Good Luck Amidst the Bad

On Gretchen Rubin’s “Happier” podcast, she relays the following teaching story:

Good Luck, Bad Luck — How Do You Know?

We got a taste of that last weekend when an EF3 tornado ripped through the middle of town. Jonesboro is a small city with a population of about 76,000. The tornado didn’t travel a straight path, obviously, but this map approximates its path. I’ve marked some of the places that were hit. The map doesn’t show where it went after the airport, when it hit a furniture store, an ambulance base, damaged another neighborhood of houses, and knocked a train off its rails before continuing north to Paragould and beyond. I heard that flyers for Aldi (where the tornado dropped) were found in Rector, MO, approximately 150 miles away.


“Homes destroyed” should have been above the mall, not below it. Sorry!

My two favorite lines from this video are “What are we even doing???” and “Well, did not expect this today! This is great. The apocalypse is AMAZING.” Arkansans are awesome. 🙂

This video shows an aerial view of the path of destruction in reverse, starting at the northeast side of town and ending up where the tornado started.

magic touch 2

Magic Touch dry cleaner. German Auto Tech, the mechanic that fixes my car, was behind it and was also wiped out. If anything happens to my car, I guess I’m buying another vehicle because nobody else works on Saabs. 

gateway tire

Gateway Tire


Post office


View from the VA Clinic on Red Wolf Blvd


You can see the post office in the upper left

tacos 4 life

Tacos 4 Life is just east of Kohl’s and Ashley Furniture. 

Just to the north is Academy Sports, where Willie McDonald became a hero.

5 guys

5 Guys Burgers & Fries


Ulta, across the street from the mall


Kirkland’s, next door to Ulta

Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic is bad luck for all of us, but on this day it was a silver lining in the storm clouds. There normally would have been more cars on the roads and people eating out and shopping. While our population isn’t that large, Jonesboro is encircled by many small towns. People from 50 miles around come into town to shop and there would have been hundreds of people at the mall.

But not that day. Because of the coronavirus, the mall was almost empty.

mall 1

Door’s open, come on in.  :p

mall 2


B&N 2

Inside Barnes & Noble

best buy 1

The entrance to Best Buy

best buy 2

View from inside the mall, looking toward the front of Best Buy

The mall interior pictures were taken by a friend who is a paramedic and first responder.

mall 6

Inside the mall

mall 3


foot locker

Foot Locker doesn’t have an external entrance


Street sign from Red Wolf Blvd, which is several hundred feet from the mall.

mall 7


mall back

Neighborhood behind the mall

airport 3

Jonesboro Municipal Airport

airport 1airport 2


Southern view from NEA Baptist Hospital

emersonbrooklandbrookland 3brookland 2


The train derailed and fortunately, the worst chemical that spilled was ethanol.

Because of the coronavirus, there were no fatalities from this tornado. Twenty-two people were injured and only two of them were hurt badly enough to stay in the hospital.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Almost forgot:  it took a few days to get the results back, but my mother was negative for COVID-19. Yay!







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