Las Uvas de Furia (The Grapes of Wrath) Mexican Style

I wrote this on January 29, 2014.
Las Uvas de Furia (The Grapes of Wrath) Mexican Style
If you ever plan to motor West
Travel my way, the highway that’s the best.
Get your kicks on Route 66
My family left Chicago on January 29, 1947, a Wednesday. It took them 8 long arduous days on Route 66 in a 1940’s De Soto, three adults and 6 children. My Mama was 12 years old then. They arrived in Visalia, California on February 6, 1947. Where my grandmother had a cousin, named Eloisa Baiza. They came here, in search of a better life. Shortly after, they moved on to the Greenfield/King City area, “to work the land, by picking crops and living in (carpas) tents. My Abuelita used an old kerosene stove to cook all the family meals.
I have been recording my family’s history for many many years, mainly through oral traditions. My Mama, had a phenomenal memory and in addition was a captivating storyteller, she had you at the edge of your seat, laughing and wanting her to continue with more. No one told a story like Helen. She wanted all of her children to know and preserve our family’s history. She asked me to document dates, so they would be preserved. My Aunt Lupe, my Mama & I are the “keeper of the archives, ” my sister, Nellie, appointed me this title. Both my Aunt Lupe & Mama are now gone. This record-keeping was very important to my Mama, When she & I spent time together, she would tell me, “get your writing tablet and pen out.” And I diligently complied.
I am honored to hold the distinct title in lineage of first-born to first borns.
On the maternal (Mireles side) and first-born on the paternal (Castorena side) I am first- born grandchild on both-sides.
It has been difficult to determine what year my Abuelita came from Chihuahua, Mexico. Because according to my 97 year old Aunt Josefa, who still lives in Chicago. My grandmother was born in Abilene, Texas on July 22, 1904. I know my grandmother was in second-grade in Texas. This would change whether I am 2nd or 3rd generation.
Mi Abuelito was born on January 12, 1900, in Guanajuato. And I know he was in Chicago in 1918 or 1919. So, according to my calculations, my family has been in the United States approximately 96 years. So, I would say a 100 Year Family Celebration is in order very soon. We have just enough time to plan it.
Thank you Abuelitos. I am Proud to call you Mis Abuelitos, for striving, for plowing through, for being such hard workers and wanting better for us! My family did not come here demanding nor did they have the attitude they were owed anything!
This date remains imprinted in me for another reason also; my Mama’s birthday was just a few days after their arrival, February 9.
Later on, I will write about there work experiences around the Napa area picking plums (there were no grapes then) in the late 40’s and 50’s.
Abrazos y Besos

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I am perpetually creative, and my eyes “feel” art everywhere. Who am I, I am an open book. I believe that sharing “from the heart” with one another is what connects us, heals us, and inspires us! My love for my Lord, family, friends, cooking, crafting, gardening/nature, vintage, sewing and different cultures; these passions and too many more to list, have moved my hand to paper, thus, Abrazos y Besos. In addition to a nudge by my baby sister, Dudies. My last name is Hug which means Abrazo in Spanish, hence the name of my blog: “Abrazos y Besos” translating to “Hugs & Kisses.” I will focus on our personal life journey with Mi Corazon (Augie Hug) sprinkled with love, spice and fun. Please tune in. Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV) 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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