Skip to comments.The commander's wife
Posted on 08/05/2020 5:32:18 PM PDT by Mrs. Warrior
After nearly a decade of enlisted service my husband became a commissioned officer, soon I found out what it meant for women to wear their husbands rank. We got to our first assignment and I was invited to the officers wives club. They were trying to get me to be a snob. I enjoyed my friendship with the enlisted wives and I was not going to be snobby. The colonels wife started to treat me rudely. She started to call me that country girl.
She started to have fund raising events and was leaving me out. At the next get together she asked if any one had questions about the post. Yes, I do I said. I would like to know if I can have a rooster in my yard (we lived on post)? Why would you want to have one She asked.? I thought I would have a little fun. They are great alarm clocks, every morning they wake you up. No need to buy a clock. Well,what if you want to wake up at a different time?, she said to be contrary. Then we get an ax and chop his head off. We put it in the pot and eat him for dinner! Its called multi-purposing!
Later when my husband was a training company commander, as a commanders wife, I decided that my Christian principles were going to be my guideline. I often baby sat for the younger families who could not afford daycare. We would have family fun picnics for unit support. I tried to make the unit more family oriented. One time a female trainee was abused while on pass at a party . My husband asked me how to help her. I advised him to have her come to your office, and I would be there; then you leave and we will have some time together.
When we made this happen, my husband was conveniently called away by his First Sergeant and left me alone with the young Soldier. I let her talk with me woman to woman and she could say what she needed to. I saw her trying to be tough and respond as a Soldier. As gently as I could, I told her you need to cry now. You put all your feelings into that cry, then we will cry together in prayer before the Lord Jesus Christ. My husband will deal with the military side of things, but then you stop crying and when you face those soldiers you keep your own self respect as the best way to show that you are better than them.
She asked me if she should go back home? I asked her why she joined the military? Her story was a sad one. I told her I respected her decision and that she had come along way. If you could finish your training then you would be able to keep the dream you started with I told her. You will have your dignity back, and you could be proud of yourself again. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, I will always pray for you!
Encouraged by your love for these special soldiers. Thank you.
My Sister was married to a Naval Aviator. Still is for that matter, just about 61 years, now.
She got some really great recipes from other wives at the Officers Wives Club. I mean some great ones. She doesn’t do it often but when she really wants to she can turn out absolutely great meals.
I have always felt that men who command must maintain a certain relationship with those below them, respectful, overly courteous, even friendly, but there has to be a distance, both with junior officers and enlisted.
Just how I see it.
However, I see no such limitation on wives, and would definitely see that type of distancing as snobbish (though I readily admit I had no direct exposure to this either as a dependent or active duty...the structure was a bit different)
Just my opinion.
I enjoy your posts on these things, keep them coming.
The services would be well-served if we had more women like you in roles of leadership.
Well said Mrs. Warrior. And your postings here will make a good auto-biography for your children and grandchildren.
(says the old crippled Marine)
One of the things that astonished me about my mother, a career Navy wife, is that she became an amazing cook who cooked nearly everything under the sun you can imagine. Foods from all cultures, Indian, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese, you name it. She became quite well known for her cooking at the stations my father served at...and was in much demand.
When my mom and dad got married, she couldn’t even cook scrambled eggs right, and put garlic in them on their first morning together after marriage, which my dad was in no way agreeable to! (the garlic, I mean)
But in the course of her life, with all the hosting of events she did, and raising six kids, she became an astonishingly good cook. We had maids when we lived in Japan and the Philippines, and my mother learned a lot from them. (She became very chummy with the maids, and had very egalitarian relationships with them.)
Her progression to master chef was not without its hiccups. She tried many things out on us, and once served us tripe in red sauce when I was a kid living at the Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan.
As a kid, there are few foods more alien looking than tripe. It looked like they peeled off an alien’s skin and sliced it into strips, boiled it to a rubbery consistence, then dashed it with what looked like blood. We looked at my mother as if she were mad...as the Blue Danube china tureen came around the table.
Not a single one of us touched it. My mom was so pissed!
Another time later after my dad retired, she and my dad were having a major fight and my mom is making the dinner, banging the crap out of the pots and pans in anger, making spinach and rice, a family favorite. Very tasty, rice and spinach sauteed together in garlic and olive oil.
She is still steaming about the argument, and me and all my brothers, sisters and my dad (eight of us total, but I recall there were only four or five of us there that night) are sitting around the table when she comes over with the tureen of spinach and rice and slams it down angrily on the table. We all help ourselves and as I take my very first bite...
This is completely disgusting. The food has sand or grit in it. I look up, and all my brothers and sisters have momentarly paused after crunching on the sand. We all look at each other, not moving, and my father is still slowly chewing with an audible crunching sound.
My mom had been so upset she forgot to wash the spinach, and boy, was it dirty!
She looked at all of us and said “What? EAT! YOU HEARD ME! EAT!”
So we all took another mouthful...Crunch...Crunch...Crunch....you could actually HEAR it.
She sat down, and in anger, forked a mouthful into her mouth, bit down, and...Crunch...
She looked up at everyone who was just meekly looking back at her, and said “OH FOR GOD’S SAKE!” And jumped up, grabbed the tureen and threw the whole thing, tureen and all in the trash.
Then she just statrted to giggle, and it turned into a roaring laugh, after which we were all laughing, even my dad...:)
The infamous Spinach and Rice Dinner...
But the thing was, after my dad retired, the family homestead was a destination every Thursday night for dinner. We had a large extended family, with nieces and nephews, and fifteen people might show up, or just one. And sometimes, there would be guests, friends, etc.
I never understood how my mother did it, but there always seemed to be enough food, no matter how many or few showed up. When I asked her as an elderly woman how she did that, she said, “Oh, as a Navy wife, you learned how to do that. You would do a lot of entertaining as the wife of a senior officer, and never knew who would show up...so you always improvised and it became second nature...”
I remember once they were going to Sicily for a long time. Evelyn gave Mother a whole bunch of spices etc.
The next day, I noticed it was all in the trash. Mother who was a great cook had no idea how to use them. Mother cooked Southern. It was the only way she knew how to cook.
See, that’s the thing-people learn how to cook, and they are great at it, but...sometimes, they do it like nobody else, and often, without all the spice-related pomp and circumstance...:)
Funny. It is a common experience in my family to try to cook some of my mother’s recipes, but...they never seem to come out the way my mother made them.
I had three recipes I pinned her to the wall on...I made her show me, and I watched her like a hawk and took copious notes! Those were her Portugese Kale, Potato, and Chorizo soup, her Beef Stew, and her Apple Pie.
I am expert at all those, but I’ll be damned if I can replicate anything else of hers.
She used to do a pork roast where she trimmed off the fat, ground it up in a blender mixed with some spices and herbs, rosemary, and garlic in it, then smeared the paste concoction on the outside of it before roasted it.
My God. When that thing would come out golden brown, somehow that gooey paste she put on had turned to a crispy shell with moist roast pork inside. Unbelievable.
Damn. I wish I had made her do that one too. I just cannot get it to taste or feel the same! The outside is kind of...mushy, no matter how hard I try or how long I roast it.
Both of your highly descriptive posts on your mom’s learn-ed cooking were at the same time, mouth watering (even the gritty spinach, because that is a marvelous combo dish prepared without the sand! heh) and a testament to your mom’s individual way of approaching fine cooking. Wonderful memories.
Mom-in-law was at State Dept. all over,including Beirut in the days when it was called the “Paris of the Middle East” (now look at the destroyed port, one more Hezbollah nightmare, a destroyed city and cultural wonder)—
Anyway, she was always welcome on visits because coming back from work i’d call in and ask “what’s for supper?” and she’d say something like “Coquille St. Jacques and a light salad Med style, and a light dessert of ice crean with puff peach filling pastries”. Needless to say, stuffed myself with fantastic food and just the right wine. Now it’s beans and rice (Acadian style,and economizing).
Your mom and my inlaw would have made fast friends.
I believe most of your account is fiction and you are displaying the same kind of self importance you put on that colonels wife.
You criticize others for wearing their husbands rank but you did the same thing in your inappropriate and unauthorized counsel of someone under your husbands supervision.
You need a mirror.
I would like to think that is true...people like them saw the world, and who can see the world and not love the food they encounter and try to make it their own?
It is one of the thing things that when I pray and thank God for the things in life...hot showers, a roof over my head...I always remember to thank him not only for food, but the luxury of being able to get plentiful food and do variable things with it.
Sigh. How bleak it would be to have to be grateful for ANY food, even simple white rice or unleavened bread.
My whole life, I have never wanted for food (except those times in the Navy when I opted to get money instead of a chow hall pass....and spent all my money! I went for weeks at a time drinking powdered ice tea and eating wonder bread with tub margarine! Eck! But I was young and stupid in those days...:)
Your FR nametag reminded me of a very tasty mushroom with searchers looking every year for wild growing fungi.
A friend in KY every spring with some buddies, goes out into the KY woodlands and harvests wild growing morel mushrooms. Quite a special delicacy and they must be cooked rather than eaten raw
Yes...Morels...I have cooked with them once. A friend gave me some venison loin, and I sliced them into medallions a quarter inch thick and about two inches across which I dredged in flour with some sage and black pepper in it.
I soaked the morels in water for about an hour which turned the water orange-brown.
I sautéed garlic I had sliced less than paper thin with a razor, in olive oil and butter, then added the medallions. As they finished browning, I added the water that I had soaked the morels in. Just before they were done, I added some Grand Marnier and it made a wonderful slightly thickened sauce.
Served with wild rice...
That is the only time I have ever cooked with my namesake, and boy, did it ever come out good! (of course, you have to have good venison, or the entire thing is worthless!)
Mrs. Warrior posts here almost daily. Have you read her other posts? If not take a minute and read a few.
You may not change your mind about her, but I doubt you will consider her writing as fiction.
Fiction, i.e., she makes things up. And she butts in where she has no place.
Selling for $139.95 these days... used!
“Damn. I wish I had made her do that one too. I just cannot get it to taste or feel the same! The outside is kind of...mushy, no matter how hard I try or how long I roast it.”
Might try turning up the oven temp about 50-75 degrees hotter for the first 20 minutes or so to get the crust started.
LOL, tried it...:(
I wonder if she may have mixed some flour into it????
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