Thanksgiving at Rancho Aztlan

This Thanksgiving was very different for us. Instead of locking the doors and having a pizza with the dog, we drove from the Bastrop to Edinburg Texas in bumper to bumper traffic for hours. Of course, before leaving town getting gasoline a fella made a comment about the Mexican colors I was wearing on my t-shirt that I didn’t even realize was showing under my jacket. He said something like “that’s the wrong colors to be wearing around here”. I got the impression he was a nice guy. The kind that flys a confederate flag but means it only in the nicest possible way.
We couldn’t get out of that dirty little town fast enough. We had been so depressed with Donald Trump winning the election thing. We had to go somewhere and get completely surrounded by Mexicans. So to my sister’s place, Rancho Aztlan in south Texas on Benito Ramirez Road we went. My sister and her husband hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner of family members a party of about 12 or 14. All Mexicans and thank goodness no Trumpers. I realized how lucky I am my family is fairly progressive. For example, my mother who’s in her 80s is handy with an iPad and was for Bernie Sanders. I’m grateful my sister on Benito Ramirez who has become the matriarch in training of the family is opened minded as well as her new husband.
It’s was so sweet like I said all Mexicans with no conservatives. Mostly, in our own way we were sharing our grief and supporting each other with the shock and humiliation that the majority of the country agree that people like us are the problem. Basically, a few weeks ago we were told that we take jobs away from people, we are perverts, loafers, not smart enough for the good colleges and just plain unworthy of success.
On the table were the greatest American Thanksgiving dishes including some Mexican favorites that made it perfect. My brother-in-law bought dozens of tamales wrapped in a foil bundles and just passed the bundles out so no one had to even reach far to grab one. Everyone gasped with joy when we saw they were Delia’s tamales. We ate like kings and queens.
The house is being expanded and remodeled and the area we ate in was so pretty in the finished parts. They built a fireplace with impressive stone work that Mexicans are famous for. No roof yet just tall stone walls with Mexican colors, faces, smells and pure south Texas weather.
Down there they have what I call Indian nights. The days are very hot but no matter how hot it mostly cools off really nice at night. The wind picks up and the palm trees and plants start to sway a bit when the sun goes down. I think balmy is the word for the type of wind on Indian nights.
That night so many flocks of ducks flew above making quick arrows towards the south. They were heading to Mexico. Maybe they heard about the election too.
We all talked on and off about what was going on around us. How people bought into the hype and lies. The brother in-law had the best line of the night. He said, “when the Trump train comes by that says “Mexicans” on it you bitches that voted for him need to get your ass on first. We all laughed so hard. I saw tears of relief, joy and love. We shared stories of how we thought the election was gonna go and what happened when we got the news.
People again particularly the brother-in-law shared reasons and stories of why we as Mexicans have a rich culture and reasons to be proud. I myself realized that I am extremely ignorant of my history. I don’t have any excuses for it. I know there’s more to Mexican history than the first Vice President of Texas was Mexican. After all Texas counties, rivers, cities and streets almost all have Spanish names. I also don’t believe we are intellectually inferiors. I’ve just been alive long enough to know that is iust plain not true. It’s more important than ever I learn my history and be in a knowledgable position to straighten out disparaging comments. Rolling my eyes and walking away isn’t an option. Four years is a long time and a lot for shit can happen.  At least the valley is a place where a Mexican can be a Mexican and at a liberal families place you can smell the tamales, marijuana, citrus and make each other laugh.
God Bless El Rancho Aztlan.

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