Tuesday, March 18, 2008

TORNADO!


Well, last Friday, when I posted my Obama rant, downtown Atlanta was being ravaged by a tornado (see above inset of photo from the Weather Channel).  It blew threw 6 miles of downtown with windspeeds of 130 mph.  We don't get many of those in the Atlanta area, especially right in the city.  One of the worst sections  hit is, a neighborhood in the eastern section of the city, called Cabbagetown.  This same area is where the old Fulton Cotton Mills is located. The mills had been turned into really cool lofts, a few years ago, called The Stacks.  My little brother, Jonathan (36), lived (note the past tense) on the 5th (top) floor of Bldg C.  If anyone has seen the news, the bldg behind C, bldg E was pancaked.  The top floor got completely blown away and the remaining floors collapsed  into the others until they hit bottom.  Providentially, no one died.  Completely amazing.  Most of bldg E was being renovated, so no one was living there yet.  

We went Sunday to get what we could from Jonny's apt.  From the outside, it looked as though the C bldg was fine.  Well, once we got up the pitch black stairs to the top floor, things didn't look so good.  Lots of glass and debris.  When we got into Jon's apt all the walls had collapsed inside and when we got ourselves through the hallway and into his living room we could see down 3 apartments.  The walls all fell like dominoes.  Mercifully, the wall that fell and squashed Jon's whole living room, came about a 2 feet from hitting all of his computer stuff.  Jon works for Apple and he was elated that all his Mac stuff was fine.  His bedroom was mostly okay so we were able to get all of his clothes out.

Jonathan wasn't home when the tornado hit.  He was on his way to a club where he dj's on Friday and Saturday nights.  He's been dj'ing in clubs since he was in his teens.  So, it's something he has always kept his foot in.  Anyway, he had parked his car in a parking garage and said that the light rain immediately turned into what could only be described as all hell breaking loose and suddenly street signs were flying through the open air garage.  He dove between two cars and rolled under an suv.  He could hear the windshields and windows  in cars breaking as flying objects flew through them and within a minute it was all over.  He got up and because he has a little car, it was fine.  It was only later, around 1 am, that I got a call from him that he wasn't allowed back near his apartment.

Well, I am grateful for this big house and the fact that Autumn still sleeps in between Robert and I, because Uncle Jonny is here for as long as he needs to be.  So, he's got a nice big closet and unused queen sized bed.  Apple has given him the week off WITH pay...they told him they weren't going to let him use up his vacation time for this.  I think that is great.  The down side is that Jon didn't have renter's insurance, so the furniture, tv, xbox, and kitchen stuff (all necessities for bachelors) will  have to be replace on his dime. The up side is, for as long as he is with us, he gets to come to Mass with us.  He already came to the St. Pat's party on Saturday night and had a great time.  He is not Catholic, and though once a quite on fire protestant, he is really kind of drifting spritually now. Maybe this will help him to see more of why I became Catholic and will feel more warmth toward the Church.  He wants to get married and have a family and I keep telling him, "Get your butt to church!"  I'm just praying God can help us all make the best of this situation for Jon's spiritual benefit.

Of course, the kids are elated to have their 'Jonny' around.  And that is a good thing.  Jon, who has the same sense of humor that I do, is taking it all really well. But, it is always nice to have lots of folks who love you around you at a time like this.

Of course, prayers are always welcome!

Thank You, Lord, for keeping my brother alive and safe.  Thank you, also,  for blessing Robert and I so that we are in the position to help Jon.  Amen!

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