7.01.2008

Happy Canada Day!

"Where we love is home: home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Homesick in Heaven

Today is Canada Day, a day when my heart goes back to the place that I still [after all these years] call 'home'. I grew up in a small-ish city [Lethbridge] in Alberta, Canada, surrounded by a good-sized extended family and lots of church and family support. It was the perfect place to grow up: a place where we could go out on our own on Hallowe'en with our empty pillowcases and return hours later, safe and sound. I have memories of riding the city bus downtown to the library and feeling so grown-up and independent that I could do that all on my own.

There wasn't a McDonalds, a Burger King, or a Wal-Mart there when I was growing up [there are now] but I have clear memories of Burger Baron, A &W, Woolworth's, Eatons and Kresge's. A lot has changed about Lethbridge as time has passed, but every time I go back there, I feel the same pull. It's home. No matter how much has changed, how much the city has grown [and it has more than doubled in size since my growing-up days] and how many more things are different there now, it will always be home.

There is a part of me that will always be Canadian, despite the fact that I am now legally a citizen of the United States. My heart always lifts at the sight of a maple leaf, at the sound of 'O Canada', or when I hear someone say [in the uniquely Canadian accent that now I recognize, and didn't when I had it] 'out' or 'about'.

So happy Canada Day! If you're not Canadian, it won't mean much to you, but take a minute today and let your own heart be drawn back to where you came from. Think about your home, your heritage and your family traditions and go back in your thoughts and remember and be grateful.

Sometimes we just need to go home to remember who we really are.

17 comments:

Kristen said...

I think you should celebrate with some Cadbury candy!! Happy Canada Day! 'We stand on guard for Thee!'

Jori said...

Your child hood sounds completely wonderful. I bet it's just beautiful there. Ryan and I both want to visit Canada some day.

Val said...

Happy Canada Day! We did have a lovely childhood, didn't we! Just got back from the pancake breakfast in the park - seems to be a tradition here! I always enjoy watching the citizenship ceremony they do every year on July 1st and how grateful the new citizens are for a beautiful safe place they can now call home. It's very touching and always makes me stand a little taller and feel proud to be Canadian.

100 Percent Cottam said...

OOOOHHH CANADAAA!!! happy canada day to you!!!

Chris and Tara Mason said...

Happy Canada Day!

Heather said...

Happy Canada Day to you. Your growing up years sound perfect! Shoot with an A & W in town...how could you go wrong ;)

Natalie Scott said...

Sounds like a wonderful place to grow up! One of these days I'd like to visit, see the temple, and see what it's like there. We've only been to BC (which we LOVE)

Shelley said...

Happy Canada Day Jan! A teensy part of me will always be Canadian, even if the government never recognizes that.

me, myself, and I said...

I can't wait to visit Lethbridge at the end of the month. I'm missing a few things about Canada today. Family, food, and the mountains in BC. I love Texas, but I'll always be Canadian.

Marilee said...

It was fun to read your entry on Canada Day. It won't be long until you can visit Lethbridge again and go back in time. Hopefully the weather will be good. It has been very hot, but yesterday and today has been rainy and overcast.

Ashley said...

there really is no place like home. thanks for sharing more about your canadian home!

Christina said...

I love learning more about how you grew up, Jan. Happy Canada Day!

Sarah said...

I will always, always love my first country. Happy Canada to you!!

Rebecca said...

I celebrated and ate large amounts of caramilks in your honor. I am there for ya! :)

Suzanne said...

Happy Canada Day! It was fun hearing about your childhood. I have a fond place in my heart for Lethbridge because for some reason, there have been many missionaries sent to the Denver North Mission from that area. I can honestly say they have all been incredible missionaries! They must grow them right up there! ;o)

By the way, I'm glad you signed up for the tote give-away, Jan! I always appreciate your kind comments and your support!

Tiburon said...

Happy Canada Day!

Cammie said...

So, how did you get to the USA? When in your journeys did you become a citizen?