Chicken! Chicken! Gotta Have Chicken!

9 02 2014

It was 1975 and my wife was pregnant with our first child, Brian. Now, when I say she was pregnant, I’m not talking baby bump pregnant. She was more like baby blimp pregnant. She looked like a Volkswagen Beetle with legs and lipstick-and for good reason. The little booger weighed in at 9 pounds and 4 ounces and he wasn’t even our largest child. But I don’t recall my wife ever having anything resembling what they call a baby bump. It was more like one day she’s telling me she’s pregnant and the next day she can’t see her toes. She would lie on her stomach and let the next door neighbor’s kids play see-saw.


We were in the Coast Guard at the time and I was on temporary assignment attending school at the naval air station in Millington, Tennessee. We were living in an apartment right next door to the base and attended church at the base chapel.


Wild Cravings

I had heard that pregnant women would have weird cravings during pregnancy. I vaguely recall an episode of I Love Lucy during which a pregnant Lucy had a craving for pistachio ice cream with hot fudge and sardines. My wife had cravings but none that exotic nor at 3 in the morning asking me to make an ice cream run.


One Sunday, we returned home from church and there was no discussion about what to have for Sunday dinner. My wife already had her mind made up. That’s one good thing about having a pregnant wife-she has usually already decided what she wants to eat so there is none of this back and forth, “I don’t know, what do you want?” which can go on forever. Well, on this particular Sunday, she had a craving for one of her favorite meals. She wanted my barbecued chicken. That meant firing up the grill.


Wild Weather

Now, if you’ve never spent any time in the west Tennessee area let me tell you about the weather. You’ve heard that old saying, if you don’t like the weather just wait few minutes and it’ll change. Well nowhere is that more true than in Millington, Tennessee, just north of Memphis. One Sunday we got up to an inch of snow. By the time we came out of church around noon, the sun was shining, the temperature was climbing through the fifties and there was no sign of snow. Later that afternoon we had a thunderstorm which included hail. Where else can you have that wide a weather spectrum in a single day?


As I began pouring charcoal into the grill, I noticed the sky had begun to darken. By the time my coals were ready to throw the chicken on, it had begun to rain. I have been grilling for 50 years and have never refused to cook on the grill for any reason. I have been known to shovel snow out of my grill to grill a chicken. Heck, one Saturday night with the temperature at an all-time low of 11 below zero, I stood in my backyard grilling steaks. So, I’m not about to be scared off by a little rain. I thought to myself, I have an umbrella and I’m not afraid to use it! So there I sat under an umbrella, my wife watching through the backdoor window with loving anticipation of barbecued chicken. But wait…things got worse. With my chicken about half done, this rain turned into a full blown thunderstorm. So, there I sat under an umbrella, in a thunderstorm, grilling chicken to satisfy my wife’s craving.


I can’t say that had anything to do with it but you know what, we’ve lived happily ever after.

First day home. From day one she had everything under control. This lady was born to be a mother.

First day home. From day one she had everything under control. This lady was born to be a mother.




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