Nov 20, 2008

Shadows and Lights

This is a picture of the truck that picked up our recycling this morning. My blog friend Steve has decided to retire his excellent blog, Shadows and Lights. I'll miss your posts, friend. The big news around the Sneed family is the impending birth of our granddaughter. She is the daughter of our oldest Son and his wife. Little Aiden is about to become a big brother. The baby, whose name may or may not be Riley, is going to be born tomorrow sometime. Riley is the name leader in the clubhouse, but is subject to getting bumped out at the last minute. I was getting my teeth cleaned this morning and chatting with the hygienist. Okay, she was chatting and I was saying somethings that sounded like, "Gnuffinghtimoghtp", since she had one hand and several dental appliances stuffed into my mouth. The hygienist is a Vietnamese immigrant who has lived in this country for sixteen years. She came to America in her twenties because she had family living here and wanted the freedoms America has to offer. I was thinking that her story is not that much different than that of the Sneeds, who came to this country in the 1600s from Holland. It's odd that some people who are 5th or 10th or 20th generation Americans forget that in the beginning their ancestors were also newly-arrived immigrants. Here in the desert Southwest, when you point out that we are all immigrants, differentiated only by duration, people will tell you that their ancestors came here legally, unlike the Central and South Americans who make up the bulk of the illegal immigrants. Immigration has almost always brought the poor, powerless and desperate. They are the people who will do anything to get a foot in the door. For the most part, they work hard at menial jobs and keep to themselves. They toil in anonymity. ..."Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" --excerpt from The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus There is nothing new under the sun. We forget that. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Squirrel said...

we just got fancy new mod looking recycling trucks. yay! (oh, but I have to help pay for them.) booo.

Coffee Messiah said...

Nice artwork on that truck.

I find the whole immigrant debate amusing, as you point out.

Living here and seeing the occasional Miami Indian, I find that the looking down on Native Americans the same. I mean, they were here first, and the Europeans kicked them off their own land and called them savages, a bit like going into Iraq to save them.

What a World eh?

bella rum said...

Another grandchild, Merle. You are a fortunate guy indeed. Riley is a good name. Best of luck.

Nan Patience said...

Another grandchild--hurray!

About Steve, I'm always a little envious of people who quit blogging. I think my days would feel a bit lonelier without it. On the other hand, I'd probably be more "productive" without it. It's a choice addicts everywhere make.

Megan said...

Sometimes the difference between what that poem says and what our immigration policy is and has been is hard to bear.

Megan said...

P.S. Congratulations to Aiden on achieving "big brother" status.

Steve said...

Thanks for the kind words, Merle. :)

Nan, it is indeed a big adjustment. But at this point, for me, I think it's the right one.

As for immigration, it's easy to say you did it legally when all you had to do in those days was sail across the sea in a boat and voila, you were an immigrant. Now, running the gauntlet of bureaucracy is much more difficult. Many people who want to achieve their dreams feel their only option is to bypass the bureaucracy.

(I'm willing to bet most of these immigrant-haters can sympathize with a disdain for bureaucracy in other areas of their lives.)