Saturday, May 10, 2008
Evening in a Meat Locker
I just talked to my son in San Francisco and he said I HAD to post my evening's experience. You go along having a regular kind of day...then in an instant things get kind of strange.
First, let me tell you that today was graduation for both Searcy High and Harding University. This is a small town. It's full of visitors. There was an unplanned for five at my house. I wasn't really expecting to cook, so had not prepared anything and they didn't want me to cook anyway. That tells you something about my cooking ability! So I got on the phone calling all the local feeding establishments and found they were either totally full of people or out of food.
My sister-in-law, Sandy, and I, decided to go prowl the grocery store on my end of town and just "find something." There had been stormy weather around the state all day....in fact, we've had storms on a regular basis for months it seems, some of which have been deadly. It's been pretty sad. But, here in Searcy, we have been particularly lucky. (The photo shown here was not taken today, as I did not have my camera. It was taken at the beginning of one of our many previous storms! This is just a small example of what it tends to look like here these days.) It took us a while to find something appropriate for supper (after all, the fried chicken and fish supply had been depleted by the crowds) and as we approached the check-out, we were suddenly pushed out of the check-out area and told to go to the meat locker. There's a tornado coming, they said (as the warning sirens started blasting away). You have to go to the meat locker! Lots of drama in their voices as they pushed us along.
I've never been in the meat locker of any grocery store...but I suddenly found myself in one with about twenty-five people. Twenty-five, or so, people of all ages, mostly young, but a couple of the older set, such as myself. It's a really cold place. The employees brought in some of those white coats that the butchers wear.....most people were really cold. I, being the age I am....did not really need the coat..yet. There was a lot of nervous laughter. I mentioned that if we were THAT cold, we should huddle together, but no one seemed to notice the words. Someone wondered why the meat locker? I thought it might be that if the store fell in...they'd know in advance we were all in the same area together. One of the employees, a teenager, came in waving a bottle half-full of Dr. Pepper, asking if we needed anything warm to drink. "Not that," I said. We all laughed again.
Looking at the people, I wondered how many stories they could tell and what story we would tell at the end of the night. Some took photos of the group with their cell phones...that was funny. My sister-in-law sent a text message home that said "HELP, we are locked in the meat locker!" Later we found out "home" wasn't checking the messages! After a while, the sirens died down and we were led from the locker. A sense of relief was evident. Actually, the store employees were VERY nice, so thank you HARPS employees! And, you know, being cooped up with twenty-five people you don't know and weren't sure you would ever want to be cooped up with (and vice-versa) wasn't so bad. And, once again, Searcy was lucky!
We are thankful. Sandy and I got back home in one piece, the guys were all ok, my NEST was fine and to top it off.....a delightful slice of Harp's Coconut Cream Pie. Just another Saturday night at Bird Nest on the Ground! Pat
(UPDATE: I am editing this post on Sunday....last night there were tornados all over the area, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma etc. Many people died...I think I heard nineteen on the early morning news. Just an awful night. Searcy really has been very lucky and we have those less fortunate on our minds this Mother's Day.)