Friday, March 12, 2010

horned toads and tumbleweeds...

When I was a child, I lived in Carlsbad and Las Cruces, New Mexico, the land of enchantment.
I loved to catch
horned toads lizards
. They were so cute. Spitting and spewing when they are captured, then quickly falling asleep when you rolled them over in your hand and gently rubbed their soft underbelly.

We would build amazing and intricate tumbleweed forts, inside irrigation ditches. Preparing for battle with unknown foes and ever watchful of crashing infernos of water that could any moment rush down the ditch and engulf us.

A wonderfully fun trip was going to Carlsbad Caverns to watch the
bats fly out at dusk. Or sand sledding on pieces of slick cardboard on the glistening white sand dunes of White Sands National Monument
. Much better than snow sledding!

My very first job was picking cotton along side day laborers in the fields next to my home.

You see, I am old enough to have lived in the 1960’s cultural paradigm of our country. According to that paradigm, everybody was a Christian, except for a few classmates that were Jewish. Well, and then the Hopi Indians on the reservation, but that was an entirely different world.

In my world, I ate tortillas before I even had a clue what a Coca Cola was. But, I was blessed to have parents who lived their beliefs. These beliefs were very radical in that tumultuous time in our nation’s history.
My parents practiced civil disobedience by marching for civil rights, because of
Martin Luther King Jr
., dream. I have seen my father cry twice in my life. Once was when he heard Martin Luther King, Jr. had been murdered. The other was when JFK was assassinated.
Our family was strong supporters of
Caesar Chavez and the United Farmer Workers
. We boycotted everything. I vividly remember going to the grocery store and proudly asking to see the UFW label on the boxes of grapes.
My mom actually is a charter member of a
chapter she helped found in Panamá, S.A. When we moved to the Canal Zone, I remember being flabbergasted at seeing ‘silver’ and ‘gold’ labeled drinking fountains. A nasty visual reminder of life before the banning of discriminatory public accommodations.
Dad was an EEO officer for the government.
They have always been active politically and card carrying members of the ACLU.

My value of all God’s children isn’t because it is PC, it is part of my DNA, It wasn’t something I had to learn, it was something that coursed through my heart.

Thank you mom and dad for blessing me with my DNA.
This is one of the puzzle pieces that weaves together to create who I am.

(reposting from an old blog of mine 04/04/08)

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