tornadoes, basketball, taxes and sushi

Our weekend was quite interesting weather-wise. We had to cancel plans to go to Peachtree City on Friday to visit friends for the fear of traffic concerns going through the city of Atlanta. What normally would be an hour’s drive would have turned into 3 — easily. Atlanta had St. Patty’s Day parade prep, Atlanta Home and Garden show, insurance conventions, Passion Play, the SEC tourney at the GA Dome, and it was rainy and icky outside, and so on. Most of all, it was Friday. Friday ATL traffic is the worst!

I had hopes of hitting Red Robin cafe in PTC/Newnan that night for a good burger, but since we canceled, we decided we would make our own at home. We were also tuning into the SEC games since KY would be playing GA at 9:45pm in ATL — and that’s when it happened. In the middle of AL and MS State’s OT, all of a sudden you hear the commentator’s yell “what was that? . . . was that a train? . . . people are running for cover!”

It was surreal. You could see in one swift motion all the players exit the court, the fans in the dome went running out of their seats, and the camera guys switched from shots of the court to a ceiling shot where the scoreboard and lighting trusses were building momentum in these big, long sways . . . back and forth . . . side to side. Insulation debris was scattering around like snow and panels of the dome were ripped and flapping in the wind as rain was coming in the dome’s upper bowls. The announcers were speechless. That was the moment that all the weather bulletins started interrupting television programming with tornado watches and warnings — for the next 20 hours!

Turned out that they let AL and MS State finish their game that night, but afterwards, all SEC games at the dome were canceled and moved to GA Tech. Finally, UKY and GA started their game and I became oblivious to anything going on except the game. We started getting phone calls from friends and family saying “are you guys in your basement? . . . what’s it look like there? . . . any sight of funnel clouds yet?” I was thinking, “geeze, there’s lots of rain outside . . . what’s the big deal?”.

After hearing the concern from others, I decided that maybe we should be watching some weather updates. Oh wait — but the game is on! But tornadoes are heading our way! But, the game. Okay, I compromised and used PIP technology. Picture in picture is kind of cool! When the little rotating icon got closer to our area, I’d swap pictures and listen to what the news had to say, all the while keeping an eye out to the little square in the corner of my screen where UKY and GA were playing. Okay. One storm down, another two or three to go.

The next storm dumped hail 2 to 3 inches in diameter for nearly 5 minutes straight. It sounded like someone was dropping metal out of the sky as the hail hit the gutters, cars, mailbox, metal porch roof . . . It was quite impressive. Abe thought it was popcorn or something because — yes, we were standing on our stoop this whole time — he was going after those little balls of ice and bringing them in the house like it was an Easter Egg Hunt. Around the neighborhood, you could see blinds raised and curtains drawn back with everyone’s faces peering out the windows watching the hail storm. When that one blew over, we resumed watching the game, where sadly, UKY lost to GA in OT. What is hysterical about that is that all the Bulldog fans down here are in complete surprise at GA’s recent wins in men’s basketball!

After that, I researched local CPAs and then online tax software and was determined to save my $200 and do my own taxes for another year. Our financial situation is not too complicated for me to try it again — I think. I landed on using TaxAct online. Seems as easy as TurboTax and it shows a refund and nothing owed — I love it!

We had a dinner date of sushi and jazz at Azel Blue with Kim and Aaron. It was nice to get outside after two days of weather dampening our plans. We enjoyed sushi and friendship and toasted to that day, two years from now, where all four of us will be parents by then and be out on a couple’s date with a babysitter at home watching our sweet kiddos.

By evening, the storms and tornadoes had stopped and the news was covering all the damage and debris. Sorrowfully, we all thought about the families that were devastated and even those that had lost a special friend and family member in the perils of Saturday afternoon’s deadly weather. I thought about how valuable time is and how precious my family and friends, my home, and my life really is.

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