Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Home Sweet Home

I had a really nice blog all ready to go for today. I liked it. It was a good blog. But then, I woke up this morning and my computer had crashed, and it was snowing. Not just snowing, but dumping like ten feet of snow. Mother Nature had teased us all week with wonderful weather, we’re-not-even-wearing-jackets kind of weather and then, here we are with snow, snow, snow.

It reminded me of home—back in Canada. It snows there, quite a bit actually. Not as much as Americans seem to think, or as Bob and Doug McKenzie portrayed, (take off, eh?) but it does snow. We don’t usually drive dog sleds, though, and no, I don’t have a dog sled license. An American actually asked me if there was a wall of ice at the border of the U.S. and Canada and that’s how you knew you were in Canada. The dog sled thing? Yeah, I’ve been asked that about a million times. I’ve been asked if Canadians know how to garden in the snow, if it’s true that appropriate baby shower gifts for Canadian babies are ice skates and mittens. (It is true that every Canadian town or city, no matter how big or small will have two things—a church and an ice rink.) It’s quite funny, actually. It’s sort of like the "eh" thing. Canadians do not use it after every sentence. It’s sort of like how American’s use the word, "huh?" It’s for emphasis or to make a sentence a question. But somehow the Canadian "eh" has gotten more mileage and jokes than the American "huh."

We don’t take ourselves too seriously though. We know what we’re about and we’re okay with that. Canadians are some of the best educated in the world, we invented such games as basketball, we claim such celebrities as Jim Carrey and Michael J. Fox, and singers like Shania Twain and Celine Dion. We’re patriotic, fun-loving, easygoing people. Canada has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and you could spend your life trying to see it all. I love going home to Canada and seeing canola fields as far as the eye can see, wheat granaries standing sentinel, and most of all, eating the food. I miss Canadian food sometimes. Luckily, my mom sends me care packages so I don’t get too homesick, and I’ve recently discovered a store here locally that sells Canadian candy. (For outrageous prices, though!) There’s nothing like a MacIntosh taffy or a bowl of Shreddies cereal, but a Crispy Crunch or a Caramilk is the only thing that will satisfy a true choc-a-holic. Canadian chocolate is to die for. I also love being able to walk into a restaurant in Canada and ask for fries and gravy, and not have the waitress look at you like you have two heads. And I miss being able to have beautiful money that isn’t all the same color. Canadian money is a work of art. Beautiful colors that help you distinguish whether you’ve got a ten or a fifty. And no dollar bills at all. You have coins for $1 or $2, affectionately called loonies and toonies.

I love my Canadian heritage, but at the same time, I love being an American as well. The two countries are so alike, yet so different. Canada has supported the U.S. in every war they’ve ever been in, and Canadian soldiers have died next to their U.S. brothers. My grandfather received a medal of commendation from the President of the United States because it was his unit who saved an American battalion pinned against a hill during the Korean war. During 9/11, Canada was the first country to offer help to the U.S., immediately sending emergency personnel over the border as well as taking all the re-routed planes that could not land in the U.S. President Bush has called Canada a "brother" to the U.S., and I think that is a true statement. The relationship between these two countries is so individual, yet so intertwined, much like we are in our church. We are each individuals, responsible for our own actions, yet our lives are intertwined because we are brothers and sisters in the gospel.

So today, during this snowstorm, I am reminded of how much I miss my home country, and how blessed I am to live in the country that I do. It is truly the best of both worlds. Now give me some of that Canadian chocolate! Hurry!


At 4/06/2006 3:49 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

So, good blog and all, but Canada? I mean, seriously: I'm pretty sure that's not even a real place. Honestly, have you ever met anyone from there? It's just a fairy tale parents use to scare children into choosing private health insurance.

At 4/06/2006 3:58 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

That sounds like something an AMERICAN would say! :)

Don't even get me started on the health care debate.

At 4/06/2006 5:34 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Don't you think you guys should be apologizing for Celine Dion? I think we're owed that one. ;)

Canadians strike my younger brothers as immeasurably funny. Some of their greatest sources of amusement has been when one of my sisters have dated someone from Canada. I'm not sure why. Does that make them nationists?

At 4/06/2006 5:47 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Well, if we're apologizing for celebrities, then the Americans better get started. Seriously. :)

That's okay about your brothers. Canadians laugh at Americans and all their idiosyncracies all the time. I prefer to focus on the positives, however. Can't we all just get along?

At 4/06/2006 6:25 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

He wasn't Canadian, he served his mission in Canada. How many times to do I have to say it? And I did make fun of him always saying eh, because he did always say it.

At 4/07/2006 1:07 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Ah, Shreddies cereal. I must have eaten my own weight in Shreddies every month while we were living overseas.

Do you have Cadbury Roses in Canada? Mmm.

At 4/07/2006 10:08 AM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

You realize that Canada isn't overseas if you're living in America right?

We did have Cadbury roses, and Cadbury bars, and they were delicious. I think Mr. Big and Caramilk are my favorites though. Oh, and Ketchup chips, yum!

At 4/07/2006 10:19 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Boy is my face red. I should have been more specific. We were living in Ireland.

At 4/07/2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

And for the record, yes, I do know that Canada isn't overseas. Hmm. . . let's see . . . I think it's sort of north of the U.S., isn't it? Behind that big wall of ice? ;-)

I want some Cadbury chocolate.

At 4/07/2006 1:22 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I've had enough of your Canada-is-awesome crap, Julie. I'm calling INS.

At 4/07/2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Can I bribe you with some Canadian chocolate? Pretty please?


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