Daily Archives: May 19, 2019

I redid my book up to the part I was at – you might want to reread it


I rewrote chapters 1 and 2 and they are somewhat different from what was originally posted since I had to take the Marine references out of it. Click here for the 2 pages if you want to read it again or if you haven’t read it yet and would like too.

 

#Haikai Challenge #86 (5/19/19) Blue Flower Moon #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga


#Haikai Challenge #86 (5/19/19) Blue Flower Moon #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Rules:

This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that states or alludes to blossom haze

As always:

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Image on Pixabay

Blooms are Growing

by Teresa Smeigh May 2019

blooms are growing wild

blue flower moon comes this May

rain helps the flowers

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Sunday Photo Fiction – May 19, 2019


Sunday Photo Fiction – May 19, 2019

Photo Credit: Terri Smeigh

***************************

Deserted, Here Too?

(Continued from last week)

By Teresa Smeigh 2019

Myra had promised the twins that they could get food at Wendy’s tonight before the carnival. They piled in the car. Myra had to keep telling them to be quiet.

As she pulled into town, she saw a huge black cloud forming over the area where the Wendy’s was. She didn’t like the look of the cloud as she envisioned a huge storm hitting the area just as they got to the carnival.

She rushed the twins through dinner and then as they headed back to the car, she saw there were no people around at all. The cars on the highway were sitting there empty. She didn’t like this.

She took the twins back inside to use their phone. She wanted to call home and check on her older son. They looked around and all the employees were gone.

Myra headed back to the car and got the twins settled. As she turned around and turned the car on, she saw a small figure with an arrow pointed at her. She quickly accelerated and ran him over. The car was suddenly covered with little men all aiming their arrows at them. She locked the doors.

*************196 words**************

Rules from Susan, the host of Sunday Photo Fiction:

Welcome to 2019 and Sunday Photo Fiction! Each week I will post a new photograph, taken either by myself or donated by a member of the community. The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the prompt. When you are done, post your story and the photo prompt on your blog. Make sure you give proper credit when using the photo.  Use the “Click Here to Enter”  icon to add your story to the SPF collection. While you are there, take time to read and comment on some of the other stories. I know you will not be disappointed.

Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt (HWDP) – May 19, 2019


Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt (HWDP) – May 19, 2019

Prompt A (genre challenge): Comedy

Prompt B (sentence starter): “Come on down!”

Prompt C (photo):

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Rules from: THE HAUNTED WORDSMITH

Welcome to the Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt (HWDP). This prompt is going to be both familiar and different at the same time. To participate, simply read this post and follow where the muse takes you. You may select any, all, or none of the prompts…it’s all up to you. Link back to this post, or leave a link in the comments so that others can find you.

Have Fun!

********************

Come on down!

By Teresa Smeigh 2019

“Come on down!” Bob Barker, the MC of the game show “The Price is Right” yelled.

The monks began clapping and shouting out their guesses. They lived in the monastery and had no idea what the items sold for, but they wouldn’t miss the show for anything.

********************

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

 

 

Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt (Non-Fiction) – May 19, 2019


Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt (Non-Fiction) – May 19, 2019

We will stay on memory lane for a little while longer and visit music and what it means to you. Is there a special song that brings back memories? How has music influenced or affected your life?

Prompt: Music and You

THE HAUNTED WORDSMITH

********************

You Are Not Better Than Me!

By Teresa Smeigh 2019

In the 4th grade, I wanted to play the trumpet. My parents arranged a payment plan for the trumpet and I started lessons. The teacher didn’t want to teach me because I was a girl. The worst part is that she was a sewing teacher and not a real music teacher anyhow.

Each year there was a different teacher. A few years later my brother decides he wants to play as well. He got his trumpet and I was continuously made to play in front of all of my parents’ friends when they came to visit. I hated to perform in front of people like that. I was still just learning and it was embarrassing.

And then the worst thing happened. My parents actually told me that my brother was better than me. I was so upset and my self-esteem suffered a huge hit. It ruined playing the trumpet for me. They never got it.

I told them when I was about 50 that what they did was hurtful. My mom said we wouldn’t have done something like that. Finally, she apologized. It didn’t help much, but better than nothing.

********************

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

 

 

Be Prepared – A Poem


Judgement Day

By Teresa Dean Smeigh copyright August 2015

Be prepared for Judgment Day.
Do not let Satan get in the way.

He will try his very best skill.
You mustn’t let him have his will.

Games he’ll try to sell his sin.
But you mustn’t let him win.

Call him out and let him know.
Jesus is the way you’ll go.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

A Work of Creative Non-Fiction – MARRIED TO PROPERTY OF UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT – A MEMOIR AS A MILITARY WIFE AND THEN SOME


This is a work of creative non-fiction. The events are portrayed to the best of my knowledge. Memoir is written from memory and memory can be flawed. If I got anything wrong, I apologize.

I have changed some people’s names and/or descriptions to protect privacy. All Rights Reserved.

The Dedication For My Book – “MARRIED TO PROPERTY OF UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT – A MEMOIR AS A MILITARY WIFE AND THEN SOME”


I am writing this book and publishing it in a non-traditional way. In other words, I am publishing it on my blog and not charging a fee to people to read it. There are several reasons for it, but any income from it would screw up my government disability and what I am eligible for so no income will be derived from it, just my pleasure in having people read it. I can print out the actual document and make my own book if I want to.

I dedicate this book to my children and their father, Andrew Smeigh. Between us, we had 3 great children and 4 grandchildren (at the time this was written).

I also dedicate this book to our best friends Charles and Kimbaly Stanley who were there for us during the military years and who helped raise our children, while my husband and I were working. My husband was defending our country and I was serving the Officers of the Military at their Officer’s club in their times of recreation.

I also thank Charlie for his service to our country and to Kim for standing by him as a dedicated Military wife.

Thank you,

Teresa Smeigh

Chapter One – Government Property – A Memoir of a Military Wife vs. A Civilian Wife


Chapter One

Government Property

It’s been said that when you join the military, you become government property: they own you. My husband was told that if he got a bad-enough sunburn, he could be court-martialed for destroying government property. There were lots of other things I thought were silly, but as a military dependent, I wasn’t important enough for anything. My role was to make sure that things were right for my husband, back him up, keep my mouth shut, and behave myself by following the rules no matter what I thought of them.

There were a lot of rules that we were expected to obey. He wasn’t allowed to wear his camouflage uniform (cammies, as they were known) in town unless he was in his car. We had to make sure he kept the car filled up, so he wouldn’t run into the problem of having to get gas and not be able to get out of the car to get it because he was in his cammies either on his way to or from work. We had to get out and pump our gas in North Carolina, and that included me. I was glad when we came back to New Jersey, and I didn’t have to pump my gas anymore since it is against the law here. He had to be in civilian clothes to be able to be outside the car in town.

While in uniform, there was no kissing or other public displays of affection allowed, including holding hands. There was even a rule against adultery in some places.

The soldiers were not allowed to put their hands in their pockets, despite having plenty of them. One of the reasons for that was to keep their right hands free for saluting their officers. No wonder, so many of them ended up standing at parade rest. They had no idea what to do with their hands. You could tell a military man by how he stood with his hands behind his back and his feet about ten inches apart.

They had to watch their language. No indecent language was allowed.

Haircuts were expected once a week, two weeks tops. Heaven forbid your hair got too long. Andy kept his short anyhow, as he had naturally curly hair, and the longer it was, it started to curl up.

While walking, they couldn’t eat, drink, or talk on their cell phone. There were no cell phones back when Andy was in the military, but that was a new rule when they became commonly used by just about everyone. When out with someone, they had to walk on the right side, so their right arm was free to salute. There was no walking on the grass unless they were training or mowing the lawn.

One rule that affected me was that his cammies had to be properly ironed every day. We couldn’t afford to take them to the cleaners to have them done, so I washed, starched, and ironed them all the time. This is not my ideal job, but as his wife, it was my duty to see that he was properly dressed. Ironing cammies is not easy.

Now, these were just some of the rules. There were many others, and some of them were downright stupid, but those were the ones that I could relate to at that point. We found a lot of them out by accidentally breaking them.

Andrew, known as Andy to most, had originally wanted to join the military and be on a submarine, just like his brother. It had been a dream of his, and this dream was destroyed when they found out we were planning on getting married and soon. We had already booked everything and mailed the invitations.

“You can enlist with us if you postpone your wedding. We need you now, and it’s not negotiable,” the recruiter told us. They could care less if our invitations were already being replied to, and the wedding gifts were starting to arrive.

I knew this was a dream of Andy’s, and I didn’t know what to say or do. I didn’t know what he would say or do either. I waited with bated breath and looked first at him and then the recruiter, before sliding my eyes back to Andy.

“We can’t stop the wedding now. We are too far along. The gifts are already coming in. I will have to pass if you can’t make an exception for us.” Andy was calm and polite, but he was determined to keep our wedding date, and for that, I was eternally grateful to him. I knew how hard it was for him to give up that dream of being on a submarine just like his older brother.

 We got married as planned on July 10, 1976. We were only nineteen years old at the time. It was a medium-sized wedding with a reception right there in the church. We had cake and ice cream, along with chips, pretzels, and punch. We had no choice as my parents could only afford five hundred dollars, and I had to plan and hold the wedding and reception on that budget. We had nothing saved to add to it.

My wedding gown was a simple long white dress, bought two sizes too small so that I would have to lose the extra weight I had gained (which I did). My maid of honor, my sister Debbie, and the bridesmaids, Kathy Bradley, and Gail Anderson, had dresses that came off the clearance rack for twelve dollars each. No changes needed to be made to any of their dresses. I couldn’t believe my luck since the cost of my sister’s dress had to come out of my small budget as well.

The ceremony was held in the Lutheran church in Wenonah, New Jersey, and my biggest problem with having it there was that they didn’t have pews, only metal chairs. To me, that wasn’t a church. I couldn’t change churches as my favorite pastor was there, and I wanted him to perform the ceremony.

I was now Mrs. Andrew Smeigh. No one can pronounce or spell it. I should have kept my maiden name of Dean. It wasn’t as common back then for the wife to keep her maiden name, and I am old-fashioned anyway and would have taken my husband’s name no matter what it was. Just like I would follow him anywhere, and not too long after that I followed him to North Carolina when another recruiter from a different branch called and said he could enlist with them even though he was already married.

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I drove down to South Carolina for the graduation from boot camp. I had lost a lot of weight, but he had too, plus he was bald due to having to shave his head for boot camp. I didn’t recognize him at first. I know he was surprised when he saw me as well because I looked good. While he was gone, I’d had no money except for what my part-time job paid me because the military messed up my allotment, and I didn’t get it for the thirteen weeks he was gone. Not much food and exercising by running around the long block had made me drop all the weight I had gained after we got married.

After he had graduated from the thirteen-week boot camp with a meritorious promotion to Private First Class, we went home directly from the graduation and packed all our belongings into boxes, and we were ready to load the car for our trip to North Carolina for his training. All the boxes I had packed did not fit in the car, and finally, in exasperation, Andy ripped them open and just dumped all the contents into the trunk and back seat, and we left behind what didn’t fit. We had a long car trip from New Jersey to North Carolina, and we needed to get started. He had been given ten days of leave till he needed to be at his duty station for training, plus one day for traveling.

After a very long drive, we arrived late that night at the building on the base where Andy was supposed to report for training. Since we were already married when he enlisted, it never crossed our minds that they would have a problem with him bringing me along after boot camp.

It was dark, and we were later than we should have been, but we’d had no idea where we were going. Finally, getting out of the car at the designated building, he went first and stood at attention. I slumped in behind him.

Looking at the faces of those soldiers was not a pleasant experience. Not only were we late, but he’d also arrived with someone they were not expecting.

“Who is that?” one of the men asked, and we could see that none of them were amused.

“My wife, sir!” I wished I could disappear at this point.

“What did you plan to do with her?”

“Sir, we have money saved, since they never started the allotment to her during boot camp, so we were going to get a place to live in town.”

They talked among themselves. The recruiter knew we were married, and we had expected rejection since his first choice had already turned him down. But the recruiter said it was not a problem, so Andy had signed up and gone to boot camp. These guys were uninformed of the fact that he was married and it seemed that they had not been in this position before. They went back to the conversation about what to do about me.

I don’t know how Andy felt, but I wanted to cry. I was tired because of all the packing and repacking. Add in the long trip and being in a place I didn’t know, and the only person I knew was my husband. We waited with bated breath.

They finally made a decision. There were specific rules since Andy wouldn’t be living in the barracks like the other recruits, but we could live with them. I had to drive him onto the base to the barracks very early every morning, and then pick him up every night once training was over for the day. He was required to take his turn doing guard duty at the barracks, called Fire Watch, and on those nights, he had to stay overnight. On the days they had a field day, which was a deep cleaning of the whole barracks, he had to participate in that as well.

We found a mobile home park just a short way off the base. It was called Yopps Mobile Home Park in Sneads Ferry, NC, and every day I drove him to the barracks and back home. It wasn’t far at all. I kept myself occupied, driving the other wives around during the day shopping, doctor appointments, etc. That was until the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child.

Chapter Two of my Book “Government Property – Memoir of a Military Wife vs. a Civilian Wife”


This is Chapter Two. If you missed Chapter One click here and go back and read it first.

Andy and I at approximately 16 years old. I was in one of the short shorts I made a lot of and a short top I wore similar to those I always wore. Ah, to be young and thin!

Teresa Dean at age 16 in my bikini. I was a born flirt.

Teresa Dean at age 17 in my hip huggers. In winter I lived in these types of hip-huggers.

Teresa Dean Smeigh at age 19, just 6 months after we got married. Andy was in boot camp and I had to send a picture of me in my bathing suit to be hung on the board. He was the only one married there, but he put me on the board anyhow. He was proud of me.

********************

Chapter Two

Eyes Left

I was an exhibitionist and a born flirt from my preteen years to my mid-adult years. In real life, men were always attracted to me even when I gained the extra weight, and I  couldn’t help myself when it came to flirting. I remember one year, my mom watched me, and she turned to my sister and said, “She still has it.” I had been flirting for something I wanted. Men just naturally gave me things for free. Later on, my husband started to send me into the auto parts stores because there was a good chance the man working the counter would give me the item.

My self-esteem rose when I knew a man was excited by me. I dressed very skimpily whenever I could. I needed proof that I was somebody, be it hot, sexy, pretty, whatever. I just felt like I was nothing all of my life.

My first real job was as a salesgirl for Wanamakers in the mall in Deptford, NJ. The mall was still in the process of being built, but several stores, including Wanamakers, were already open. I never thought about there being a dress code; after all, I was just a teenager. On my first day, I arrived at work in my usual attire of a micro-mini skirt and a tight top that barely covered my stomach.

My boss took one look at me and said, “I won’t send you home right now because we need you, but you need to lower your skirts to your knees or wear pants. And all tops must cover your stomach.”

That wouldn’t be easy as my wardrobe didn’t contain many of those. I spent the next couple of days sewing suits – pants, skirts, and a matching jacket, and I got some shirts to wear with the jacket. More sewing than I usually did since most things I made didn’t take more than a half a yard of material. A suit with a pair of pants and a skirt with a jacket took a lot of work. I made a couple, and each could make two outfits, and I worked part-time, so I had enough for the week. The pants I usually wore weren’t acceptable either because I wore hip huggers since my waist was about 16 to 18 inches tops. I had an hourglass figure and had to buy the pants to fit my hips.

At that point, I weighed 86 pounds and had a large chest. I loved it when men gawked at me. Even better was when traffic would stop as men stared at me, almost causing a few traffic accidents. Those days it would make me feel so good about myself. I was a teenager and didn’t know any better. Like I mentioned earlier, I would make my clothes and would make lots of short shorts, short tops and halters and of course micro-mini skirts. I had a sexy body, and I knew it. I loved to show it off. If a man was around, he was usually attracted to me and stared. Nowadays, there would probably be just as many women openly admiring me as men since everyone is coming out of the closet.

Now that I was married and in North Carolina with my husband, I resumed my behavior after an incident that happened one day while I was taking him lunch on base. Our mobile home park was close enough that I could drop him off in the morning and return at lunchtime with his food, so he didn’t have to eat just sandwiches. I could cook him something hot and bring it just as easy.

So, every day I made his lunch and drove it to him on base. On the first day, I found the parking lot where he could locate me and sat in my car with the door open, and I sat sideways in my seat with my legs out and on the ground. I was nervous. It was hot, and I wore short shorts and a halter.

Then I could hear a group of men coming as they were marching to a military cadence. It was fascinating to watch them marching in unison and repeating the rhythm their leader was shouting. It was mesmerizing.

What I wasn’t ready for was as they came abreast of my car was the leader shouting, “Eyes left!” The platoon, as a whole, turned to face my car and took in the sight of me sitting there skimpily dressed.

It was very disconcerting at first, having all those eyes fastened on me. I eventually got used to it happening and provided visual entertainment for the troops most days. My exhibitionism was back in full swing. I didn’t know it then, but there was a dress code for both military and dependents, and I was in violation of it in those clothes while on base. Since I didn’t get out of the car, it wasn’t a big deal, but it meant not getting out to spend time with my husband while I insisted on dressing like that and, for that matter, it was frowned upon if you kissed in public. They had a rule against public displays of affection, so we couldn’t even kiss goodbye when I left. They certainly had a lot of rules. It eventually became I drove up, waited, he came to me, and I handed him his lunch, and without a kiss, he headed out to eat.

As fall approached and the temperatures were cooling down, I had to change my wardrobe anyhow and start to wear maternity clothes. I was quite large, and you couldn’t miss that baby, and so people stared at me for that. Strangers would come up and touch or rub my belly. There’s something about a pregnant woman, especially a tiny one with a large belly. I was still under 100 pounds at the beginning. Sorry to say I never saw that number again after the first child. Each child caused an increase in my weight, which I have never been able to get rid of to this day.