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Showing posts with the label 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

Joking Away

Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here .   Ready for a few jokes. Here's one I made up the other day. In what area of a community might you find dull horses? A neighhhh-bor(e)-hood Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.  I've been editing this joke for a few years now. What was the American revolutionary's favorite poultry dish? Chicken Catch-a-Tory. Ba-dum Chinggg! The Husband likes this joke of mine. What a guy. Pablo and his tia were eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant. As his auntie was taking a bite into her burrito, Pablo noticed a rip in her sleeve. He pointed at the tear and said, "Tore, Tia? He-he.  Until tomorrow, dear readers.   

The Ilocano Tribe

Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . In 1985, I spent several days camping in Havasu Canyon with the First Husband-to-be. Havasu Canyon lies just outside of the western border of the Grand Canyon National Park.   The Havasu campground is on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and run by the Havasupai tribe. Havasupai means people of the green blue water.   Havasu Canyon is kno wn for its gorgeous waterfalls that run down to the Colorado River. And , yes, the pools of water were a spectacular green-blue color when we were there. I've seen photos on the Internet that show they stil l are. To get to the campground back then, you either flew in on a helicopter or h iked the winding 10-mile trail down to the canyon floor. I was (and still am) a slow walker, so the First Husband-to-be got to the campground office before me. The reservation was under my name so he and the office manager patiently waited for me to get there. The two men were talk

Hopping Trains

Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . Uncle Frank was the Daddy's younger brother by three years. Both left their home in the Philippines when they were in their early 20s. The Daddy left first in 1928, going to Hawaii as a contracted sugar plantation laborer. Uncle Frank left a year later. He sold his carabao to make his fare for a ship to the United States. After a 28-day trip in third class with 250 other young Filipino men, Uncle Frank landed in Seattle.  During the late 1970s, I conducted and ta ped an oral history interview with Uncle F rank. The following is what he said about those first few years (1929-193 1) in America. During those early Depression years , h e traveled to different states to find work by hopping trains. Uncle Frank in the 1970s My ticket was from Philippines to California, but I got no more money so I find a job in Seattle. I saw an advertisement for thinning beets in Minnesota. I apply for the job. We went to

Good Friends

See the flowers outside. The Mama snips off dead blossoms every few days to make sure the flower bushes are bright and cheery for everyone to look at. And, Molly the Cat makes sure she sniffs them every time she is out there to show her appreciation. Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here .

The "F" in Filipino

Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here .   The Mama and the Daddy immigrated to the United States from the Philippines, a country that is composed of more than 7,000 islands. So, it goes without saying (but I am anyway) that the archipelago has many distinct cultures that have their own languages.  Because of the islands position next to China and Southeast Asia, the islands were a stopping ground for traders, adventurers, and religious evangelists as they traveled east or west. Until the Spanish arrived in the archipelago in the 16th century, the indigenous peoples did not have the consonant F in their languages. When the Spanish began colonizing the islands in 1565, they introduced the Latin script as way of converting the native people to Catholicism. Yep, the good old sword and the cross shtick. One of the early Spanish explorers decided to name  Leyte and Samar Felipinas or Las islas Filipinas after their king,  Phillip II. Eventually, the Spanish

Flying with the Eagles

Check out other A to Z Challenge participants b y clicking here . The Loneliest Road in America truly sums up the stretch of U.S. Route 50 through ce ntral Nevada. I had no idea Nevad a had so many desert valleys until I drove this national highway.  You get over one mountain range and voila ! It's deja vu—a nother endless valley floor with a mountain range staring from afar. In the late 1980s, the First Husband and I decided to drive cross-country, from San Francisco to New York. However, the first day of our adventure began with a dental emergency and a pain that would eventually make itself known as cancer for the First Husband. After several days of checking with doctors, we got in our red Mazda pick-up truck and headed east, with an open mind that we would turn back at Denver if the First Husband did not feel well. I don't remember how we decided to take U.S. 50 rather than the more direct U.S. 80 through Nevada to Utah. Most likely it was the ro


Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . A few months after the Daddy died, the Mama needed me to uncover the septic tanks in the back yard so that the service guys could come and clear them out. So, one weekend I drove down from San Francisco, where I lived at the time, to do her bidding. The Older and Only Brother lived a few minutes away from her, but she rarely bothered him with such tasks. "He's busy. He has to work on Saturdays. He has a family."  The day of digging was the same day that the Mama went to Reno with the local Filipino club. Her friends had convinced her to go. It would be a good change for her, they told her. I was very relieved that she would not be home. Back then we were always on tense terms. And, if I was doing physical work, it was best to leave me alone. There were two septic tanks in the Mama's backyard. I had no idea. I thought there was only one and I knew where it was. I dug out the tank just like that

The Daddy, the Carpenter

Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . "My dad was a carpenter." That phrase is frozen in my memory.  It was spoken by the Older and Only Brother. I don't recall what the event was or when it happened when I heard him say that. The Brother's choice of memory about the Daddy surprised me, because I don't think of the Daddy as a carpenter. The Daddy did build things. He built the tool shed and the shelters for the chickens, pigeons, pigs, goats, and occasional cow or two that he raised and butchered for our food at the far end of the backyard. We lived in the county, a couple miles away from the city limits, so he could do that.  But, the buildings that the Daddy constructed were not of the quality of ones built by professional carpenters.  I don't know if the Older and Only Brother ever helped him construct the buildings in the backyard. When we moved to that house, he was a teenager and always doing stuff for school or wo


The apricot tree had fewer blossoms than last year. "You pruned too much," said the Mama. Sigh. I needed to cut the low branches so I wouldn't get stabbed in the forehead or the Husband wouldn't get poked in the chest as we wandered through the ya rd while following Molly the Cat. I also wanted to clean up the tangle of branches now rathe r than later when it would be too difficult to do. I want to think the Mama understands all that. But, all she can think of right now is that we will have fewer apricots to eat this year . Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . " N ext year the tree will have a lot of blossoms , " I said . Sh e didn 't say a word.  We can o nly hope.

The Aunties

 Today's post starts the A to Z Bloggin g Challenge. I'll be going through the alphabet during the month of Ap ril. No posts on Sundays though.  The challenge was founded by Ar lee Bird . Thank you, Arlee! You can check out  A t o Z participants  by clicking here . Now , on with t he first post.... The Aunties .       "Iago?! Iago! Iago! It's Iago!"   The Daddy jumped out of the Filipino tricycle ( a mot orcycle cab ) and strode up to the house, as the Aunties came tumbling out of it. The grey-haired women cried as they hugged the brother they had not seen in nearly 25 years.  Then they saw me standing by the tricycle and they came running and pulled me into their arms. "Susie! Susie!"   They had never seen me before, but they knew it was me. I had never before felt so much unconditional love from strangers. Immediately, I understood what it meant to be part of an extended family. And, it turned out I was related to a lot of people in t