Kate Deals with the Stress

The following Monday, as soon as she arrived at work, Kate sensed the tense atmosphere in the Security Forces offices and the squadron as a whole. More troops were being deployed overseas and the ramifications were felt across the whole base.

Everyone seemed tense and short with one another and she took a deep breath. She crossed her fingers and hoped she could get out of a deployment, but with staff so short everywhere already, it would be a miracle.

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Kate Falls for Spencer

The more she thought about it, the more she realized that her relationship with John had mostly been on the surface, not very deep. John had never read her poetry, seldom cooked for her, and rarely hugged or kissed her. Yet, she thought he had been in love with her and she with him. They held hands at the movies or at the park, but that was about it. She wondered now, why she had held onto him as long as she had. She seemed to be in love deeper with Spencer than she had ever been with John, and she and Spencer weren’t even that close. She pondered this oddity until Spencer came back with his water. She actually looked forward to spending more time with him. Especially as compassionate and tender as he’d been so far.

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The Saturday After Thanksgiving

Spencer hadn’t seen or talked to Kate since their big Wednesday dinner. He was a little concerned, but didn’t know if he should call her or not. Considering Sarah was involved, maybe he should. He knew Kate wouldn’t do anything dangerous, he believed that was in the past and dealt with, but he didn’t know if they were eating right or taking care of themselves as well as they should.

Spencer called Kate that afternoon. His curiosity was getting the better of him. His call went to voice mail, but that was no big deal.

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Kate has a Meltdown

“I’m scared for her, what if something happens to me? She can’t lose any more parents!” Kate wiped away tears with her sleeve.

Spencer held her in his arms for a few minutes while she cried, wiping away her tears with his thumbs. Kate fell onto the bed, kicking off her shoes. Spencer pulled up a blanket, covered her and left the room.

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Eating with Friends

Spencer said a blessing over the food, then it was mild chaos passing the dishes around.

“Hey, is that Cookie Monster on your bib?” Andrew asked Sarah.

Sarah shook her head, too afraid to speak. “Oh, I know who it is. It’s Oscar the Grouch.”

Again Sarah shook her head. “Elmo,” she whispered.

“Oh, that’s right. Elmo. I think he’s pretty cool.” He gave her a wink.

Sarah nodded, then looked at her mom and asked, “We eat now?”

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Final Dinner Prep

Spencer had brought chairs from his place and Kate had taken a couple of odd wooden chairs from John’s apartment back when they had cleared it out. They had enough seats now even if they didn’t match. The table would be crowded, but Kate looked forward to it. She loved entertaining and having company and this was the perfect holiday for it.

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The Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Kate made preparations for their Thanksgiving dinner. Spencer and some of their friends from the base were getting together on the day before the actual holiday because some of them had to work the holiday shift or mids that weekend.

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Fun at the St. Louis Zoo

library books about zoo animals

library books about zoo animals

Sarah was so excited to see the ‘aminals’ at the zoo. She and Kate had read several library books over the last few days in preparation for their outing. They read about the different kinds of animals you might find in a zoo. Kate was excited to show them to Sarah and to spend a relaxing day with Spencer as well.

The day turned out to be perfect for November. It could have been snowy, rainy or windy and cold, but it was going to be in the low-sixties, which Kate thought was a fluke. But they were going to enjoy it.

When they arrived and parked in the zoo parking lot which was pretty sparse, Spencer took out the stroller for Sarah, but she wanted to walk for a while first. Kate held her hand while Spencer pushed the stroller loaded with their jackets, water bottles and a cooler holding their lunch. The stroller was a gift from several of the office gals and Kate had made great use of it so far.

zoo pix 004







Gorilla or ape?

Gorilla or ape?


Sarah enjoyed all the animals they saw from the elephants, painted dogs, tigers, lions, giraffes, ostriches and peacocks, snakes (ew, Sarah said), hippos, to the fish and birds. The walking was great exercise and Sarah was ready for the stroller after several stops along their route. They rode the train, which she loved and they enjoyed popcorn during a break, sitting on one of the many benches along the zoo’s walkway.

Clouds starting rolling in and the wind picked up, so they made their way back to the car. The threat of rain had been minimal, but now it looked like the skies could give way to a rain shower. Sarah had fallen asleep in the stroller, so it was just as well they leave. Kate had several snapshots to scrapbook later when she got the photos back.

“That was fun!” Spencer said, unlocking the car.

“Yes, it was,” Kate said, unbuckling a sleepy and heavy Sarah from the stroller. Spencer unloaded their things and folded the stroller to stow in the trunk.

Kate thought about how easy it was to do things with Spencer and Sarah. She had dreaded being a mom, and knew it would be hard. Not all days would be like this. Gazing through the window along I-64, back across the river to Illinois, Kate thought more and more about making the three of them a permanent family.


Until next time,


Dinner with John’s Mom

Kate and Sarah picked up Lauren and Judy around five for dinner. Kate didn’t look forward to being at John’s apartment; this would be her first time there since he died. She had a key, but hadn’t felt the need to use it. As a matter of fact, she’d have to give it to Lauren to turn in to his landlord.

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Kate Dreads Lauren’s Visit

The following Thursday Lauren and Judy were coming to clean out John’s apartment. Spencer offered to drive her and Sarah to the airport and she gratefully accepted. She would have been too anxious.

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