I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore

So last night we grabbed a couple of friends and headed out to a little dive for beer and wings, because that seemed like a fitting way to celebrate our last child-free night. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot get the kids interested in hot wings. (Or beer. Damn kids.)

So anyway, first someone brought us some water and then DIED, or at least that’s what we assume happened, because after a good half hour of sitting there with just water, Otto had to go track down someone to wait on us. The gentleman he brought back was extremely sweaty and I could not stop staring at his hairline, where his hair was plastered down with wet and beads of sweat clung to his forehead. “What do you suppose he’s doing that’s MAKING him that sweaty??” I asked, after he left; but even as I said it, I realized that was one of those questions I really didn’t want answered.

There was some confusion over our wings order, because we tried to order 40 wings and they don’t OFFER an order of 40 wings, you see. So we tried to explain that he could put it in as a 30 and a 10, or even as two 20s, and collectively we were thinking Wow, this guy is a real MORON, but after a few minutes of back and forth it finally became clear that actually, what he was trying to tell us was that 50 wings cost about the same, and we should just get 10 more. Apparently, WE’re the morons.

So we got our wings and ate ourselves into a stupor and talked and laughed and had a great time, and the men even made plans to bond over a trip to the dump this morning, because apparently That Is What Men Do.

We sat long after the food had been demolished, but eventually had to get up and go home. Back at the house, Otto and I fell to our computers because WE’RE ALL ROMANTICAL LIKE THAT, and I was checking email when Otto told me that they’d had a tornado in Atlanta.

You know, a tornado? One of those big funnel cloud things that’s only supposed to hit trailer parks in the boondocks?

So we spent the rest of the evening watching CNN and our local channel and marveling at the damage and the surreality of it all.

Today, Atlanta is basically, well, CLOSED, and we’re under tornado warnings until 7:00 tonight. As of right this second, the airport is reporting delays of 15 minutes or so. But the next wave of storms isn’t here yet.

GUESS WHAT! My kids are supposed to be flying home tonight.

The good news is that they’re flying through Charlotte—Oh! Well! Charlotte isn’t all that far; maybe we could just drive over there to pick them up!

The bad news is that they’re flying through Charlotte—which is also under heavy storm warnings and a tornado watch. Their airport might end up closed, too.

My kids have been gone for an entire week and with all due respect to the weather, THAT’S ENOUGH. Time for them to come home, preferably without involving a traumatic plane trip where they get stranded somewhere.

Mother Nature is sort of a bitch. Hmph.


  1. Valerie

    She is sort of a bitch, isn’t she? Moody and unpredictable as all get out. But that can work in your favor, too, because maybe the storms moving through will break apart before they get there. I’m sending good vibes that the kids have a safe and an uneventful trip home.

  2. pam

    Ooooh I’m flying through Atlanta tonight… If I see Chickadee and Monkey wandering about I will put them securely under my wing till you come.

  3. Mandee

    Good news is I’m only 20 minutes south of the airport and this current wave hasn’t even brought us any rain. Of course, it never rained here last night either. We’re usually the ones getting slammed (I have a permanent tornado set-up in my basement/crawlspace complete with dog bed. The good news is I can still get my wireless signal down there). Here’s hoping everything has blown over by the time the kids are scheduled to land.

  4. Astrogirl

    How strange – I thought every kid was like our Bunker Monkey, who will eat anything (including shoe leather) as long as it’s fried. He’s not a big fan of the beer either, but hey, give him a big ol’ cup of hot coffee, he’s in heaven (Um, no, we don’t usually give him coffee, actually, but he’s been caught trying to abscond with other people’s cups of coffee, so we know he loves the stuff).

    That Mother Nature – she’s just got on her bitch pants today, doesn’t she? We’ll keep our fingers crossed for an uneventful trip for the bambinos. Hey, we’re romantic too – Bunker Hubby and I have spent the last 15 kid-free hours sleeping and watching movies (we have been fighting the flu the past couple days, so the sister-in-law took the boy overnight and today). Granted, there has been some achiness and feverishness, plus possibly some throwing up, so maybe that’s why the no romance?

    Then again, if you knew Bunker Hubby, you’d know that’s a lie.

  5. Headless Mom

    Are they flying alone? If so you may want to check with the airline-they have rules and safe guards for times like these…

    Hope they get home safe!

    And, there is NOTHING like southern wings and ale. Next time have a dozen for me!

  6. carmie

    I thought of you and yours when I read the news….Fingers crossed!

  7. Mary Beth

    We were going to do some antiquing in Forsyth County and decided to turn around and come home after lunch because the waitresses were talking about taking cover in the basement. Now I just got home and the sun is shining but guess it’s better to play it safe . . . .

  8. Daisy

    Yum — wings.
    Yum — beer.
    Not so yum — worries about children’s safety.
    Wishing you good luck and your babies a safe trip home!

  9. Kathy

    Hope the kids get home safe & sound!
    My husband works at channel 5 here in ATL and he said it was a wild and crazy night! Of course it was strange here in GA to have a tornado and not have an interview that started with “Well, we heard what sounded like a freight train behind the trailer…..”
    Hopefully the storms will die down soon!

  10. Flea

    Watch out for cracking Bradford Pears! I hope your kids are able to get in safely tonight.

  11. All Adither

    She’s a bitch and a cow.

  12. Michelle

    It’s amazing how inclement weather can make you realize how much you actually like having your kids around.

  13. Not the Mama

    It was pretty scary here. We’re about 4-5 miles from where the tornado hit, so we escaped without any damage. But my partner’s office is likely demolished. We haven’t been able to get down there to survey the damage, but from what we see on the news, there is no way they are unscathed. No one has called yet to say if they will be able to return to work on Monday, so I have no idea how bad they were hit. I drove past the damaged area today, going down I-85 to my cousin’s baby shower, and it’s insane. The elevator shaft on the Westin (the glass one that goes up to the Sun Dial) is destroyed. There are windows out everywhere and billboards torn off the signs. It’s surreal.

    I really hope Monkey and Chickadee make it home tonight. It looks like the storms are finally about over. Maybe one more small cell, and then everything else is further North. So the airport should be open. But of course “further North” means Charlotte. So… Yikes. I’ll be thinking of them and hoping their return home goes smoothly.

  14. Bill



    Great site for tracking flights. With Safari & Leopard on your Mac you can even add the tracking portion of the webpage to your dashboard and it will live update right on the dashboard. Hope all goes well.

  15. Judy

    Had just read about the tornado and wanted to check here first and make sure things were okay with you and yours. My next step was emailing. Sending up happy thoughts for the kiddos coming in safely.

  16. Cele

    This is why I live in the west, that and so do all my exes. Yes we had an earthquake this morning, but no one died, no one lost a house, no one felt it. And Neptune lives.

    Your children will come home safe and sound, and then you will remind Otto there are generally no tornado watches in the upper New England Area.

  17. StephLove

    I hope they make it home safe and sound and SOON.

  18. mike golch

    been there done that,and donot want any repeats,thank you.

  19. mammafor2

    Beer… wings… I think we made a bad food choice… WE should have followed your lead, if only I had read this first!! Now who are the morons?!

    Hope your family arrived safe and sound. Mother nature has PMS at the worst times!

  20. becky

    of all the things i miss about the midwest, tornadoes are NOT one of them.

  21. Momma Em

    I’d have to agree with you on that one Becky, although I do miss the lightning.

    My parents live 10 miles from Greensburg, KS which is still rebuilding from the F5 that wiped it flat about half a year ago. But then they happen to have a concrete bomb selter in their basement.

  22. Christy

    What the hell? I was in the basement THREE times before 3 p.m. today. Every time I turned around another damn tornado siren was going off. I pretty much gave up running to the basement and just stood in my front yard shaking my fist at the sky and yelling “Come and get me!”.

    Seriously, I’m from Oklahoma and we didn’t get this much tornado action this early.

  23. Brigitte

    Ah, good ol’ New England. We just have to worry about 1 bad hurricane and 1 bad blizzard once every 100 years or so. Not too many poisonous critters or giant insects and spiders, either.

    Good luck getting the kids back in time (and they’ll probably wonder what all the fuss is)!

  24. Keryn

    Heard there was a possible tornado around Athens, and thought of you. Hope everything is all right and everyone is home safe and sound.

  25. lolly

    I could’ve picked them up and held on to them for you!

  26. Jenny

    My husband has been stomping around muttering dire pronouncements about global warming every time a new batch of storms rolls through.

    They did get home ok, right?

  27. Pave.Gurl

    Oh! OH! I wish I had read this earlier. Like, on the weekend or something.

    (I live in That Hub of US Air Hatred. We coulda had burgers! Leandra can tell you I’m nuts but not in the scary/ psycho way ‘cos I used to work with her for a while.)

  28. Mom101

    I can only wish them safe journeys, and you plentiful alcohol.

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