Updated: Nov 19, 2020
So I returned to American soil and was married to US Army SFC Kenneth Parrish in Florence, Oregon in June 1984. Stationed in Ft. Sill Oklahoma. WOW, Geronimo is buried there! Not my favorite duty station but my daughter Veronica Parrish was born in January 1985. Spiders, stickers, rattlesnakes and dry desert. We are really living now! OK, so now I know, kids are not my thing. 1 was enough. I have no patience for disobedience. Who knew? (only everyone that knows me now).
Ken was promoted to First Sergeant and then sent to the Sergeant Major Academy in Ft. Bliss, Texas. YIPPEE! MORE DESERT! 10 times higher car insurance rates because of uninsured Mexicans crossing the border, hot, tarantulas, flying giant cockroaches, swamp coolers, ETC. We were now transferred to the first level of Hell. So Juarez, Mexico was actually a cool place to visit because the drug cartels had not invaded that border town yet.
Ken received orders for Munich, Germany after he graduated. YAY!!! I loved Germany the first time, Munich was beautiful. Skiiing, Oktoberfest, Alpine towns, Stunning countrysides. This was our reward for surviving hell. Life was good. We were in Perlacher Forst and we had a great family of military and civilian friends. It was heaven! Tons of history. Just outside of Dachau Nazi work camp. WOW! It's amazing what people are willing to do to humanity. Very sad and this work camp touched my soul. It opened my eyes and made me crave more to know why Nazi's did what they did. It's amazing what acceptance of hate can achieve. (Open your eyes America! we are heading for the same type of history if you continue to be sheep and be lead by evil leaders!). I was in the heart of Hitler's regime in Berchtesgaden, Garmish, Lake Chiemsee and Castles, history, beauty, death and sadness. I loved this place! It is extraordinarily beautiful and so full of history. You can feel it in your soul when you stand in the Berghof Hotel. Hitler's headquarters in Berchtesgaden. OK, let's move on.
Veronica was little and trying to decifer German labels can be tricky. I found lemonada. Lemonade? OK, that sounds safe enough. Put that in her bottle. Damn she slept a lot. What a great kid! Life is good! One of my friends ruined Veronica's daily nap cycles when she informed me that Lemonada contained beer. OK so I'm not making a good case for mother of the year here. Bier is Beer! Dammit! OK, I've got to clean up my act if I want to get back on track for mother of the year. (OK, if you are reading this thinking that I actually got a nomination for mother of the year, you can stop reading now. You are going to be sorely disappointed, Just trying to warn you now).
I fell in love with East Berlin. The people were so kind there, the prices cheap and goods were first class. So for those who were never there, you had to go through Checkpoint Alpha. I was a civilian at this point so I could go with my passport. Took other military wives with me from time to time. Took one trip with a list of things people wanted. Full length leather coats, Lead Crystal, feather beds, Zeiss binoculars and scopes for cheap. My girlfriend from Georgia went and we were on a great adventure. At Checkpoint Alpha, she had to stay in my little Nissan truck and I had to go into a very small building to show our passports. it had a dark windows that you couldn't see through because it was blacked out and a little slot where you pass your passports through. There was a little window in the door and I could see an East German Guard walking around the truck and Betty's eyes the size of dinner plates as he kept his Uzi rifle ready to shoot.
OK, Cool, got my passports back with a set of directions on how to maneuver out of Checkpoint Alpha and get on the highway to Berlin. Gave the directions to Betty with instructions to not screw this up or we will be 86'd from the country. Not just East Germany, the COUNTRY! Possibly be tried as spies. OK, we are too stupid to be spies so no worries there. Took a wrong turn out of Checkpoint Alpha and got a finger wagging from another East German Guard and a very nasty face. OK, OK! We are trying to do the right thing but it's friggin confusing! On the road. No speeding or you get a ticket at Checkpoint Bravo for getting there too fast. Take too long, they are coming to find you. Do not stop, do not get off the highway or you can create an international incident. Back to being tried as spies. We would be the dumbest spies they ever encountered. We would have been shot for being too stupid to live.
Checkpoint Bravo! Yay! We made it!. OK, now to find a young serviceman to get through Checkpoint Charlie where we could get into East Berlin. Changed out our American dollars for East German tin. Got a warning that anything we brought back would have to be exchanged back for half the value. OK, got it. Spend the money. Found a young Army Soldier, coerced him into riding through the checkpoint with instructions to meet us back at Checkpoint Charlie at 2 pm. OK, good. I think he understood that my husband was a Sergeant Major and he would be dead if I didn't make it back. The leather store. Empty. Dammit, the Russians cleaned it out the week before. OK, Zeiss store. Empty, Dammit. OK, Feather bed store. Empty. Shit! OK, Crystal stores. Empty. Well, hell. We have got to dump these East German Marks. OK, liquor store so we can calm our nerves, and figure out what to do next. SCORE! Full of Stolichnaya Vodka! Load the truck! Filled the bed level full. Army guy can ride on the booze across Checkpoint Charlie. I gave Vodka away for 2 years. Friends' birthday...Hey! I got you a present! I got you a bottle of Stoli! Dog died...Hey I'm sorry, brought you a bottle of Stoli to ease your pain. Kid lost a tooth...Hey, put this under her pillow, it won't hurt anymore. Hey, I'm trying to increase my odds of that nomination by taking out my competition.
1989 we came back to American soil. OK, we were away and having a ton of fun but what happened to America! MTV - What is that??? Music Videos. Michael Jackson and Thriller was the first one I saw. WOW! That's COOL!! Screw AFN and FOD commercials. The internet...What the hell is that??? Who runs it? Where is it? How do I get it??? Do I need it? No, probably not. It costs money and I don't think it's important. New fad like MTV. This is why I am not a Millionaire. I have no forward vision. The Berlin wall fell within months of our return to the states. Wow! History is being erased... Young Germans claiming the holocaust never happened and it was just Western propaganda to keep Germany down and in chains. (Never FORGET!)
Stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. Almost close to home or at least the last place I lived with my parents. Cool! Well, not so cool. Demoted from GS-9 to GS-3 if I wanted to stay in civil service. UGH! The cost of transfers. Ken retired and went to work for Pierce County Emergency Management. Marriage fell apart. No explanation, it just did.
Moved to Cody Wyoming. God Loves Me! I love this place! OK, I'm dying here. I'm done moving. Can you go from making some money on unemployment to negative numbers? Ugh! This is what happens when you play by the rules. Went from making decent money on unemployment to taking a pay cut and forced to take a dispatcher position at the Park County Sheriff's Office. I DON'T WANT A JOB YET! I only got 1 paycheck from unemployment and it's spring! I want to have some fun before I have to work. I've worked a job since I was 9! I even tried to blow my interview by being lackadaisical and just short of putting my feet on the table during the interview. I don't want this job! Seriously, doesn't anyone want to work for you guys? There were 300 applicants! I'm the best you could find? What the hell????
Got Married to Mark Wortham. OK, so it was good for a lot of years but I suck at being married I guess. I worked and tried to get promoted so we had more money, some retirement plans, insurance, etc. I worked, he floated through being a Walmart Manager with no plans to promote or find ways to make more money to make life better. My parents moved to the property and they supplied the materials and Mark and I built them a beautiful house on top of ours. I was going to college full time, working full time and building a house. Sleep was overrated. Trying to get credentials to get promoted to detective. More money, better living, better retirement, better future. At least that's what I thought. God really has a sense of humor when you aren't listening to him.
Mark went on hunting trips, I stayed home and worked and funded them. I worked and he made plans to spend it faster than I could get it in the bank. OK, enough complaining. God had a plan. I was going to school full time, building the houses and working full time. He worked at getting the house built for his girlfriend on my labor and dime. I was too tired to see what was happening. OK, whatever, he's leaving and I'm paying for it because he has no job, no retirement and no funding other than Social Security and some disability. He cleaned out everything that was not nailed to the floor. I laid on my floor for two years and prayed to die.