A couple of years ago, mr. trump started making changes about which countries could source travelers into the US. This was met with protests at airports and in front of government buildings. Eventually, some states sued, and the restrictions were relaxed. Remember all that? Well, the day after that started, my neighbor down the street put a yard sign on her front lawn declaring "Refugees Welcome". It wasn't a home-made sign, so I figured there was some political movement she subscribed to which gave her the sign to raise awareness. Honestly, unless you were without access to any media, pretty much everyone knew what he had started. After all the lawsuits and protests, her sign persisted. We had neighborhood barbecues (yes, our neighborhood does that) and picnics and her sign was a point of conversation. Oddly enough, no matter the general political tilt of the folks who lived on the street, the underlying sentiment was "we're all from somewhere else" and the huddled masses phrase from the Statue of Liberty still resonates.
Refugees Really Welcome
|it kinda looks like this|
Consider this short street with a cul-de-sac has, maybe, 20 houses on it. Most of them are occupied with older couples with grown children or families with teenagers. It's quiet. There is no thru-traffic people drive super -slow down the street waving at each other, and everyone pretty much knows everyone else. Yes, it is like Smallville, but it is actually a fairly good cross-section representation of the ethnic diversity on Portland's west side. I can count the number of young families on 2 fingers, though. So, the new family is changing the dynamic and increasing the number of young families by 50% along the way. How the neighborhood is responding is quite telling, and heart-warming.
We have one neighbor, she's single, retired and has 2 Corgis. Rather than just throwing the ball for her dogs as she used to, she encourages the boys to play with them too. I saw another neighbor bring out some cups of juice one warm afternoon. The younger families now have more kids on the street to play with, so the games are getting bigger and louder and longer.
Boo and I hosted the three boys for a couple of hours this past weekend. While Boo entertained the younger 2 with games, toys and snacks, the 11 year old older boy (M) helped me get Hapy back down off jack-stands following an unsuccessful attempt to get the rims off. There's a post in the works on that saga. He loves cars ("second only to family" he said), and is interested in our collection of mid-project pieces. I can totally appreciate where he's coming from. I loved cars when I was 11 too, so I'll be welcoming our new neighbor whenever he wanders over and is looking for something to work on. Our corral is definitely a target-rich environment for car-mechanic-ing.
2 Sentence Bus Content
I have uncovered the bus for the summer, and expect to do a great many things before camping / festival season starts. I expect my new friend M will be helping when and however he can.
I think it is much easier to want to close the border or refuse refugees when you haven't ever met one. M is my friend and I would like to believe he now has an opportunity to achieve his great potential. He and his family endured difficulties most Americans, including me, couldn't imagine. Maybe learning of their perils will help us realize just how blessed we are, and how truly "first world" our supposed problems are. I think the steady introduction of refugee reality over generations has traditionally kept we Americans humble and appreciative. I hope we can remain that way, and not react with walls and policy intended to protect us, but will only further isolate us from our neighbors.
I guess that's it for today. Thanks for following along. You know I don't usually get political, and this wasn't meant to be. I am just amazed by our neighbor's capacity to give, and needed to share it. Thanks-