Friday, April 18, 2014

Family Visiting

Barb and John at Duke's Creek

When family drives across the country for a visit you put on a hostess hat and show off the local sights. It is always fun to see your area with the fresh vision of guests. My week turned into a surprise when my sister, Barb called and said she was only a few hours away having spent the night in Nashville. Barb and her partner, John had left Vancouver, Washington for a retirement cross country celebration a couple of weeks ago with plans to visit family along the way. Barb retired and has always wanted to do a cross country road trip. They had no strong dates in mind, but just to see the sights along the way, taking old Route 66. Well the rains limited some of their sightseeing, which brought them to my house sooner than I thought they might be coming.  Interestingly, they came at the time of National Sibling Day. A holiday I had never heard of, but I guess it has been around since 1997, according to my internet research and this year made it big on FB with people posting pics of their siblings. The holiday was originally conceived by Claudia Evart to honor the memory of her brother and sister, both of whom had died. Did you know that in the US, 79% of all children have siblings when growing up. So why not have a holiday celebrating our siblings.

Here are a few old time pics of Barb and I in the 1950’s, which is why they are all black and white. I am the oldest so this why I am taller, we are 18 months apart in age and she claims that now she is taller than me, but I think we are about the same height and size. Our grandmother made most of our clothes so we were often dress in matching outfits, sometimes of different colors. I think it was the fashion of the day to perm little girls hair, I can’t say I like the look. One of my fav photos is the one we are the youngest in with matching plaid jumpers. We are seated on the piano bench and I guess I really like it because I remember laughing and being posed for the pic. 

Barb and John's visit was a short one, but the spring started to be in full glory around here. The sun came out after the rains that they arrived in, so, we enjoyed a spring hike to Duke’s Creek Falls with the air scent rich with blooms and damp earth. This was my first in years and that felt really fun and exciting hiking down and back up the steep switch back paved trail and still feeling okay. At the falls a women offered to take our photo. Nice to have the pic and wonderful to enjoy the sights and sounds of the falls and creek filled by the recent rains. They both really enjoyed all the local sights, and local restaurants North Georgia at its best.
John, Barb and AJ at Duke's Creek Falls

Another highlight of their visit was going to the movies. Something I never get around to doing very often. We all wanted to see the award wining independent film, Cesar Chavez. A film I highly recommend seeing Cesar Chavez, the man who created United Farm Works Union back in the late sixties and early seventies. We lived in California during the events depicted in the movie, which did give us somewhat of a nostalgia for our idealist youth. It was also, a powerful reminder of past events that I wish I could say are all behind us and we now live in a country that has healthy working conditions and fair pay for all workers. Unfortunately, we don’t. So, this was a very relevant movie for our current times and how people can make changes in their lives through solidarity of workers and non violence. It was a well done film showing how one man and his family could set out to organize a whole community to promote change and success at least in part. It is a film that will leave you thinking. Thinking, maybe just how lucky you are or maybe how you can get involved in current issues for social change. There are many.

 Here is a quote from Cesar Chavez: On Starting a Union for Farmworkers:
"I had a dream that the only reason the employers were so powerful was not because they in fact had that much power, in terms of dealing with the lives of their workers at will, but what made them truly powerful was that we were weak.And if we could somehow begin to develop some strength among ourselves, I felt that we could begin to equal that, balancing their power in agriculture."

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