Category Archives: Feelings

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 – Married To United States Government Property


Chapter One

Married to Government Property (Here comes the Bride)

It has been said that when you join the military you become government property. They own you. My husband was even told that if he got a sunburn and it was bad enough that he could be court-martialed for destroying government property. I know 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 lots of rules that we were expected to obey. He wasn’t allowed to wear his camouflaged (cammies) uniform in town unless he was in his car. We had to make sure he got gas soon enough, so he didn’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. They had to get out and pump their own gas. He had to be in civilian clothes or his dress uniform in order to be able to be outside the car in town. You cannot drink in a bar while in uniform.

While in uniform there was no kissing or other public displays of affection including holding hands. There was even a rule against adultery. The soldiers are 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.

They had to watch their language; indecent language was not allowed. No smoking in some areas. No umbrellas despite the weather. Haircuts were expected once a week.

While walking they can’t eat or drink or talk on their cell phone and they must walk on the right side so their right arm was free to salute. No walking on the grass unless you are training or mowing the grass. And they had to pick up their feet, nothing annoyed the officers more than soldiers scuffing their feet around.

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 can relate to at this point. We found a lot of them out by accidentally breaking one or more.

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 they smashed it 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 mailed, received and the wedding gifts were already arriving.

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 Andy and then the recruiter, before sliding my eyes back to Andy.

“We can’t stop the wedding now. We are too far along. 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.

The wedding went on as planned on July 10, 1976. It was a medium-sized wedding with a reception right there in the church. We had cake and ice cream, along with chips and pretzels and punch. We had no choice as my parents could only afford $500.00, and I had to plan and hold the wedding and reception on that amount. We had nothing saved to add to it.

My wedding gown was simply a 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 $12.00 each. No major changes needed to be made to any of them. I couldn’t believe my luck, since the cost of my sister’s dress had to come out of my little budget.

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 and only had metal chairs. To me a church had pews. I couldn’t change churches as my favorite pastor was there, and I wanted him to perform the ceremony.

When the pastor asked if there was anyone who objected, my friend Sandy’s baby screamed. Sandy had been told not to bring her child to the wedding, but she did anyway, and the baby just happened to scream when the pastor asked if there were any objections. Everyone was looking around to see who had screamed. Seeing it was just a baby, we went back and finished 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, which 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 and he had too, plus he was bald. 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 had no money except for what my part-time job paid me because the military messed up my allotment and I never got it for the 13 weeks he was gone. Not much food and exercising by running around the long block had made me drop a lot of the weight I gained after we got married.

After he had graduated from the 13-week boot camp with a meritorious promotion to Private First Class, we had gone 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 nice 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 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 about 10 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 base where Andy was supposed to report for training. Since we were already married when he enlisted, it never crossed our mind that they would have a problem with him bringing me along after boot camp.

It was dark when we arrived and, we were later than we should have been, but we had no idea where we were going. Exiting the car at the designated building, he went first and stood at attention. I slouched in behind him.

Looking at the faces of those soldiers was not a pleasant experience. We were late, and he arrived with someone they were not expecting.

“Who is that?” one of the men asked, and it was obvious none of them were amused in the least.

“My wife sir!” I was wishing I could just disappear at this point.

He said, “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.”

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

I don’t know how Andy felt, but I wanted to cry. I was tired from 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.

A verdict was finally settled on. There were specific rules since he 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 they were done 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 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.

Precarious Perch


Precarious Perch —- By Tessa

Precarious Perch,

Gripping for my sanity,

Must not let it 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

The book has been updated through chapter one so far (THERE IS A PAGE FOR IT ON THE TOP OF MY BLOG PAGE)


The book has been updated through chapter one. Chapter one is the only chapter that has been vetted through my writing group which includes someone who has been published numerous times and offers her services. Since I am not going the whole real publishing route I figured this is good enough for me. Plus the I get the suggestions from the others in the group as well and so I can pick and choose as to what I agree with.

The group only meets once a month though and the woman I am most interested in doesn’t always come. Therefore her comments will not always be available, so I have to choose whether to go on and post my chapters as they come along (I am halfway done this first book with ideas for 2 more possible after it) and just edit it after I get my edits from them or slowly mete out the story one chapter every month or two, possibly longer if she doesn’t show up. I am just not sure. Plus I would always accept constructive criticism from those of you on here who read it. Most of you are writers as well and know what you are doing and have been published. I already know that commas and I don’t get along well together. When I get my work back from the group meetings there are commas everywhere. I also write long sentences at times and, then I have to break them down.

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

The Freedom Of Forgiveness by David Augsburger


I just started to read this little book on forgiveness by David Augsburger. Forgiveness is something I struggle with. Something happened to me as a teenager and for some reason, I can’t forgive my ex-husband for it. I have been told over and over that if I can’t forgive than I will not be forgiven myself. This book says the same thing. I need to find a way to forgive him what he did to me if I want to ever be forgiven by God for what I have done during my life. This is the first time I have seen it in writing. I have heard it, but this book just appeared on the table in the community room for anyone to take. I picked it up as the title intrigued me.

Once you truly forgive you will forget it. Otherwise, it just hangs in your memory. Hmm, how interesting.

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Myron Augsburger stated:

“To forgive is costly. To forgive…is to carry one’s own wrath on the sin of another; the guilty one is released, the offended one frees him, by bearing his own indignation and resolving it in love. God forgives by carrying His own wrath on the sin we’ve expressed against him…He absorbs our guilt and makes us free. Forgiveness goes through the sin to freedom.
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You must not forgive just the trivial things, but everything, even the hurts that cut and sear. There are no exceptions! Seventy times seven!

The price of forgiving is high!

Be ready to forgive others as God forgave you.

That’s why forgiveness is rare. How can you hesitate to forgive your brother or your enemy?

Forgive as freely as the Lord has forgiven you. It is a free gift. When it is postponed it is vengeance.

Forgive immediately and continually and then finally. It is God’s way. Undeserved or not.

The past is the past. No more reliving it.

You must turn from sin to God.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

EXCERPTS TAKEN FROM “The Freedom of Forgiveness 70×7” by David Augsburger

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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

 

Ow!! My son is torturing me!


He is not purposely torturing me, just wanted to get your attention.

However, he is enforcing my doctor’s requirements. He just got his personal training certification and he knows more about my situation and agrees with the doctors.

Every day I get:

  1. did you take your medicine?
  2. did you drink the required amount of water?
  3. and then he drags me out to walk whether I want to or not.

He hates all the medications I take. He thinks I shouldn’t be taking them and he won’t even put aspirin in his body. He tells me I am always drugged up and slurring my words. He parks way far from where we are going and makes me walk. I have a handicapped placard. He rarely lets me use it. He plans to study more on nutrition. I get that from him too. I know I shouldn’t be eating like I do.

I am complaining, but he is doing it for my own good and I love him for it.

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