Saturday, July 24, 2010

a hometown chicken broil and a tornado warning.

july 15
a few hours after the nifty jiffy tour, we headed out to Manchester for their annual chicken broil. this would be their 57th broil and they planned on selling a LOT of dinners.the sky looked like rain so the line for take-out was ridiculously long. and from the looks of it, these folk took their chicken broil very seriously. people had wagons, boxes and laundry baskets at the ready to carry their boxed dinners home.we traveled the length of the take out line to the entrance to the field to see what we were in for and got lucky. there was a less than ten minute wait to eat our chicken dinners on the field.yellow tickets in hand. we shuffled along and each got half a chicken, two radishes, one pat of butter, one roll, a hefty helping of (awesome) cole slaw, a bag of chips and a beverage.the numerous picnic tables appeared to be all full up but we found an empty swath and parked ourselves down for a good old traditional meal. everything was quite tasty and i was thoroughly enjoying the cloud coverage that came rolling in as it had been stupid hot and sunshiny-shiny.that is until the cloggers' music suddenly stopped and the silence was filled with the blast of an air-raid siren. with a sinking feeling in my heart i asked what it was and my host nonchalantly answered that it was a tornado siren and then she went back to her chicken. when i asked if it was for real, her son shrugged and said well...since it wasn't such and such day it must be a real one and suddenly a gust of wind rushed past lifting up paper plates and shaking napkins all over the place.

we a-go-gos are west coast folk and while we roll easily with the shaking in our quake happy town, the twisty-twirly winds of a tornado freaked us out. at least, i can say it freaks ME out. and so i checked my host for cues again and she seemed completely at ease and told me it would just blow past and not to worry. her son determined that he would NOT leave until he finished his cole slaw and little P decided it was time to go home. i attempted to finish off a bit more of my dinner but then another gust boogied on past knocking things over all crazy-like. large numbers of folk stood up and started trekking back to their cars, some gnawing on their dinners, some slugging back their beverages as they power walked themselves off the field. at about this time, the sky grew. very VERY. dark. as in doom. as in, holy heck, is that sky black AND green? the wind picked up enough that we all stood up and i impressed upon the lovely lynn that i was completely FREAKING out and she again reassured me and we made our way back to the car. as we were walking, i was surprised to see people still arriving and getting into the long, long take out line. with an arched eyebrow and a shrug, lynn said it must be a really good broil. the moment we got to the car, big fat drops began to drip on top of us and we drove back to town hoping the sounds and sights event would still happen. it didn't. the rain came but nothing fierce and the wind blustered about but in a lazy kind of way so we headed home and i was relieved that not one funnel cloud came into my view...until i fell asleep and dreamt of many many twisters coming to get me. i am SUCH the west coaster.


  1. Lynn's sister here. I imagine the nonchalant son was my nephew D. I can see him not moving if there was food in front of him during the tornado siren!

  2. I would have been panicking big time! In my area of the states (southeastern PA) we get a twister every few years and I have watched the sky turn that strange green/grey color. I even remember a mini trembler a few years ago but living in the relatively natural disaster-free area would have me hiding under the table for either event! Glad you weren't whisked away!

  3. My exact reaction to a tornado in Texas. I was looking for a basement and everyone else was going about their business. I promised I would go back to California and never return to Texas if God got me out alive. I've never been back to Texas.

  4. So a tornado siren just means a tornado might show up? Do they give you percentages? For instance, there is a 30% chance, 10, 20? Or is it just here's the siren enjoy your chicken... Be very safe.

  5. (LOL) We, native Angelenos, don't know what "real" weather is. I freak out all of the time too - from the mid-west to down south. Meanwhile, just like your post emphasizes - people are just trotting around like nothing (Which is cool…for them.). Out of home-sickness, I'm all about dry heat, an earthquake and a raging fire.



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