happiness

Canada’s 150th

We spent the day celebrating Canada’s birthday. 

First Canmore for the parade – this has become a really great family tradition 


Then to my Aunt’s house for their annual Canada party. This is one of those sacred family visiting times. 


After going home for a quick nap then it was off for the last family party 


The boy stopped me and said how much he appreciated having all this family around and how great it was to have so many things to do. 

And he’s right on. How lucky are we. What happiness. 

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happiness

Canada Day 2016

I love celebrating  Canada’s birthday and this is the third one in a row we have been home for. That also made it the third year in a row we went to the Canada Day parade in Canmore, which means it is officially a tradition now. 

The highway was insane, but totally worth it once we got there. My sister kindly saved us seats and we had the best spot we’ve thus far – although  it did make us prime targets for the water guns being sprayed on the route  (fortunately it was super hot and they were most welcome). 

How very Canadian 


After the parade we went to the creek and relaxed and enjoyed some family time. This is without a doubt my favorite thing to do. It nourishes my soul to be at that spot. It was the perfect way to finish celebrating the birthday of the country I love so much. 

A day filled with happiness moments. We are blessed. 

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happiness

The start of party season

This is my favourite time of the year. The weather is (supposed to be) nice and it’s the start of party season. It seems like from now until near the end of July we go non stop. Between weddings, family parties, and the stampede we will be busy for a while. 

Tonight was the annual Canada Day, 4th of July party. I love this family event. Even though it rained we played all the games, listened to the music, and visited with friends and family. An evening of happiness. 

This guy was in the bathroom at the lodge. 

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happiness

Being Canadian

I have always loved being a Canadian, specifically an Albertan, but I love my entire country. I mean, it’s awesome. I may not always be able to describe exactly why it is the best place in the world to live, but I believe it to the bottom of my soul.

When I was trying to figure out what to become when I grow up in my 20s (not knowing that I would be in my 40s and still not know the answer to that question), I fell in love with Canadian History. I took every class I could until I ended up with my B.A. in the subject. It may not be extremely useful in my every day life (especially those 8 years I lived in the States), but I really enjoyed it. One of the best parts was that it gave me a much better understanding of what Canada is (or is not).

I spent some time today watching the documentary Being Canadian, where Robert Cohen took a trip across Canada to answer the question what does it mean to be Canadian? It seems that what he discovered is that  it is almost impossible to explain exactly what it means to be Canadian. This identity of having a non-identity is something that is really difficult to explain to people who aren’t from Canada – something I learned during my time in the States. 

I too bonded with other Canadians while living in the States for the sole reason that we were both Canadian. It was something that had to be mentioned, the same as there is always some kind of acknowledgement when I come across a fellow Lefty. A kind of relief in knowing that you’re not the only one floating around out there.

Also, the fact they had an entire segment about the Beachcombers was incredibly awesome. 

I proudly kept my Canadian sorry in my vocabulary until after living in Southern Virginia, I finally gave it up. I was shocked to live in a place where when someone bumped into me and I said oh, sorry they would grunt at me that yes I should be, now get the *** out of my way. I’m happy to say that I have my sorry back now that I’m home again.

 

 

I watched the documentary (thrilled that since he’s also from Calgary he spent a little longer there, no offense Toronto, but I was glad that you weren’t the centre of the universe…. sorry) and it got me thinking about what it means for me to be Canadian.

I have strong Canadian roots on both sides of my family. Of course since we are all immigrants, that only goes so far… But, my Dad’s side has old standing in Ontario – I came home from my Canadian history class one day and told my Dad we were learning about the Northway store and he was like oh yeah, that was your great grandfather’s store. And my mom’s family was one of the first to settle out here in Alberta.

I have always identified very strongly and proudly as a Canadian and it thrills me to be back in my country and raising my kids in our Canadian culture (whatever that is).

So what does it mean to me to be Canadian? Well it means my prairie/foothills/mountain roots in Calgary. It means time on the ranch that was started by my great-grandparents and continues on now with my uncle, aunt, and cousins. It means horseback riding and freedom.

It means summers with family at the creek

It means going to the Canada Day Parade in Canmore and celebrating how awesome it is to be Canadian.

It means going to the Stampede (the kids here with my uncle when we were at the rodeo last year). 
It means going branding and being a part (a limited part since a lot of this cow stuff is totally out of my wheelhouse, but I love it) of learning what makes the ranch work. It’s important we know our heritage. 

It means tobogganing down the hill by the barn while the horses watch


It means having your kid throw snowballs at you while you’re unloading groceries from the car (not off the dogsled)

It means beautiful skies and unexpected snowstorms.

It means Santa Claus Parades in our hometown. It also means being closer to the North Pole and all of Santa’s goodies.  

Pure and simple, it means home. It is security, love, peacefulness, kindness, humour, and a place where I am truly blessed to live.

Ok, maybe that is just what it means to me to be Albertan. However,  I think one of the best things I did was live in Quebec for 2 years. I actually think there should be an exchange program between our two provinces where everyone has to spend some time in each other’s provinces. I loved living in Quebec and some of my greatest friendships were made there.

My happiness moment today: watching something that made me sit down and think about how much I truly appreciate this wonderful place that I call home.

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Uncategorized

Canada Day

This is the  second  year in a row that we have been home to celebrate Canada Day. Already we have started making new traditions. My sister and her kids, me and my kids, and my cousin’s kids start the day off by driving up to Canmore to watch the parade. I hadn’t been right in the mountains since last summer and it felt so good to be in the warmth of them and receive a mountain hug. My spirit is drawn to those mountains. I find peace by being in them. Today we also found candy, clowns, and water guns in them.  It was awesome. 

  
After the parade we go to the annual Canada Day party at my great aunt’s house. Here I got to visit with old aunts and uncles that I don’t get to see often enough. Today I had a long visit with my uncle Harvey. He and my aunt held the Pony Club at their place when I was a kid and a lot of my best childhood memories are from that era. It was also the place where I learned to be courageous and brave even when I was terrified. Amazing the bravery you can find trying to keep up with those really brave big kids. We did everything from sleep in silos to jump terrifying cross country jumps. Loved every minute of it. It absolutely helped shape me into who I am today. 

Of course before we left, the kids and I had to run out in the field and take out annual weird picture at aunt Irene’s. 

 
I am so glad incredibly thankful to be back in the fold of our tribe. I am even more thankful for the fact that we have this tribe. My happiness moment s for today was celebrating Canada’s birthday with my family. 

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