Friday, April 07, 2006

Have a nice day.

How was my day?

Thanks for asking. I thought I'd get an early start to go get my kid from school, because there was a thunderstorm heading up that way, and I didn't want to drive in it. So I got on 65 North and a firetruck passed. Then another. Then another. All the way up 65, emergency vehicles were getting on the interstate and going north. Probably about 20. "Uh oh," I think. "This can't be good."

Did I mention my kid goes to school in Gallatin?

So I'm pulling off on Center Point Road, and there are people pulled over, standing outside their cars, looking up at the sky. I look back and see that there is a tornado. And guess what? It looks like it is heading straight for my kid's school.

At this point, I'm not having a good day.

I'm trying to get through to the school via 411. Calls dropped. Listing not found. Calls dropped. Nine out of 10 calls are failing. I finally get through to her mom. Center Point Rd. has some huge trees blocking it. I am five minutes from school. And there is a big fucking tornado heading right at it.

She answers. I calmly say, "I CAN'T GET THE NUMBER TO THE SCHOOL, THE ROAD IS BLOCKED AND THERE IS A TORNADO HEADING RIGHT AT THEM. CALL THEM AND TELL THEM TO GET THE KIDS SOMEWHERE!"

I try to get over to Long Hollow Pike. I get there. The cops have it blocked off. There are roofs, trees and powerlines everywhere. Again I am five minutes away. Both my routes are blocked. The phone rings. "I got through, the teacher said they're OK, but couldn't talk. I'll try back later."

The only other way I know to get there is all the way up Gallatin Road and come back down Hwy. 109. Twenty-five minutes later, police scream by and close Gallatin Road. I know now that the intersection at Hwy. 109 has been destroyed. I turn around. I notice there is a new map I just bought on the seat beside me. (Idiot.) I go down to New Shackle Island. Traffic is crawling at five miles per hour. Failed call after failed call. I have no idea what became of that twister heading to the school. Trees and power lines strewn across the road. Traffic is crawling. Can't get through to anybody.

I finally get to the school a tortourous hour after I was five minutes away. They didn't have a scratch. But a couple of my kid's classmates are homeless. Their houses were flattened. On the way back, I passed through the path of the storm. Maybe two miles from the school. Major destruction everywhere. Two miles from the school.

How was my day? Pretty good. Kind of stressful in the middle, but it's OK now.

11 Comments:

At 6:11 PM , Blogger Aunt B said...

Oh, god. Thank god she's okay. I hope you're holding together.

 
At 6:44 PM , Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

*hugs*

I'm so glad y'all are okay!

 
At 7:22 PM , Blogger bridgett said...

Man. I dropped by earlier and was going to give you some ass about being funnier when you were writing about nekkid women instead of dogshit...now I'm glad I didn't.

My husband's currently teaching at Ole Miss while the Kid and I are hanging in New York. He's had three sets of tornados go through the last couple of months and each time my heart's in my mouth. He's reported in and he's fine too, though he's going to have to help a friend tarp over a blown-off roof.

 
At 8:45 PM , Blogger Exador said...

I don't know. To me, this brings back a specific memory. I'm not a parent. I don't know what it's like to have a kid. But I've been in plenty of bar fights, and EVERY TIME, I worried about my own well being.
There was one time, when my niece was about 2 or 3, that my idiot teenaged sister left her idiot drugged out friends to babysit because she wanted to go somewhere. I remember walking in the room. Three or four guys basically gatting high, watching TV, not looking after the child. I remember my niece looking at me with a look of "I'm scared". I remember scooping her up and...firmly...insisting they leave immediately. What struck me later was the foreign feeling of having absolutely no concern for my own well being.

I've always thought that that is what it feels like to be a parent.

 
At 9:49 PM , Blogger jag said...

You're a good dad. I'm glad all the kids were ok.

 
At 11:07 PM , Blogger Busy Mom said...

Damn, I was scared just reading that. I was in much the same situation as that in 1998 and it's still with me.

 
At 11:33 PM , Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Wow. Busy Mom told me about your day and I had to come see it for myself. Glad you're all okay! :)

 
At 12:45 AM , Blogger Ryan said...

I'm glad to hear all is well with you and yours.

Hug that girl.

Don't let go until she pulls away from you.

Then, later, hug her again.

Best,
Ryan

 
At 1:44 AM , Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Glad turned out well, Knuck. AND that you and Lil' Knuck are safe and sound.

Days like today make me realize how quickly life can turn on a dime.

 
At 8:21 AM , Blogger Lee said...

Wow. Glad everything if fine now.

 
At 1:35 AM , Blogger Wendy said...

Glad to hear everything is OK. My dad got out of Gallatin half an hour before it hit.

 

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