It was well after 10 p.m. when my mother called to tell me she was on her way from Mobile with my father, brother, sister, niece, nephew and brother-in-law.
Hurricane Dennis was blowing them my way with a fear so great they were willing to make a five -hour drive starting at nearly midnight. Needless to say, the hurricane fizzled.
But as I sit here writing this column I am surrounded by my sister's family, winding down after a whirlwind visit.
For a day we had five grown baby sitters for our daughter, all of whom surrounded her like she was a queen on a throne. My house is slightly wrecked but it was worth it.
One could almost say it was a good hurricane. That would be appropriate since it was named after my uncle who died earlier this year.
Of course, I'm being completely superstitious, I know. I mean, people aren't really reincarnated as hurricanes.
Not even hurricanes that have the same name (except for an extra "n"), form into a hurricane over Cuba where said person was stationed during the missile crisis and then heads right for the city where they were born and lived most of their lives.
And the fact that said hurricane then spares the person's hometown almost completely from damage. All that is just coincidence, I know.
The fact that he managed to swing by up here and drop a little rain as greeting, I'm sure, is also merely coincidence. Finally, it's nothing more than chance that the next named storm will be Emily, my daughter's name.
Nobody's trying to tell me anything down here, I'm sure.
Of course, my "good" hurricane took a horrible toll in lives, as most do, killing 10 in Cuba, two in Florida and one man right here in Atlanta.
Ironically my family would probably have been safer staying home in Mobile rather than driving to Atlanta in the middle of the night. From all reports my two siblings who did stay put never even lost power.
But hey, maybe Emily will scare them enough to come on up whenever she finishes brewing in the Caribbean. Perhaps I should build an addition to my house in which all of my relatives in Mobile can live during hurricane season. I'll have to check the zoning regulations on that, though, because the addition would have to be as big as the house or bigger.
Of course, none of the remaining storms are named after relatives of mine. I did work with a woman named Tammy once, but let's just hope we don't go that far down the list.
Ed Brock covers public safety and municipal governments for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .