books to read and music to listen to.
It's D-day minus three for Terry and my trip down south. Monday we set off in the Winnebago Access for Mardi Gras time! One of the couples we met on our trip to Alaska lives in the Lafayette, LA area and they are hosting a get together for the crew. Looks like there will be ten or so groups from that Alaskan Caradventure in attendance. We'll hit a number of small town parades while avoiding the Big Easy like the plague. Especially since the Super Bowl crowd will be there. (One of the couples has a son-in-law who works for the San Francisco 49ers and they have a chance to attend The Game. Lucky them!)
On the final day of our visit (February 12th) we'll have our own float in one of the parades. I'm looking forward to the people, the parades and the cajun food.
In preparation for our trip, we made arrangements to have a cat sitter come in to the Aerie to feed the ferocious four and empty their litter boxes. Mallory has done this before when we went to Portland, Oregon and American Canyon, California. A junior in high school, her Grandpa was our general contractor on the Aerie. Should the weather at the Aerie turn snowy, either Grandpa or Grandma has four wheel drive vehicles and will get her to the house on The Hill. The whole family is Good People.
We also made arrangements with a fella down the hill to plow us out should need be. He's the uncle of our local auto mechanic (who also volunteered to take care of our cats) and plows the neighbors' driveways/yards. I told him that if they need plowing to come over and do ours too. I'll need a place to put the RV when we get back.
The weather, after being unseasonably warm in early January, dove right past "normal" to abnormally cold. It was minus 2.2 degrees yesterday morning ON THE PORCH and never got above 6 degrees. The wind, when it was blowing hard, brought some snow squalls down from the Great Lakes and Finger Lakes. Now that it (the wind) has died down, we're jsut getting the occasional flurry.
Terry has a solo trip into New Jersey scheduled for Friday into Saturday to attend a baby shower. Forecast is for some snow along the way but the amounts keep dropping. She and I will keep an eye on those forecasts and, if necessary, will cancel that particular excursion.
The largest outdoor show on the East Coast is the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA. It's a show that thousands and thousands of folks flock to every year. This year the organizers, Reed Exebitions, made a last minute decision to ban all things tactical because of the shooting that took place in NewTown, Connecitcut. This forced some vendors and non-profit groups to pull their product and their support from the show. It also set off a firestorm of protest. Hundreds of vendors large and small have pulled out of the show. Almost all of the celebrity speakers/demonstrators have cancelled. Virtually all the sponsors have pulled out. (I believe Progressive Insurance is the only sponsor yet to make a decision.) Thousands of potential attendees have decided that they would rather visit the vendors on their own sites rather than fork over the $10 entry fee.
The show is geared toward hunting, fishing, boating and shooting. Taking a stand against the 2nd Amendment by banning tactical firearms did not sit well with either the vendors, speakers, or the public. Also, the show typically has guides and outfitters from around the world. Many of them are in a bind because they are not local and Reed has not told them of what's happening and they haven't heard the news of the protest in progress yet.
Reed Exhibitions really misjudged this one. You might say they really screwed the pooch in giving the finger to their customers.