I woke up yesterday and my Grandfather Haas was on my mind. 118 years ago he came to the shores of this great country through Ellis Island. The Haas family came in shifts. Great Grandpa Haas had been married twice and the oldest children were responsible for the younger children. My heart swells with pride when I think how the whole family left Dettingen, Germany and came to this country with everything they owned in the equivalent of a back pack.
The Beck family in Nickerson, Kansas was already established so that became the headquarters of the clan. Abbyville, Plevna, and the Huntsville area became Haas territory. From there they spread out to Oklahoma and beyond. Some where along the line Gagnebeins got in the mix. Helen Gagnebein was my great grandmother and my great grandfather was somebody and if I could find my geneology book I could tell you his name, but I can't. I do know Helen Gagnebein was married to him and had 3 kids. Mable, Josie, and Lewis. Mable and Josie married brothers so those are my double cousins. Lewis married someone and I never knew them very well. Then Great Grandma married a guy named Hatfield and he had a son named Stephen. I did not know them well. Great Grandma lived on one corner in Plevna and Grandma of the other. Great Grandma was going to get married a third time since she had been widowed twice by this time and the intended groom died before that could happen. She then said to hell with it all, closed up her house and moved in with grandma. And that is when I came on the scene.
Grandma Haas was crippled by a stroke and needed care. I was 15 years old so I went to stay with them. I have no idea how much help I actually was, but there I was. I could help lift and wash dishes and water the plants. That was pretty much all I was good for, but they seemed to be easy to please. I mentioned before in another post that the only reading material was the family Bible, so I got pretty familiar with the King James Version! Now that is one thing that has stuck with me my whole life. I can spout scripture till the cows come home, but I can not tell you where it is in the Bible, just that it is there. I always envied people with memories that worked that way. But back to the subject at hand.
A couple days ago I was on the phone with a friend and I have got to say, maybe the word I am looking for is not really "friend". Now anyone who knows me, knows I am a bleeding heart Liberal. I align with the Democratic party, because their thoughts seem to fall in line with my way of thinking. In my mind the Republican party represents money. Democrat represents rights. That is just how it is. So anyway, the subject of the kids and the border came up. His immediate response was to ship the whole bunch of them back to where ever they came from because we have enough people on the dole here and do not need any more. My idea is to wrap my arms around them and make them welcome. Course I came from immigrant roots, and he does not? Is he an Indian or Indigenous as we now refer to them? Nope. Anyone else walking these lands of the United States of America has immigrant roots. My friend and I did decide that we would not discuss politics. Lot of that going on in this country today.
I do know that different crops are being planted out here on the Mesa. One thing I am very sure of is that the city boys and girls are not going to come out here and pick peppers so more crops are planted that can be harvested by one man and a machine. Immigrant labor has been a way of life in this and any agricultural area forever. They blend into the landscape and into the night. When the crops are in and the fields barren, they return to Mexico. They work and put money into our economy and send money home to Mexico to feed their family there. Is that wrong? Do they not bleed the same red blood that I bleed? Do they not love their children as we love ours?
This is a bad way to start the day. I would much rather face the sun and thank my Lord for getting me through the night then to go out on the street and wave a sign and try to convince a non caring public that children belong with their parents rather than warehoused some where sleeping under a mylar blanket to keep warm. I wish I could wrap my arms around all the little babies that the man we must call leader has doomed to separation. Our country is as divided as those children and their parents.
God help us all.