I’m back, and with (stolen) tornado footage

Who knew my blogging hiatus would be noticed? Life got really wild in June and I got complacent living the unexamined life. Luckily, gentle bloggers Sarah and David have coaxed me back. I’ll begin with something simple.

I just returned from the Swenson family reunion in Willmar, Minnesota. I know you all want to hear about the relatives, but the most exhilarating thing about it was witnessing a tornado. I took pictures on my cellphone, but I’m just luddite enough that I haven’t figured out how to send them to myself. Lucky for you, gentle reader, there’s a ton of footage on YouTube already. I chose one here that’s both terrifying and brief.


There you have it. I wasn’t quite as close as this video, but my guess is it was about a mile south of our motel. A large crowd of Swensons were yacking in the motel lobby when a wet woman stormed into the lobby seeking shelter from the funnel cloud. I calmly announced that we should all seek shelter in the center hallway, at which point Swensons young and old grabbed their cameras and headed for the parking lot. A good time was had by all.

The ensuing damage tour revealed that damage was spectacular, but limited to things like trees, sheet metal roofs, and a few farm implements. The most interesting damage we saw was the roof of the turkey quonset. The turkeys, largely unscathed, remained looking up in wonder far into the evening.

Maia and Maritha were sufficient schooled in the terrible power of nature and the nature of our own fragile mortality. They also learned to remember their cameras for the next weather event.

I hope to be posting more regularly in the next two months, so I figure I’d wet your appetite. A preview of future entries looks like this:

  • A father examines the milestone of a first daughter’s high school graduation
  • Fishing on Lake of the Woods
  • John Kelly: Man or Myth?
  • Sasquach: Man or Myth?
  • Yeti: Man or Myth?
  • 50 years of my parents marriage celebrated
  • Does a newspaper contain news? And is it made of paper?
  • Some book reviews

That should keep you coming back.

P.S. I almost forgot. A young girl is reported to have been knocked unconscious during said twister, and upon awakening, claims to have traveled with her dog via twister to the Mall of America, where she purchased sweet shoes and learned that “There’s nothing like credit.” Her family and the hired men rejoice in her recovery.

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2 Responses to I’m back, and with (stolen) tornado footage

  1. Sarah says:

    He’s back and clicking his heels!

  2. David says:

    Love the footage. I’ve never seen a tornado though I’ve been in one. Once in Maxwell, during a Volleyball game in the dark of night, a tornado jumped over the gym. I had everyone take shelter in the basement…luckily VB games aren’t that well attended. The thing that impressed me was the incredible noise. It was way, way louder than a freight train, which tornadoes have been compared to…

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