Sunday, July 01, 2007

happy Canada Day!

I know I don't normally post on Sunday but today has to be an exception, because today is Canada's 140th birthday, known as Canada Day.

If there's one thing that this day reminds me of, it's my mom. She was a proud Canadian if there ever was one. As long as I can remember she wouldn't let a Canada Day go by without celebrating it in some way.

When we were kids and lived in Saskatchewan, Canada Day meant taking a break from the farm routine by going fishing or on an outing or a picnic. The year Daddy was in the hospital with a broken leg, Mom (who didn't drive) wasn't deterred. She packed a picnic lunch and the six of us (with the seventh in her tummy) trekked across the field to have a picnic at the Log Cabin Bush. Then she carved July 1 and the year in the trunk of a poplar tree beside our picnic site.

When she moved to British Columbia years later and needed an excuse to use her provincial floral emblem glasses, teacups and place mats, she began a tradition of serving a Canada Day brunch. She would invite 12 people (and when Nunavut became a territory, 13: one for each province and territory), serve typically Canadian food like bacon, eggs, pancakes and strawberries, then end the morning by getting her guests involved in games and quizzes about Canada's culture and history.

I was at several of those brunches and what fun they were! One year she invited members of our family. My sister brought washable Canada flag tattoos, and even got Mom to put one on. Here's proof! (Although I must say, she does look a little sheepish. Tattoos, even fake ones, weren't her style.)

When Mom died last year, on the eve of Canada Day, more than one of us remarked -- isn't it perfect that Mom's first day in heaven will be Canada Day? Besides remembering her today, I'm sure most of us kids will be celebrating Canada in some way. How can we help it? That's how the matriarch brought us up!

Photo: The Canada Day photo was part of a montage display my sis put together to celebrate Mom's 90th birthday in 2004.


It sure was easy to honor my mother in commemorating Canada Day yesterday. Friends in West Vancouver who have recently moved to a condo on the beach front hosted their customary Canada Day party. From the patio of the party room in their building, we had front row seats for the fireworks.


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