Jac came so prepared, it was worth a Snapchat (Photo by Emily Blackwood).

Sunday storms bring panic and pizza to the Blackwood house

Obviously I was okay with the pizza part.
By: 
Jan. 24, 2017

Sunday morning I turned on the TV hoping to have some easy background noise while I was eating my Frosted Flakes. I found the opposite.  

"MASSIVE STORM APPROACHING," the weather guy yelled from my living room. "TAKE SHELTER. SECURE YOUR BELONGINGS. FIND A ROOM WITH NO WINDOWS. TELL YOUR PARENTS YOU LOVE THEM AND YOU'RE SORRY YOU DIDN'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL." 

Or something along those lines. 

I opened my blinds expecting to find a dark cloud looming overhead with the promise of terror the weatherman was warning about. Instead, I saw nothing but beautiful blue skies. 

"THIS IS NOT A DRILL," he screamed as a bluebird calmly landed on a tree branch out front. Was this guy even living in the same state as me? 

But everywhere was flooded with news of the oncoming storm. It was said to hit later that afternoon, bringing heavy winds, rain, lightning — and potentially even hail and tornados.

Panic is usually my middle name, and the impact this weather had already had in Georgia was enough of a reason to worry. The same storm that killed 20 people was headed right in our direction, making the current beach-worthy weather very confusing. 

I called my mom to ask what she thought I should do, and she reassured me that it was probably fine. But then I heard my dad loudly disagreeing with her in the background. 

"HURRICANE FORCE WINDS," he shouted. "BRING IN ALL YOUR STUFF." 

Well, he may have used a more vulgar acronym for "stuff," but this is a family paper, so we'll keep it PG. 

Motivated by my father's strong advice, I brought in all my stuff from outside and secured it in my garage. I didn't want to be alone during what could be a very intense night, so I was thankful when my friend, Jac, told me her power went out.

She and her puppy, Riese, were coming over. And yes, the dog is named after Riesling. 

Jac arrived at my house the way I wish all people would: bearing gifts. She had a box of leftover eggplant and meatball pizza and two pints of ice cream for us to share. We settled into the couch with our food, wine, and animals close by and prepared for an evening of Netflix and storm watching. 

"Maybe we should turn down the volume," I said after a few episodes of "Stranger Things." 

"Yeah, might be a good thing to know if a tornado is coming," she said, seemingly half-asleep. 

While the weatherman was still crying "hurricane force winds," for us, the excitement was surely dying down. It felt a lot less like the end of the world and more like an average Sunday night. 

Then I heard it. The whistle. 

At first, it was so quiet I thought it was coming from the TV. But as I turned the volume down, the whistle only got louder. 

"Oh my god Jac," I said, pulling Bear closer. "I think I hear a whistle." 

"A whistle?" 

"You know, when a tornado is coming, it can sound like a train whistle." 

We both got quiet and listened closer.

"Emily," she said rolling her eyes and sinking back into the couch. "That's an actual train." 

The crisis was averted, and for the first time, I was thankful for a boring evening.