Image of Solidarity March for Immigrants and Refugees by Fibonacci Blue on Flickr.

Away From Home

My great-grandmother saw 4 sons leave their home for faraway lands never to return. The family would say no one knows what became of them. Well, I know some of what became of them. My grandfather and his brother emigrated to the US and settled in California. The two oldest sons emigrated to Australia. I have been able to piece together the outline of the lives of my grandfather and his brother. The brothers who emigrated to Australia may exist in a collection of government records, but so far I am unable to find them. The oldest went first then sent money for his younger brother to come by ship with a younger sister.  In the New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant  passenger list of the ship it says that Thomas was 28 years old, his mother Rachel in Tipperary, and he was going to his older brother Pat in Sydney. The New South Wales, Australia, Immigration Deposit Journal states that Patrick paid toward the passage of Thomas, 25 years old,a laborer, and Catherine, 23 years old, a domestic servant. Their prior address listed in the journal as c/o my great-grandfather in Tipperary, Ireland. I hope I can find what happened to them but I may never know.

The story of immigrants is repeated over and over. People traveling away from home looking for a better life. They leave behind part of themselves and families sometimes wondering what became of them. Immigration is a major topic in the United States once again. There must be better solutions for assisting immigrants and working to improve conditions in their home countries so they are not forced to flee.

I found an article by Marisa Peñaloza of NPR ‘A Guatemalan Village Tells The Story Of  Immigration To The US’ which describes a family’s situation and what motivated a man to try to get to the US.  There are many organizations in this country and international that are working to help immigrants. I just picked one, KIND, but I leave it up to you to decide which organizations to support. KIND works to provide legal representation for children appearing in court alone, children who have entered the US alone.

Another perspective in this article, ‘The Case for Getting Rid of Borders–Completely.’


Featured image Image of Solidarity March for Immigrants and Refugees by Fibonacci Blue on Flickr. We Are The World blogfest, #WATWB cohosts for this month are: Eric Lahti , Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena, Damyanti Biswas.

We are the World Blogfest for Positivity on Social Media

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Thinking about all those displaced by the California wildfires and hope they find homes, family, and friends to share the holiday season.  It is raining today in Northern California and we expect the rain to come here as well. It will be good to get all the smoke out of the air.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Featured vintage postcard by Karen Horton on Flickr. Flower arrangement by Jessica45 on Pixabay.com

Home Again

We returned home yesterday afternoon and all is well with our house. Our kids and extended family are fine. We are some of the lucky ones. The sky is blue with a few clouds this morning but you can still smell smoke in the air. The winds are picking up a bit. Hope for the fires to be over soon and for happy holidays.


Featured image of ‘Inside the cozy cottage’ by Jamiecat* on Flickr

Evacuated

Evacuated again yesterday evening. We had this experience several years ago, so this time we left when we were given the voluntary evacuation notice. We knew that the mandatory evacuation order could be coming soon and did not want to spend the night with one eye open waiting for it. Made quick calls to local family, packed a few essentials, grabbed some photo albums, drove away toward West Los Angeles. Happy that our kids and little grandson are evacuated and safe. Feels like the fire took off fast this time.

Past Times

Chris Erskine is waxing lyrical in the Saturday edition of the LA Times this morning about LaLa Land and I am reaching out to cousins in Ireland. The Irish stories I have found while doing genealogical research have affected me. It can be hard to find solid connections within the records. Looking for the children of a great-great aunt I find people with the same names. Do I choose the girl who was shipped to Australia as an orphan to be put to work as a servant. The boy who ran away from the workhouse. The young man who was sent to prison for steeling 2 cows. Or the people of the same name who prospered and had children.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt today was to open a book and pick a word, phrase, or sentence and write about it. I have been going through databases which are like big books and finding words and sentences describing people’s lives.

I did find some living cousins in Ireland and will be sending a letter and have sent an email from their long lost cousin in America.

Featured image of Nenagh Castle (tower) in Tipperary.

Images Of Kindness

A father a son, Jesse and David Fryburg, M.D., started an organization called ‘Envision Kindness’ to capture images of kindness that can have a positive effect on us all.  It seems like we could all use some positive news and images to counteract all the very negative news we have been exposed to. People who worked with this program found that creating photos about kindness did inspire them to carry on doing good for others. You can read about it here.

Viewing images of kindness may help us all heal.

 


We Are The World blog #WATWB, is a monthly blog hop to share positive news. This month’s hosts are: Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Mary Gieseand  Roshan Radhakrishnan

The idea is to spread #positivity and #light to counterbalance the #negativity and #darkness in #socialmedia

Diamond Street

Garrett always liked to joke about the name of the street. ” We live on Diamond Street,” he’d say ‘diamond’ in an exaggerated way as if it meant riches. “Say a few ‘Hail Marys’ and ‘Our fathers’ for me,” her Dad told her when she left for church. Rachel wasn’t thinking about prayers though. Halloween was coming up at the end of the week, and Halloween was always a big holiday in Eureka Valley.

“It’s because this section of San Francisco has the most children in all of the city, ” her Dad would say.

The ethnic makeup of the neighborhood was Irish with some Polish and Hispanic over the hill in The Mission. Rachel and her friends planned to cover as large a swath of it as possible with their big grocery bags to hold the loot.

Halloween celebrations started with a costume parade at school. Rachel and her little brother Ben could hardly eat dinner that night for all the excitement. As soon as the sun set they were off with parents trailing behind.

Later in the evening would be the parade on 19th Street hosted by Cliff’s Variety Store. Heading up the procession was a mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex followed by a crowd of costumed kids.

” Will you hold my bag, Mom?” Rachel asked Nora.

“You watch yourself, girl, and don’t get trampled in that crowd. Be sure to hold onto your brother.”

“I’ll be fine. Ben’s holding my hand and Jack is here, too.”

Nora felt that familiar chill. She knew that kids can have an imaginary playmate, but a ghost?

Jack stood next to Rachel. “Tonight is when the spirits can cross over and walk the earth,” he whispered to Rachel in a lilting accent.

“There aren’t any spirits, except you, just lots of kids dressed up in costumes.”

Jack wasn’t so sure about that. A witch standing next to the Frankenstein monster looked like that mean old landlady he had back in Dublin.

” Oh, it’s herself all right.”

“What are you muttering about, Jack? You’re spoilin’ all the fun.”

“Don’t worry Rachie, I’ll keep a look out for you and Bennie.”

In all the excitement Rachel had almost forgotten about her brother who held tightly to her other hand.

“Who ya talkin’ to, Rachie?”

“Oh, nobody. Just talkin’ to myself, Bennie,” Rachel answered as she shot a cool glance at Jack.

“Don’t let go of my hand, Bennie.”

” Don’t worry, I won’t. I don’t like the way that witch is lookin’ at me! She’s creepy with that green goo dripping out of her mouth!”

Rachel shot a wary glance at the witch and squeezed her eyes shut to will her away. When she opened her eyes the ugly crone was gone.

” See that, Jack, you can’t let your imagination run away with you.”

Jack was skeptical, but he couldn’t help smiling at Rachel.

All the children marched behind the dinosaur as the proud parents looked on. Rachel smiled and waved at her mom. That’s when she noticed the ugly witch standing behind Nora and froze.

“What’s a matter, Rachie? Why you stoppin’?” whined Bennie. Rachel looked down at her little brother, and when she glanced back at the crowd, the witch had disappeared.

Jack was wondering why Rachel had stood still as a statue as well. “What’s wrong, Rach?”

” Nothing’s wrong. It’s just all your talk about evil spirits. It’s makin’ me see things!”

But the vision left Rachel with a bad feeling the rest of the evening. She hugged her mom extra hard when she got ready for bed.

” What’s troubling you, girl? You’ve been jumpy as an alley cat ever since we got home.”

“Do you believe evil spirits walk the earth on Halloween, Mom?”

“Course not! And who’s been filling your head with all that nonsense?”

“It’s just something Jack told me.”

“I think you been eating too many sweets. I am putting that candy away, and tomorrow we can donate it to the Nursing Home.”

” Okay, Mom, but save a little of it for Bennie and me, please!”

“Get to sleep now and sweet dreams, dear girl.”

Rachel quickly fell into a deep sleep, but it was not sweet.

“So you don’t believe in spirits,” the old woman cackled. Rachel found herself in a cold, dark cave with the old witch who was binding her with a scratchy rope.

” Who are you and why are you doing this?” Rachel cried.

” None of your nevermind, drink this! ” hissed the hag. I am going to switch you with my little changling, and your mam with never know the difference.”

” She will too! ” sputtered Rachel as the bitter liquid was forced down her throat. ” My mom would know me from your rotten little changling any day!”

“Watch your lip, girlie, or you might just lose it!” screeched the witch.

A small twisted creature made its way across the cave toward them leaving a slimy trail in its wake. As it got closer, Rachel could hear a chittering sound coming from its beak.

“What’s that!” she screamed.

“That’s my little darlin’. She’s been waitin’ for me to bring her a little girl like you so she can cross back into the world,” the old witch replied in a gentle, lilting tone.

Rachel was becoming drowsy but fought to keep her eyes open. She knew if she gave in and fell asleep again the witch would do her worst.

***********************************************************************

Rachel woke with a start, bolting straight up in bed, and pinching her arms to make sure she was really herself.

“What the heck are you doin’, Rachie? ” Bennie asked from the doorway.

” Oh, I had a bad dream, that’s all, Bennie.”

“You’re as white as a sheet!” Jack said as he quickly crossed the room.

” I wish everybody would quit making a fuss!” Rachel fumed.

“Who’s everybody?” asked Bennie.

“Oh, none of your nevermind!” Rachel replied.

“Why you talkin’ so funny?”

” I ain’t talkin’ funny!” she said as a little chitter escaped her lips.


WEP October 2018 Challenge #WEPFF-Write…Edit…Publish October Challenge-Deja Vu or Voodoo hosted by Denise, Renee, Olga, and Nilanjana. Featured image of ‘spooky portrait’ via pxhere.com

Word count:  Abt. 1002