Daily Archives: April 13, 2020

Chapter 6 – Cruelty to Animals (Government Property: A Memoir of a Military Wife)


To read previous chapters click here for the list of chapters or click on the link at the top that says “Government Property-A Memoir Of A Military Wife.”

Chapter Six

Cruelty to Animals

The last base housing we lived in was on Daphne Court. I remembered that street name as I always liked the name Daphne. Daphne Court was a real court with several sections of row houses, six to a set, all around in the shape of a court. Our street did not go through to the base. We had to go to the highway, which intersected Daphne Court and turn right. We would drive down and do a U-Turn and head back up the freeway to the base.

Now, these were excellent housing units. They were for the higher-ranked enlisted men. These were much bigger than the ones the lower-ranked enlisted in the military got and better for the most part. They had much larger rooms and a separate laundry room, which we didn’t have in the old ones. The only reason we were there was that they were tearing our old units down for a huge parking lot for a store they were putting in on base.

We had large screened-in back porches, and we were on the corner, so we also had a side yard as well as the front and back yards. Behind us was another street, and the rears of those row homes faced us.

One of the higher enlisted men had a boxer. He was a beautiful copper color and a powerful animal. The owner, a man with broad shoulders and a well-muscled chest, was so cruel to that animal. We all complained to someone on base at one time or another about the cruelty. We half expected him to kill it eventually. He dragged it around by its chain and lifted it into the air, so it hung on the chain and beat it. Some of the men confronted him, but nothing was ever done by authorities to intervene on that poor animal’s behalf.

We had two mutts ourselves. We kept them in the screened-in porch when we went somewhere as the door would lock from the inside. One day, they managed to get the door open. They broke the lock. They must have headed for the highway and made it across. A workman over there recognized the dogs, and he and a friend brought them back. When they realized we weren’t home and that the dogs had broken out of the porch, they took them back with them and left us a note. We couldn’t keep them on the porch anymore. It just wasn’t safe for them.

We had a mother and one of her puppies. Now the puppy was sometimes put out on a stake and chain. One day we caught the neighbor’s children torturing her. These children were black. They beat the dog and then ran to a few feet outside of her reach. We had no idea how long this had gone on. We stopped putting the dog out on a chain at all, once we found out what they were doing.

Now flashing forward four or five years later to when we were back and living in New Jersey after he got out of the military, we put up a fence for the dogs to be able to run around loose. We hadn’t thought that entirely through. Kennels were so expensive, but we had this fencing, and so we put the dogs out there.

One day I hear a man’s voice yelling, “Lady, lady, please come get your dog.” I was mystified, but then I heard him calling again. I hesitantly looked out the door, and here was the meter reader pinned against the meter by our dog. She was a big dog and hopping mad. It suddenly dawned on me the man was black and the same race as those children who had tormented her all those years before. She was ready to tear him apart and had dug out from under the fence. I finally managed to pull her off and take her into the house.

Now, this wasn’t the man’s fault, but the dog didn’t know any better. The meter reader was black, and the dog remembered the black kids tormenting her, and she never forgot. We had to get a real kennel after that. You can train an animal to be mean. They do remember. Those kids took a friendly dog and made it mean if you happened to be a black person. She was lovable as all get out to everyone else.

Chapter 5 – Beaches (Government Property: A Memoir of a Military Wife)


To read previous chapters click here for the list of chapters or click on the link at the top that says “Government Property-A Memoir Of A Military Wife.”

Chapter Five

Beaches

With our move to the second base, we were a lot closer to the fishing piers down on the inlet. I had never really fished before, but I tried it once off the end of the pier and enjoyed it, so we usually went every beautiful day. We had our first child by now, and she was an infant in 1978 and would mainly sleep in her playpen so we could fish without too many interruptions.

I liked fishing, but I am afraid of live bait. Usually, we used frozen shrimp, which wasn’t a problem for me. If Andy used a small fish we had caught or worms, it was his job to bait the hooks and, he had to take all caught fish off the hook because I wouldn’t touch them. If they were big enough, they went into a cooler to take home so I could eat them. I loved eating fish, but he didn’t.

One day he got this bright idea. I was the one who ate the fish, so I should be the one who had to clean them. I wasn’t happy with this idea. He assured me the fish would be dead by then, and it wouldn’t be a problem. I reluctantly agreed.

He dumped the cooler of fish into our sink and handed me a knife. I reluctantly took the knife and reached in for a fish. I managed to clean it. Okay, that wasn’t so bad, I thought. I picked up the next one. It moved in my hand, and without thinking, I tossed that fish across the room and into the wall where it slid down to the floor, leaving a nasty slime mark. To say he was annoyed was putting it mildly. I reminded him that he promised me they would be dead. He went back to cleaning them.

Our first daughter was getting older, and keeping her in a playpen was getting harder. I was pregnant again by now, which would be the summer of 1979, and occasionally my fishing was interrupted as I had to watch the older child roam the pier when she refused to stay quietly in the playpen. She was 20 months old when her little sister appeared on the scene in October 1979. She could no longer be in the playpen as our 2nd daughter took her place. Now I had a toddler running around that I had to watch all the time.

We spent every weekend at the pier. The kids were pretty good, so we continued to take them. Getting a babysitter for every weekend wasn’t possible. We had our best friends Charlie and Kim take them occasionally, but we didn’t expect them to keep them every weekend. As it was when I went to work, they ended up watching first the one and then the two of them when the second one came along. They watched them so much that the oldest daughter started to call them mom and dad and us Terri and Andy. It took a while to break that habit.

As time went on, we had a toddler and an infant who was approximately eight months old and learning how to walk. With two toddlers walking, the youngest had to remain in the playpen. We put it next to us on the pier. The oldest was walking around and, she was interested in the fish wriggling by the fishermen. Those were sharks that the fishermen had left to die as they didn’t want to keep reeling them in.

One day the people around us started to yell, and eventually, we realized they were yelling at our daughter. While I was busy pulling a fish in, I had taken my eye off her. She was walking the pier and kicking the sharks back in. There were a lot of sharks in the water, and they were annoying when you were trying to fish and brought up a shark instead. Some of these were large too, not all of them were tiny. She stayed away from the large ones. She was afraid of those.

I stopped fishing and kept an eye on her. I was trying to get her to understand that she couldn’t kick anything back in. Try reasoning with a two-year-old. I had to go back to watching her and not fishing much.

The eight-month-old was amusing herself by throwing her toys out of the playpen. We picked them up, and she’d throw them back out. That was fine until she started throwing them over the side near the pier rails and into the water. Before I had realized it, she had thrown her bottle over the side and into the water, and we watched it float away. Great, now she had to be moved. Not to mention, we lost a whole bottle from our bottles allotted for the day.

We moved her playpen to the middle of the pier. We hoped it was far enough away from either side for her to throw either her toys or another bottle overboard. I had to settle for throwing my line into the water and letting my husband watch it and pull it in if something got hooked on it.

We spent every weekend and almost 24 hours a day there during those weekends. They did close at times, but we spent every open hour there on the weekends, and fishing was a significant part of our life at that time.

When we went back ten to fifteen years later to check out the area, it took forever to find the mobile home park that had been infested with roaches that we had lived in briefly, and when we did find it, it was nothing but a pile of junk. The homes were tossed around, smashed, and looked as if a giant child had a temper tantrum with his toys. We knew it was the right one because the A-frame office survived. We couldn’t figure out which mobile home we had once lived in though with all that mess. I did some research and saw that several tornadoes had hit that area over the years since we left there.

We found the pier and walked it for old time’s sake. I don’t remember fishing off it at that point. We had the girls with us at that point, and they weren’t much interested in fishing at the advanced ages of teenagers. They were happier back at the campground where there were many activities, including a pool and the travel trailer we had bought so we could go camping.

We also got permission to go on base, but everything there was different, as well. It used to be a very rural type area, but after all those years, it had grown as well as the towns surrounding it. We barely found anything that was still the same. It was kind of disappointing. Both of our old base housing areas were gone. The only thing I recognized was the “Dairy Queen” ice cream stand. It was still there.

New Numbers of Virus in NJ


A couple of days ago the numbers had risen to over 62.000 people in NJ with the coronavirus. Part of the problem is the people who aren’t’ taking it seriously. They are out in public in groups. They aren’t wearing masks. When is it going to stop climbing? How many have to die before we take it seriously? I have a father in a nursing home. They had a sick employee. Thank God they caught it before it infected the residents. I can’t even see my father due to this virus or my children either for that matter. I have seen each child once from over 6 ft away and I was masked. I saw my newest grandchild who is now 4 months old from a few feet away briefly. I was again masked. I haven’t seen my other grandchildren at all. Because I live alone we all are practicing social distancing from each other.

I am quarantined in my apartment all alone. I don’t go out unless I have to get food or medicine or in one case I had to go to the doctor since I was showing symptoms of the virus myself. Thank God it was just another case of Bronchitis and it looks like we caught it early enough that I won’t have to go to the hospital this time.

Wednesday I have to go get my refill for my pain medicine since I have to give a urine sample. I am on very little pain medicine now. She has got me off since the incident. I might as well use aspirin for all the good this Tramadol is doing. I get 2 per day of the lowest dose. Big deal.

And then Thursday I have to go to the podiatrist to get my toenails cut and my feet checked since I am diabetic. I can’t phone my urine or my toenails in so out in public I will have to go. My Endocrinologist and my Psychiatrist are doing tele-appointments. Some I simply canceled.

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

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

5 Don’ts for a Better Relationship With a Fibromyalgia or CFS Doctor


5 Don’ts for a Better Relationship With a Fibromyalgia or CFS Doctor

My family doctor who Is about to become my main doctor, since I finally qualified for Medicaid, doesn’t believe in Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He tolerates my complaints but doesn’t do anything about them. I have stopped talking to him about it.  I was talking about my condition with my rheumatologist, but all of my doctors are about to change since I am going to have to find Medicaid doctors instead. It won’t be easy starting over with all new doctors, but I will be saving money and that is the important thing right now. I have to survive on a small Social Security Disability Check.

 

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

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.