Thoughts on Immigration

Immigration has been a hot topic lately.  I understand why people frown on those that come to this country illegally.  They are often seen as criminals.  However, I cannot fault someone for wanting a better life and for being willing to risk their own lives to provide for their family.
Coming into this country illegally can be extremely dangerous.  People have died when their boat capsized, or from dehydration in the desert.  There is also the possibility of being shot by border patrol agents (official and unofficial).  Yet these people keep coming in hopes of a better future.
Many of them chose the illegal route, because coming into the country legally is not within the realm of possibilities.  The amount of money they would need to do this may even exceed what they would earn in an entire lifetime.
I think immigration reform should focus on a merit system.  People come and apply for citizenship.  They are monitored for a number of years to see if they maintain employment, increase their education or marketable skills, do volunteer work, and stay out of trouble.  This gives people a way to immigrate without having to break any laws.

What are your thoughts on immigration?

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Pictures Tell a Funny Story

These pictures tell a funny story.

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This picture was taken November 1958.  The girl on the right is Kathy, my aunt.  It’s her birthday, so the cake is for her.  The girl on the left is Rita, my mother.  She is obviously upset about not having her own cake.  Just look at that face.

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This picture was taken later that same day.  There are two things that really stand out to me.

  1.  My grandparents were poor and they didn’t have money to buy birthday gifts for Kathy.  However, my grandmother worked hard to make the day special.  She baked a cake, curled Kathy’s hair, and dressed the girls in their best clothes.
  2. My mom is no longer frowning.  Instead, she is now smiling and has her own cake.  If you look close, you will see my mom’s cake is bigger than Kathy’s.  Obviously, my mom was capable of throwing some epic fits in her younger years.  How else would she end up with a cake bigger than the birthday girl’s cake.  I think my mom was an extremely difficult child.

Old Stuff Day

This is Old Stuff Day.  When I think about old stuff in my house, the first thing that comes to mind is this washboard.

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My grandmother, Edith (Stevens) Lynn, purchased the washboard in 1957, from Carabaos Store in Anchorage, Alaska.  My grandfather was in the Army and he was stationed there at the time.

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It’s amazing to think about how different their lives were from mine.  I can’t even fathom how long it would take to do laundry for an entire family with a washboard or how much elbow grease was involved in that task.

Life for them was hard.  They moved constantly with the Army and sometimes spent less than one year at a location before moving again.  They raised four kids and would sacrifice to provide the best possible life for their children.

My mom remembers in the early years, when my grandfather was just a private, my grandmother would skip meals.  She sat at the table and said she wasn’t hungry.  However, the truth was she didn’t have enough food to feed everyone.  She decided her husband needed a good meal, since he was a soldier, and the children needed food to grow, be healthy, and do well in school.

The washboard now hangs in our laundry room, but it’s more than a decorative piece.  It is a reminder of my family legacy.

The sacrifice and hard work of my grandparents, gave my mom the chance at a good education and an example of how to survive in the world.

Mom passed that legacy down to her children.  Today my life successes are a reflection of that tradition and I try to teach Gwen the same values I learned from Mom.

It began over 60 years ago, a tradition of hard work, dedication, and love for your family.  It still continues to this day, thanks to my grandparents, Frank and Edith Lynn.