Was last week a bad week or a good week in the Mitchell household? It all depends on how you look at it, I guess.
It started off well when I got to drive my car to work Monday after returning the rental I had had for a couple of weeks. You may remember I had run into a pole in the parking lot behind New Albany City Hall with my nearly new SUV.
But Greg Richey had made it as good as new and I was feeling pretty good. That was Monday.
On Wednesday I drove to work in a hard rainstorm. The river was rising and I was fretting about whether the Tallahatchie was going to flood the Gazette building when my phone rang.
It was our son Joe, telling me he had been involved in an accident while driving to class at Ole Miss. The highway patrol was arranging to have his car towed, but he needed me to come pick him up.
As I neared Oxford, it was raining so hard I could barely see to drive. There seemed to be no other cars moving around the town.
About that time, Joe called to say there were tornados in the area and he had been dropped off at Baptist Hospital, where everyone had been told to sit in an interior hallway. A tornado had been sighted west of the hospital, he said.
Uh oh, I thought. It’s probably not the best time to be heading that way. I parked the car up against an embankment behind an auto-parts store to wait out the storm. After about a half hour, the sky turned from black to gray and I ventured over to the hospital and picked him up.
Because he had two afternoon classes scheduled, I dropped him at the university. I learned later that the classes were cancelled and Joe spent much of the afternoon sitting in the basement of the student union because of new tornado warnings.
As I drove back to New Albany, I noticed much of the low-lying land along Highway 30 already was flooded and some trees had blown over.
When I got home that evening, I found one of those trees blown over was ours. A large pine was lying in our back yard. The good news: It missed the house, the patio furniture and three newly planted trees next to the patio. The other good news: The Tallahatchie crested Wednesday night without flooding the area around the Gazette.
Saturday morning, I rummaged around in the garage and found the ax my father had given me 35 years ago. I know little about using an ax.
But Joe chopped up the tree and our next-door neighbor, Joe and I managed to haul all the pieces to the street. We were proud that the limbs were gone and we still had ours.
So was it a good week or a bad week? Cars and trees can be replaced.
Compared to the week that many had across our area and the South, ours was a good one. We’re not complaining.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.