Just like it’s neighbor to the South, Canada has it’s own summer celebration to be proud of: Canada Day.
When I was a kid growing up in rural Saskatchewan, the day was referred to as “Dominion Day.” Renamed “Canada Day” in early 1980’s, the end result was the same: a patriotic day of red and white, parades, floats, cook-outs, ball tournaments, pies, visiting and beer tents. Did I mention the pies?
Landing the first day of July, it was a day that Dad came in from cutting hay in time to wash up and head to town with the rest of us. He and other farmers enjoyed the cool air of the Hockey Rink in summer, a fan set strategically near the side door; we all enjoyed the smell of roasted chickens, burgers with onions and pie. Did I mention the pies?
Sometimes we’d get there in time to see the parade and sometimes we’d stay for the fireworks but we always fit in the visiting, the playing, the eating and the pie. Did I mention the pies?
Sometimes we kids might spend the entire day at the lake. You know those kind of days — the kind that leave your shoulders crisp and your heart full. Those were the kind of days that were usually far too hot for sleeping so we’d stay up and play freeze tag under the glow of the Northern Lights.
Mom tells of her and her sisters wearing matching red and white dresses and all of them taking the train to see King George VI. I think this happened on Dominion Day, although I’m not sure. King George IV and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later known as the Queen Mum) had two daughters, the first being Elizabeth, our now longest reigning Monarch. Every Royal who visits Canada seems to visit on Canada Day. And why not? Talk about a festive backdrop!
I don’t live in Canada now and it’s been a few years since I’ve been home to take part in the festivities so today, I’ll look wistfully to the North, hum “Oh Canada” and quite possibly find myself some pie.
Happy Canada Day!