Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘editorial

There has never been a time when I have not been proud of my country.  When the Star Spangled Banner is played, I get chills up and down my spine, and the flag , proudly waving, brings tears to my eyes.  I am proud to state that I am a true Red, White, and Blue citizen, who also happens to be Hispanic.

This is the reason that I have decided to state my views on the recent controversy surrounding the new law passed by the state of Arizona.  In my opinion it is blatantly racist.  If a police officer stops a car driven by a blonde blue eyed citizen, for whatever infraction committed, does he ask for proof of citizenship?  No, this is only done when the driver happens to have brown skin, dark hair, and looks of Hispanic origin.  Then he or she is asked, in Spanish, for proof of the right to be in this country.  If this isn’t bigotry, racist, and whatever word you wish to call it, what is?

I never thought I would live to see the day when almost fifty percent of the population including myself,  would have to carry passports.  Is this the good old USA, land of the free, and home of the brave?

I don’t live in Arizona, and will skip that state on any of my travels.  If you wish to live in la-la land and believe it is all a big lie, ask someone you know who has endured this harassment several times, like my daughter in-law’s brother who happens to live in Phoenix, and now carries his passport.

At one time, before the word Hispanic came into being, we were simply called Mexican-Americans, and we laughingly referred to ourselves as the hyphenated ones.  Our men served their country honorably, going to war and dying to protect our homes and rights.  Of any ethnic group, ours has the most Medal of Honor winners.

At one time, before World War II, there was discrimination, sometimes blatant, in my home state of Texas.  If you were job searching, the want ads stated “Only Anglos need apply”.  In some restaurants we were denied service, and growing up, I never knew of any doctors, lawyers, head of companies, who had Spanish sir-names.  This all changed when the men came home with the knowledge that a different, better world existed out there.  They went to college on the G I Bill of Rights, knowing that with an education, they would provide a new, better world for their children. My grandparents, who came to this country with nothing but their dreams, would be proud of their offspring’s accomplishments.

There is still some discrimination, although obscurely hidden, but then there has  been, and will always exist, bigotry in many shapes and forms.  Sad isn’t it?

Today, I am proud to say, we are in every conceivable career available to all citizens, including having the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

Arizona dares to question this?  Let our Federal government solve the immigration problem; isn’t the Constitution the law of the land, including that  of the sun-drenched state?

There, I have vented, and feel a lot better.  Letting off steam sometimes helps.

HAPPY JULY 4TH!  SAVOR YOUR FREEDOM

Hasta La Vista

It finally arrived!

After weeks of snow warnings, we awoke this morning to a beautiful white, pristine, winter wonderland.

Not that we got that much, but at my house, it covered the lawn, the parking lot, my car, and all surrounding areas.  It snowed almost all day yesterday, but  very slow, almost grudgingly, as if Mother Nature was still not sure about it.  I estimate about two inches of the white gold dropped, albeit, unwillingly.  If my hubby was still living, he would be faxing our children the great message, “ITS SNOWING!”.  He kept such a message close by the fax machine, almost as if he was urging it to happen. He loved the snow and would go out, as soon as he was able, to take pictures. God, how I miss him.

Ski Apache, our ski resort, received at least 15 inches, and the skiers must be shouting for joy; I know the merchants of the town are doing just that.

Viewing the weather report, northern New Mexico received more than their share, at least two feet were estimated to fall in some areas.

As for myself, I loaded up on books.  My sister and I have a lending library between ourselves, where we exchange books as we read them.  On her last visit she brought me a bag full, so I have plenty to keep me entertained.

My pooch does not like the snow, and keeps trying not to go out.  I have to open the door, and push him out, before he has a chance to retreat.  Once out, he will run out, do his business and return as quickly as possible, to lay in front of the fireplace; “Ah, this is the life, he comments”, in doggy body language.

My physical therapist discharged me this week, so I get to do all the exercises at home.  He gave me three rubberized strips which I am to use.  It took a little bit of time for me to figure out how to do this, I tied one to the leg of my bed, the other to the bedroom door, and kept the third to use  inventfully.  I put this over the door, and use it for my arm exercises; because they are rubberized, I pull against them and really feel it.  If I am snowbound for more than two days, I will develop  arm and leg muscles to put athletes to shame!

It is 7:00 in the morning as I am writing this, and dark as Hades.  I hope the sun comes out soon.

BRR– Hasta la Vista

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September 10, 1950.

A day that lives in my heart, evoking memories of  a happy event which changed our lives forever.

Today would have been our 59th wedding anniversary.

I think back and remember the excitement we felt, ready to take on the world, for we had each other and nothing could stop us.

Exiting the church, a friend of my new hubby informed him that he had just been recalled into the Navy.  This was the beginning of the Korean War, and so for the first few months of our newly wedded bliss, this little black cloud hung over our heads, as he was also in the Naval Reserve.

Thank heaven the call never came.

So much has changed since that day, it is almost impossible to believe.  We now live in a world of new innovations which did not exist at that time; computers, television, cell phones, newer and newer electronic devises, faster automobiles, heating and cooling  sun powered units, microwave ovens.  How did we ever get along without them?  We even saw man land on the moon! Since then we have witnessed numerous excursions into outer space.

Wrapped up in our lives and the children that followed, we were also very aware of the happenings around us.  We experienced the many events which are now a part of history; the assassination of a President and his brother, and also that of a civil rights icon and many men and women who fought for their rights.

As man is also the worst enemy of man, we have gone through several wars, with more ferocious and destructive weapons.  Will we ever learn?

Life is so short, enjoy every minute of it; turn around and half of your existence is gone.

What I wouldn’t give to have my love here with me, fifty eight years were not nearly enough.

Hasta la vista

100_0601I found myself, for the first time since my beloved died, looking  forward to coming home.

It has been six months.  Each time I returned from a visit to children and relatives, I realized that I was entering the same empty house that I had left, and the pain hit.  It has not lessened, but just the joy of arriving at  the house which we so lovingly tended, helps to ease the eternal feeling of loss.

I gaze with pride at the newly painted deck, the freshly mowed lawn,  and think, this is My house.

Although I have been gearing myself towards selling, sometimes thinking of it gets overwhelming.  Never to enjoy again the feeling of self esteem over the additions that we both made, the office, storage room, the wall papering, painting, the covered wrap around deck, the parquet floor in the kitchen.  They all served to enhance and increase the value of our home.  Offsetting these thoughts are the lonely days and nights, in a village where I have loads of acquaintances, but very few friends.

I don’t know who was most upset , my pooch or I, after finding that deer had eaten all my flowers while we were away.  I consider these four legged creatures my friends, as long as they eat the wild flowers that grow all over the place, but not the little  plants which I so lovingly cared for and tended.  They were blooming profusely when I left, now there are only stumps left.

Today the culprit showed up again.  It was a stag with four point horns; he was getting ready to jump over the fence into our yard, when my great protector sensed him, and flew out in a rage, as far as the steps, from where he barked ferociously.

The stag only stared at him, and stood his ground,until I came out and told him to leave.  He dared me for a bit, but then finally turned around and left. I’m sure he’ll try to get back in and get the rest of the flowers, but we will be on guard.

My visit to our children in Dallas was wonderful, I got to see all of them and had the bonus of seeing my granddaughter, who lives in New York, fly in while I was there.  I met her boyfriend, a very nice young man whom I approve of.  They are talking marriage, and I certainly hope the best for them, for, as the song goes “I’ve had a love of my own”.

Believe it or not, after 30 years since my last bowling game, I went bowling again!  It was with my granddaughter and her sweetie, and we had a roaring good time.  When we went home my son in law informed me that he had a score of 72 at golf, and I retorted that score was our high  at bowling, so you can imagine what our game looked like.

The days are getting shorter, and the feeling of fall is in the air.  I don’t know whether to be happy or sad.

Hasta la vista

The world as I see it:

My view of the world changes, from cock-eyed optimist to the darkest and gloomiest of pessimist.  Thankfully, the former is much more prevalent than the latter.

The optimist in me glories when I see one human being bending to help another, when a young teenager stops his texting to assist a senior rise to his feet, when I gaze the wonder of a child as he sees his first sunrise.

Have you ever watched a bird delight in drinking and bathing in your bird bath?  It is a glorious moment in which to ponder the beauty of this world, and all it takes is a little time and patience.

It is my patience that wore out a little, and caused the pessimist in me to emerge, when I saw the pettiness of some senators on denying Sonya Sotomayor a majoral victory in approving her towards the full vote of the senate on her confirmation process for a seat on the Supreme Court.

This was a history making event, marred by six Senators, including one from Texas, who are on the nominating committee.

It was the Senator from Texas that caused me to rile up.  No matter what his reasoning, it brought back memories of my growing up years in that state, when Latinos were simply known as Mexicans, and greasy ones at that.  When looking and landing a job required that you be blonde and blue eyed, because cinnamon skinned people were just plain dumb, and you were not allowed in some restaurants.  I never learned to swim because the nearest swimming pool to our house did not allow us in.

Yes, that was Texas.

Discrimination is horrid, no matter who it is directed against, and anyone who has ever experienced it will remember it forever, I know I have.  Luckily, I see a bright light at the end of a very long tunnel, we have made great strides, but witnessing this last episode confirms that there is still a long road ahead of us.

I, too, have a dream, the optimist in me demands it.

Hasta la vista

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Upon my re-entrance into the everyday world, I was amazed and shocked at what the media, twitters, blogs, etc. are all up in arms about.

Radio Talk hosts, would be panelists, and even a disgraced convicted felon, G. Gordon Liddy, who was sent to prison for 20 years (although he only served 4), for conspiracy, burglary, and wire tapping, are now experts on whether President Barack Obama should be in office. What more stellar citizens and witnesses could anyone possibly want?

They are convinced, and have managed to manipulate hundreds of would be followers, that the President of these United States, duly elected by we, the people, is not a U. S. citizen!

Even the most illogical of persons can see the ridiculousness of all this. By the way, the dictionary states that “Ridiculousness” is “To be completely unreasonable and not at all sensible or acceptable”. It also gives another definition, “Silly and amusing”, isn’t that the truth!

Of course, logic has never entered into any of the claims that have surfaced since he took office, but what the heck, did logic ever convince anyone who wears blinders, and walks the straight unwavering path to a conclusion, reached before any evidence is presented?

Try talking some sense into some of these clods, and it is like talking to a stone wall. They are righteously upset, even spittle forms on their mouths, along with racial epitaphs.

I thought that we, as a country, had advanced forward and left a lot of this behind, but then I am, as the song goes “A cock-eyed optimist”, who tries to look for the good side in everyone. Sad to say, I have failed miserably in this when speaking to some of these people.

I can not honestly convey to you that all of them are Republicans, but the majority exists. How can a party, who lost the election, and most of their seats in Congress, pay back?  Their methods have always been questionable; rumors, slanted writings, back stabbing, you name it, and of course using the media.

How I wish we still had Walter Cronkite reporting to us. May he rest in peace in journalistic heaven, where the truth is always foremost.

Hasta la vista

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There’s a wonderful world out there.

I had forgotten about it since the death of my husband five months ago.  My world was wound around the pain of losing him, the loneliness of being without him, the confusion of being alone.

Some of the above has dissipated, but I cannot say that all of it is gone; I have been slowly reawakening to the world around me.

Yes, even the closest people to me have already gone back to their lives, and I realize that I must at least begin to do the same.

I came back home after two weeks of traveling between children’s homes, and even visited Florida, to a house of a friend, who is an extended family member.  She too, is a widow, and gave me many insights in to our mutual situations.  Unlike me, she has been widowed for five years, and has formed a new life in a new community.  I hope eventually, I will be able to do the same.

While there, my daughter, son-in-law, and I walked the beach every morning.  It took me longer because I stopped to talk to people, which has always been my nature.

I compared my pooch, back in El Paso with my son, to the pets they were walking, and I spoke doggie talk to them.

I stopped and conversed with parents and their children, admired their sand castles, and was amazed at one family who constructed a huge sea turtle.  The next day, the tide had eaten half of it.  I collected sea shells.

Speaking with a lot of single women, I found out that the majority of them were also widows, and we commiserated with each other.  There is a group out there that, through mutual grief, is bound together.

Back home again, I threw myself into the yard work which I had neglected.  The lawn and garden was a shared joy with my beloved, and I found solace in getting it into shape.

I started attending meetings with my Democratic party, and I was welcomed with open arms.  I began walking with my constant four legged companion.

Slowly but surely, the world around me is coming into focus.  The mountains are gloriously green, with the daily temperature in the 70’s and 80s’, and the nights nice and cool.  My husband’s pet name for our haven was “Cool Pines”.

Yes, there is a wonderful world out there.  I hope to discover more of it soon.

Hasta la vista.


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