Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Spring appears to have arrived early this year. The buds are bloomin’ and the tornadoes are spinnin’... and it’s only the first week of March.

In like a lion, my aching ass.

This past Friday evening was more exciting than usual. Or desirable. All day we had been peppered by weather forecasts with varying degrees of Doom ’n’ Gloom, owing to there being an enormous outbreak of tornadoes across the midwest and southeast. It brought back unpleasant memories of last April 27, when gigantic storms cut huge swathes across Alabama and Georgia, demolishing entire towns.

We were enjoying Friday evening dinner with our friends Gary, JoAnn, Laura Belle (she of the recent surprise party), and Don. Not only was it Shabbat, it was also an especially auspicious occasion: Laura and Don’s thirty-third wedding anniversary.

By nine o’ clock, dinner had been consumed; the dessert and coffee portion of the proceedings was underway. That’s when the local weather reports began taking on the sort of frantic tone that indicated we might be in for some of that unwelcome excitement.

Tornado Night
Mike Francis, of local NBC affiliate WXIA, dispenses an alarming forecast.

What really got our attention was a report that a tornado was on the ground, complete with debris signature, chewing up downtown Marietta (about six miles west of us) and headed our way. As if on cue, that’s when the sirens started to sound.

When you start hearing the names of local streets in the midst of a tornado-related weather report, your sphincters tend to squinch up a bit. Even though the really bad stuff looked like it would swing north of us, things were starting to get scary. And given the notoriously capricious nature of these beasts, we decided that the prudent course of action was to hie ourselves to the nearest basement (at our house, a short drive away) and hide out. Which we did.

After several nervous minutes, we realized that the storm had passed us by. A little rain, no hail, and no serious wind. Another bullet dodged.

The next day, the main east-west thoroughfare was closed about 2.5 miles west of us. Numerous businesses just a mile west had had their signs blown away. Nothing too serious...

...but there were plenty of people in counties west of us who were not so lucky.

It’s the price of living in the southeast, I suppose. You get the most beautiful springtime on Gawd’s green earth, and along with it is the small (but nonzero) probability that you can get blown to kingdom come. In a small way, is that not the story of life?

Update: The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF1 tornado dropped down onto Roswell Road, staying on the ground for about a mile. This was roughly three miles west of here.

As tornadoes go, an EF1 is no big deal... unless your house happens to get nailed. Fortunately, most of the damage seems to have consisted of trees having been blown over... or snapped in half.

Huge pine trees in East Cobb Park - just three miles west of Chez Elisson - were snapped like matchsticks. Oy.
Anything with enough power to snap a tree with a trunk over a foot in diameter like a matchstick deserves a certain amount of respect, don’tcha think?


Kevin Kim said...

It's impossible to read that blog title without thinking:

some tornadic evening
you may see a twister...
you may see a twister
amid the cloud and gloom...

Fiona Kathleen Hogan said...

Every year, when this starts happening, I get a little nervous for you and Eric.
*wry grin*