Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What did you do on Canada Day?

Whalen's Wanderings Column in the Kings County Record (July 6 edition)

So what did you do for Canada Day?  Was it the same thing you did last year for Canada Day?  I know I did the same thing as last year.  For me that is what Canada Day is about.  It is about family and tradition and it is about hanging out with close friends and family and sharing the celebration together.  Canada Day is about setting time aside to slow down and appreciate what we have here in Canada.

I can't recall how long ago our current tradition began.  It was likely the first year after my wife and I moved to Sussex.  Long time friends of my parents invited us over for a barbeque and pool party and since we had a young child at the time, hanging out with willing babysitters seemed like a good idea.  With my parents at that Canada Day party my wife and I could more easily relax and enjoy the pool, the food and drinks, and the conversation.

This year's Canada Day was spent like the last 4 at least.  While some people may like a change, for me it has become a great way to connect with some of those people I don't get to see regularly through out the rest of the year.  In total there are likely 5 or 6 families that have enjoyed this party regularly over the years.  The families would span three generations and most of the people in the first generation who have attended in the past, knew me as a child, and I grew up with their kids.  Now our lives are busier and I have lost touch with them and their children.  Our Canada Day tradition allows us to catch up and span that generational gap.  There is a long history between many of those who attend and to keep that history growing, this Canada Day party allows us all to continue to add to the story.  It allows a generation that had a huge impact on me to also provide that same wholesome, family oriented, positive impact on my children. 

I think that a get together like this builds a strong sense of what it means to be Canadian.  As Canadians we love our families, we love our backyards, we love being outdoors, we love our stories, we love to play, and we love to celebrate.  A couple of people love to play music, some love to swim, some like to toss washers, some like to talk, and we all love to eat.  When you bring all this together it makes for a diverse party atmosphere that slightly symbolizes the diversity that makes Canada so great.

Did anyone see where I put my towel?

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