#threethingschallenge, Fiction, Prompt

Three Things Challenge 502

Three Things Challenge 502

Pensitivity101 Rules:

Welcome to The Three Things Challenge.
Below are three things that may, or may not, be related. Simply read the prompt and see where your creativity takes you.
You can use one, two or all three words in your post, there are no restrictions regarding length, style, or genre apart from keeping it family friendly.
You can use 3TC, #threethingschallenge or TTC as a tag and my logo if you wish.
Invite us along by creating a pingback to this post, then leave your link in the comments so that other people can read your writings and I’ll see it to respond to you directly. You might like to check out some of the other contributions while you’re there.

I schedule the challenge to go out around 6.30 am UK time, but pingbacks have to be approved manually so might not show immediately. This could be because I’m late accessing my blog or due to time differences, but I will get there, I promise!
I look forward to reading your responses, and as always thank you all for your continued support.

Your three words are:



The Birthday Party Part 28 (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12Part 13Part 14Part 15Part 16Part 17Part 18Part 19Part 20Part 21Part 22Part 23Part 24Part 25Part 26, Part 27)

Thomas gathered up the trash from their special meal. Ginny reached over and pinched him, laughing.

“It is so good to see you laughing again. I was beginning to wonder where my Ginny went. You were always smiling and laughing,” Thomas dropped the trash and hugged her to him.

“Thomas you are wonderful and I think it was heroic of you to travel through all of that snow just to pick up our meal. You got all my favorites too. Tell your Mom that I am not mad at her because she forgot to put the order in and it was later than we planned. It tasted wonderful especially since I had all that hospital food for a couple of weeks. That was terrible. You could have picked up some local fast food and it would have been better than what the hospital fed us.”

“I had my tonsils out when I was younger so my only memory of hospital foods was the ice cream they gave me.” Thomas was laughing at the faces she was making at him. It was good to have her back.


Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website –http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  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.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

Book, Memoir, Non-Fiction

The first part of my memoir is now complete

I have now completed the first part of my memoir. There are 9 chapters. Click here or on the page above that says books for the link to read it.

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website –http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  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.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

Book, Memoir, Non-Fiction

Here is the final chapter in my memoir “Government Property – A Memoir of a Military Wife”

Click here to read the entire memoir. This is the last chapter.

Chapter Nine

Time to Re-enlist?

We had about one year left of his current enlistment. His four years were almost up. He had a year and a half left of reserve duty as well. He had to decide whether to re-enlist or get out and just live out the time left in his reserve status and hope he didn’t get called back into full duty.

We were trying to decide if we wanted to have another baby. We needed to do this before his time ran out, or he had to re-enlist. It was getting close. We required over nine months to have a baby and make sure everything was okay for travel with a newborn. So, we had a few months to try, and then time runs out. Do we re-enlist or not?

At that time, the Iran Hostages were a big issue. Our decision depended on who would become president of the United States and perhaps land us in a war. Neither of us wanted him to be sent overseas during active wartime.

Time passed, and I didn’t get pregnant. The only way to do it, so we had the baby in the military, was re-enlisting. We continued to weigh the issues. They were starting preparations for going overseas to the war zone. The wives were all being issued power of attorney since their husbands were going abroad. No one was exempt. The whole unit was going.

We decided not to re-enlist and quit trying to have another baby. He put in his request to get out in December 1980. His enlistment date was December 26, so we figured that would be his separation date in 1980. Our best friends were also getting out that very same December, but they had a separation date before us. It was quite a surprise when they told us Andy’s separation date would be December 8, 1980. Due to the holidays, the people who were not re-enlisting got earlier separation dates. Now we were getting out before Charlie and Kim were.

We prayed they didn’t rescind his separation date and make him stay and go overseas after all. The closer time came, and they were starting the procedures to send the unit abroad, the more we worried about this happening.

We started packing. Slowly packing things we wouldn’t need daily at first, and then more and more of our belongings. We had to decide whether to move with a U-Haul or have the military pack us up and move us. 

One thing we couldn’t get out of was the military inspection of our quarters. We had to pass it, or we weren’t going anywhere. We did a cleaning, but with the threat above our heads about what would happen if we failed that cleaning inspection, we finally decided to hire a cleaning service that would clean and stand that inspection for us. That meant getting out of our housing unit early. We had to stay with someone or at a motel for a couple of days. They would clean, and per the contract, they would stand the inspection.

We decided to go with the U-Haul option. He would drive the U-Haul, and he would have the two dogs. I would drive our car with the children and our cat, who needed a cat box available.

We made arrangements with one of our neighbors on the court to spend a night or two there until we could leave on our separation date. They took us, our children, and our pets in, thankfully. A motel would have been more difficult.

We packed the last of the boxes in the U-Haul and moved down the street for the night. The next morning, we went to leave. Our neighbors had gathered around to say goodbye, and we started to load the vehicles with children and animals. The cat escaped us and took off. We looked for him everywhere. By now,  I was in tears. We had to go, and the cat was nowhere in sight.

My next-door neighbor promised to keep an eye out for him, and if she found him, she would keep him. It was all I could expect. It was better than nothing.

Still crying, I got the kids buckled into the car. Andy got the dogs in the truck, and he proceeded to leave the court, which led to the highway. I was following him. We had to go out to the road and then turn right to the turnaround to get to the other side.

We drove down the highway. We turned around and headed back when my neighbor Caroline came running across the highway to the median. She had the cat in her hands. We stopped on the road, and I got out and got my cat, thanking her profusely.

Now we could go. We had about a 10-hour trip, not counting stopping for food and bathroom breaks. Andy didn’t have a radio, so he was traveling with just the dogs for company. I had the radio on, and just before we got home, they announced John Lennon’s death on December 8, 1980. I started to cry, and when we stopped for a bathroom break, I got out crying. Andy asked me what was wrong, and I told him. He wasn’t as upset about it as I was, of course. I was the Beatles fan, not him. Plus, I was the emotional one. Things like that didn’t bother him.

We got back into the vehicles and finished the last leg of our trip, and eventually arrived at his mother’s house. We had made arrangements with another friend in New Jersey to store our belongings until we could find our own home. We could stay with his mother, but our belongings couldn’t. She didn’t have the room to store them, although there was a lot less than we would have had if we didn’t use some of the furniture supplied by the base. The truck had to be emptied at his friend’s house and then returned to UHaul.

We were now civilians again. Our lives were about to change. Military and civilian life was different.


Here is chapter 8 of memoir “Government Property – A Memoir of a Military Wife”

Here is the link to the rest of the memoir. Parts 1-7 are already posted.

Chapter Eight

Wall of Fire

The smoke wafting down the hallway was not a nightmare; this was my worst nightmare come true. FIRE!! Real live burning fire, and I was trapped inside with some of my friends. Nothing in my life had prepared me for this.

            I was so terrified of fire as a child that I could not watch anything that may contain a fire. I was sent out of the room when the news was on TV because there were always fires. The film “Towering Inferno” debuted in the theaters when I was a teenager, but I was forbidden to join my friends when they went. My fear of fire was a real phobia.

            I would wake up screaming from the nightmares as a small child. I could not articulate to my parents at that time precisely what was wrong. I told them I was seeing my bedroom walls burning, and I couldn’t get out. My parents were mystified. Nothing of a traumatic nature had happened to me as a small child with fire.

We believed in reincarnation, and when I tried past life regression, it showed that I had died in a fire in a previous life. Considering how it affected me, I would think it was my very last life before this one.

            As an adult, the fears did not dissolve, but they lessened in severity. I started to watch tv, movies, and the long-awaited “Towering Inferno.”

            On one of our trips back to North Carolina during my husband’s military years, we ran into a real fire. The house was right on the highway. They were slowly letting one car at a time pass so they could keep the traffic moving.

            Here I was confronted with my first real fire. We had to wait our turn to drive past the area, and I was traumatized for several days with nightmares. It brought back my childhood fears.

            Not too long after that trip, where we witnessed the fire on the side of the road, I had gotten a job at the Officer’s Club on the base. It was a 3-floor building with a basement that had restrooms in it, which we sometimes utilized.

            I was working in the kitchen one day when I heard the shrieking of the fire alarm. I was looking for it in one of the dining rooms near me, and someone else came running down the hall looking for it too. We couldn’t find it, but the smell of smoke was coming down the hallway towards the kitchen by now. We gave up looking for the alarm as it became desperately real since we could see the smoke. We ran to the kitchen to gather everyone up and see how we could exit the building from the back, which faced an area full of trees and a tiny path.

            Talk about being close, and this was the closest yet. I was panicking, and the person who had taken charge urged me on as my panic stopped me in my steps. I was paralyzed with fear and couldn’t move. He pulled me with him, and we headed to another dining room away from the smoke that was now filling the kitchen. The doors were locked as they always were when the room was not in use, and more people began to panic. Finally, someone picked up a chair and threw it through one of the picture windows in the dining room at the back of the building. Others followed suit.

            We started hurrying out of the building towards the path behind the building. It was the only way we could go. It ran alongside the back of the building. The fire had cut off the front, so this was the only way to go.

            We ran along the small path covering our heads with our hands as the windows were exploding overhead, raining down fire and glass on us. We started choking on the smoke. I was petrified, but the others urged me on. The building was long, and that was the longest but fastest run I had ever made. The beast of the fire was on our tails.

            We finally came out to the front of the building and stared at the fire as it reached further and further. A real-life burning fire to bring out my fears again. It brought it all back. I was choking on the smoke, and now I understand how people die from smoke inhalation.

            We all got out, thank God! No one got hurt except for smoke inhalation. One of the secretaries came out with a box saying that she had grabbed payroll so we could get paid. She was in an area that wasn’t as affected as those of us in the kitchen. They all came out the front of the building where the fire hadn’t touched as much.

            I went through a grueling interrogation by Naval Intelligence, along with everyone else. The investigation took several days, and I had to drag my two babies with me as I had no one to watch them. I walked with the babies in the stroller. I didn’t know it when I went out of work to give birth, but I was entitled to Unemployment Insurance. It was enough to buy a twin-size stroller, so I could push my two children together as they were both under two years old.

The officers wanted their club back, and so they reopened the building three days later as the upstairs was damaged, but most of the main floor and the basement restrooms were still usable. The building smelled of smoke still. I tried hard to forget the fire, but it was impossible to forget with the awful stench. I had horrible nightmares. I had sunk back to my childhood fears. I was terrified to go downstairs to the restrooms in case of another fire. We would be trapped down there.

            That fire was not a mistake. A disgruntled employee set that fire on purpose in a small office right near the restrooms that I had just exited. That was just way too close for me.

            I still panic whenever there is a fire drill or when the alarm goes off unexpectedly. Most new jobs would have a fire drill not long after my arrival, and several of my workplaces have had fires and have burnt down over the years. They seem drawn to me.

Within a few months after that fire, I quit working there. It was just a few months until Andy’s enlistment was up anyhow, so I left at that point. I couldn’t stand working in a building that smelled of smoke and put me in a possibly dangerous position of having to use the below-ground restrooms and taking the chance of getting caught down there if a fire happened again. I was still suffering the effects of having been in that first fire. The nightmares were haunting me terribly. It took several weeks for the dreams to start to ease at all. Now they would probably say that I had PTSD from the situation. After that, I took up babysitting until his enlistment was over. We still had to decide whether he was going to re-enlist.


Here is chapter 7 of my memoir “Government Property – A Memoir of a Military Wife

Here is the link to the whole memoir. Parts 1-6 are already posted.

Chapter Seven

Officer’s Club Part-Time

Andy decided that I needed to get a job. He wanted several things, and so we needed another income. Now I was an enlisted man’s wife, but the opening was in the Officer’s Club. I took it as a waitress. I had never been a waitress before, but my customer service skills were exceptional, although my memory and clumsiness were not helpful. Luckily only one man got a bowl of hot soup in his lap.

Officers think they are better than anyone else. Enlisted personnel and, of course, their spouses were treated as if we were not even humans by many of them. I don’t want to paint them all that way, but a lot of them were awful. They didn’t believe in tipping, but we only made less than $2.00 per hour and needed those tips. The club put up signs, but it didn’t help. And heaven forbid we showed any disrespect towards them, although they could disrespect us. That is one thing that made me the maddest. They were no better than my enlisted husband or me, but they could treat us like dirt. I know that is the way of the military, but it isn’t right.

I had been working there for some time when I became pregnant with child number two. We had to wear white waitress tops, but I quickly grew out of mine. I had to find a white shirt like what the waitresses were wearing but was large enough to conceal my pregnant belly comfortably. I continued waitressing until the doctor said I had to get off my feet. By this time, my belly was so big that I could support the tray on it. After some negotiating, they decided that I could take on a hostess’s duties and sit while I wasn’t seating customers. The doctor approved this, and there was no time limit as to when I had to leave. That is why I was coming home from work the day I went into labor. I was also allowed to wear regular business casual maternity wear, rather than my waitress outfit. 

The more pregnant I became, the harder it was for me to find a comfortable spot at work to rest between incoming customers. We weren’t allowed to sit down in front of the customers, but they had to give me special dispensation since I was pregnant. They had put out a stool as the doctor ordered, but the constant up and down was rough, and my feet were beginning to bother me as well.

People made snide remarks about me working and being so pregnant. Some complained that I was taking a job from someone else who wasn’t pregnant. Some people can be so ignorant. I must remember this was 40 years ago or so, and thinking was different.

We only had one car, so that meant I would get up early and take Andy to work in the morning. I would do what I had to do during the day, doctor’s appointments and shopping, etc. Then I left in enough time to pick him up, and he would then drop me off and take our oldest daughter and take care of her until I returned later that night. Or if I didn’t have a ride, he would pack her up and come pick me up.

One of my coworkers saw what was happening, and since we usually worked together, she offered to take me home, eliminating one of the trips on the days I worked. I wish we could have afforded another car, but since in the end he had to drive a U-Haul and, I the car, on our final trip back to New Jersey, it was just as well we only had one.

One of the rules they enforced was that everyone had to work every Tuesday because it was Mongolian Night, and it was packed. The penalty for missing that shift without an excellent reason was termination from the job. On this one Tuesday, I had a significant allergic reaction to a drug given to me at the base hospital the night before. My face was swollen and looked horrid, and I couldn’t see with my eyes swollen shut. Plus, my fingers and toes were so swollen it was like being a duck as they touched each other. I couldn’t lift things so, if I didn’t scare them away, I wouldn’t have been able to serve them anyhow. I had to go in and show them what I looked like so they would excuse me. I also couldn’t wear shoes, so I showed up there barefoot to show them exactly what the allergy had done to me. They had no choice but to excuse me without penalty.

Now this base was an air station. There was a runway on the airstrip that we had to cross over to get to the Officer’s Club. When the aircraft was going over, traffic must stop. This way, no one was on the runway if a plane were to crash or veer off. One day I pulled up to the stop sign, stopped, and made sure I was clear to go, and then took off across the open area of the landing field. I was almost nine months pregnant and could barely fit behind the wheel of my car. A car came roaring after me and ran me off the road. I was on my way to work and afraid I was going to be late. Not to mention that I was terrified and worried about my baby, as well. This person driving the car was a nut. It had to be.

I sat there shaking, trying to get myself together. The car was still behind me. Finally, he got out of his car and came up and knocked on my window. I didn’t know what to do but finally rolled it down a little bit.

He started screaming at me for going across the airway stretch of road. I told him there was nothing in the air, and we didn’t have to stop if there was no flashing light, although I always checked just to make sure. He told me that it didn’t matter, and he was going to report this. He went back to his car.

I drove to work before I was any later and called my husband. Finally, I calmed down and got to work before I got in trouble.

The next day the military police (MPs) appeared at my door. They told me that they had a ticket for me because the man following me had been an officer, and he was, if I remember correctly, affiliated with the MPs. I looked at the ticket, picked up the phone, called my husband, and told him what was going on. He told me not to do anything, and he would be right there.

He got there and took the ticket. The MP’s didn’t know what to do, and they were contacting their commanding officer. By now, Andy said, “Do not sign it!” The ticket was chock full of mistakes, and the whole thing was ridiculous. Since an officer filed the complaint and I was only the wife of an enlisted man, I was expected to comply and not even say anything in my defense. So, I refused to sign it, and those two MPs are telling their commanding officer (CO) that I had refused to sign. Their commanding officer finally told them to leave it and come back to their office. There was a court date on it, plus the officer’s name.

I remembered the man’s name and watched for him at the Officer’s Club. He did come in one day, and I didn’t say anything, but I wanted nothing to do with him. He didn’t remember me, or I am sure he would have said something.

I had gone to the court date and told my side of it. I was right anyhow, but this guy was new to the base and didn’t know any better. The judge told me to be careful, and since the officer didn’t bother to show up, they threw the whole thing out of court. All of this happened while I was about to have my baby. It’s a wonder that the situation hadn’t brought on my labor.

I went back to work after daughter number two had arrived. So, I was waitressing again. We had two children now, and our best friends, Charlie and Kim, ended up babysitting for us. Both of our children were attached to them. Charlie and Kim wanted children so badly, and they took great care of our children. A few times, we threatened to drop them off during the night when they wouldn’t sleep, and they both told us if we did, we wouldn’t get them back.

Fiction, Prompt

Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt #195 – Gargantuan

Weekend Writing Prompt #195 – Gargantuan

What an Appetite!

By Tessa Dean February 2021

Wally eyed the donut cabinet in the grocery store bakery. He wanted a dozen of donuts to start with. Further down were the cakes all decorated so prettily. There were also danishes and other pastries arranged in the storage cases designed to keep them fresh.

Wally did not care so much about freshness as his gargantuan appetite had to be assuaged with food and the sweeter the better as far as he was concerned.

The salesgirl watched in annoyance. She waited on Wally everyday she worked, and he nearly emptied all her cases out every day.

*****96 words*****

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website –http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  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.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg