Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Nickel and a Half

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Coming up with five things that no one knows about me is easy because I'm a fairly private person. Deciding which ones to reveal that would give the least amount of material for Rob to tease me about was the only hard part. After much deliberation, here are five things about myself that not many people know. And Rob, you just hush up!

1---I met Princess Diana when I was thirteen. She was on a walkabout in Canada and my friend Nicki and I waited for hours to see her. Prince Charles was coming down our side, but about five people before he got to us, they changed sides and Princess Diana came over to me, shook my hand, asked me what time it was and if it was always that hot in Canada. She was kind and friendly and seemed a little shy to me. I vowed never to wash my right hand again. Don't worry, I did.

2---My grandmother, Thelma Chalifoux, just retired as a Senator in the Canadian federal government. She was the first Metis woman ever appointed to the office and she lobbied for women's rights all over the world. She was also instrumental in furthering the cause of the First Nations in Canada. The Honorable Ms. Chalifoux was voted the most influential Albertan and is one of the leading female figures in the Canadian government.

3---I never dated my husband before I got engaged to him. I met him in college and we became fast friends. He quickly became one of my best friends and we found we could talk to each other about anything. When we were sitting on my couch one morning, he turned to me and said, "Will you marry me in August?" And I said yes, even though we hadn't kissed or dated or said I love you.

4---I had a medical complication once and my heart stopped beating. It was the weirdest feeling ever, like I had a hundred pound weight on my chest. I could hear the doctors all around me and talking about getting the paddles out, and then I felt myself slipping down toward my feet as if I was being pulled through them. The doctors got my heart beating again, though, and I didn't see any bright light or anything. Maybe that's a bad sign.

5---I spent a few weeks in Greece and since I would be there over Christmas, my roommates thought it would be funny to give me some fake snow in a bag so I could throw it on the beach or something and celebrate a snowy Christmas while I was there. Unfortunately, when I got to Athens, armed guards took us off the plane and searched our luggage. My bag of fake snow apparently looked like something else to the guard and he was screaming at me in Greek, pointing toward his gun. I had visions of Greek prisons in my head as I was trying to wave my hands around to simulate snow (think actions to The Wise Man and the Foolish Man when the rains came down and the floods came up sort of thing) Luckily, the Mission President and his wife were walking by at the time and stepped in to help me and explain that it was fake snow.

And Jeff, I'm from one of the greatest countries on earth----CANADA!!!


15 Comments:

At 1/18/2007 5:04 PM, Blogger FHL said...

#4: Before Rob beats me to it, did you feel a burning sensation instead? ;)


Ah, yes, Canada - isn't that one of those overseas countries?
Ref: BSpears

 
At 1/18/2007 5:38 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Are you sure Canada is actually a country and not just a US province? I think I heard that they were planning on naming it the US Virgin Forest. I mean come on. They couldn't even even their own money. They just took US coins and currency and changed them enough to make them not work in vending machines. Okay, now back to Rob.

(We love you Julie.)

 
At 1/18/2007 6:05 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Julie, a couple of things:

1: The "Canadian Federal Government"? In my head I envision this a group of six or seven people who meet once every other week in the backroom of TJI Fridays. Am I far off base?

2: Isn't "the most influential Albertan" just a rotating title that gets passed around between the fourteen people who live there? I'm kind of picturing a radio contest?

 
At 1/18/2007 6:18 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

First of all, FHL, you talk about this burning sensation as if you are well-acquainted with it. And even if I did have that sensation I wouldn't talk about it on a public forum. That's just icky.

As for all the slurs on my beloved country, let me tell you a little story. In high school we were "penpals" with a sister class in a California high school. The longer we wrote them, the more we were appalled by how little the Americans knew about any other country but their own---including Canada.

I know you guys mean it in fun, but seriously, there are some major gaps in American education when it comes to international relations.

And Rob, my sister is a Canadian Border Service Officer and if you're not careful I'll have her flag you on the national database. What does the "E" in Robison E. Wells stand for? I'd hate to have the wrong guy searched if you get my drift...

 
At 1/18/2007 6:34 PM, Anonymous Marnie Pehrson said...

Yeah, Rob you better watch out, I hear Julie's sister has to do some pretty invasive searches. ;)

Seriously, it's funny how people get preconceived notions about different regions or countries. For example, I grew up in Tennessee and when I went to BYU the girl in the apartment next door (from Las Vegas) was in shock that a) I was nice and b) that I wore shoes. Evidently the stereotypical "bad guy" Southerner typified in the 70's-80's media had influenced her opinion of southerners... not to mention the good ol' Beverly Hillbillies. Btw, did you hear the new politically correct term for Hillbillies? .... "Bluegrass Americans." Ok, if you'll excuse me, my dog's caught a possum and we need some vittles this evenin'.

 
At 1/18/2007 6:39 PM, Blogger ChillyGator said...

My knowledge of Canada ends with me missing Beaver Tails (fabulous weekend in Ottawa. Loved that) and I dated a boy from Calgary (and then this girl who knew him and had a crush on him happened to be a sister missionary in my ward...which was weird, but that's not a Canadian thing, more my weird dating life thing). Oh, yeah, also Tim Hortons since they drifted into New York and my companion and I would get a hot chocolate and doughnut when we were driving from Buffalo to Palmyra.

Why my Canadian knowledge is 2/3rds food I don't know....

AND once I was there and ate at this great pizza place....

 
At 1/18/2007 6:43 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Ooh, Tim Horton's! I love that place! There's nothing like hot chocolate and TimBits. Or fries and gravy. Or a Caramilk. Maybe some ketchup chips or some Shreddies.

Man, Chillygator, you made me hungry for my Canadian food! :)

 
At 1/18/2007 6:48 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

I know lots about Canada in that I used to watch "Due South" reruns with my father. Loved that Mountie!

Julie, you're a fabulous ambassador, and your grandmother -- well, WOW!

 
At 1/18/2007 10:08 PM, Blogger Conanberto said...

Greetings from the Great White North although lately you all have been getting most of the ice and cold. Thanks for sharing Julie - interesting stuff about spiritual footdragging, romance without dating and famous relatives. Personally I like most of the Canuckleheads I have met in my life- specially since I are one

 
At 1/18/2007 10:08 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

I grew up on Canadian stories and history. My father moved there when he was thirteen and lived there until his late twenties. He took the Mounted Police training, homesteaded, drove a dog team first for Hudson Bay, then for the RCMP. Victoria is one of my favorite places. It's a country that has always fascinated me from its hardy early pioneers and trappers to the role it has played since the revolutionary war as the place US renegades, draft dodgers, and assorted misfits have fled for asylum. It's the country most like our own, yet vastly different, family you might say. Don't worry about the teasing, Julie. That's just what siblings do. We can tease you, but heaven help anyone else who seriously attacks Canada.

 
At 1/18/2007 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The E in Robison E Wells stands for Egotistical.

I lived in Canada for four years way back when. Probably one of my favorite places I lived in.

 
At 1/19/2007 12:01 AM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Hey FHL, I just clicked on the link for the BSpears quote. That was really funny! I'm glad I caught it. And you know I was just teasing you before, right? ;)

 
At 1/19/2007 7:38 PM, Blogger KB said...

Hey, I have a 19 volume, hardback history of Canada published pre-1923. Vintage. Pretty good condition. I paid $250 for it. I'm willing to sell it for my cost per shipping. Anyone interested? Contact me through my blogger ID link.

 
At 1/21/2007 10:16 PM, Blogger Anna Maria Junus said...

Hi from a fellow Canuck!

So according to Robinson Wells there's only 14 of us in Alberta. When is it my turn to wear the name "most influential Albertan?"

Funny Greek story by the way. You should use it in a book.

 
At 1/22/2007 3:34 PM, Blogger FHL said...

Taken in stride, Julie. =)

One of my favorite little Canadian culture gap stories came from a Taboo-style game we were playing at FHE. We were using Pictionary cards and trying to get the group to guess the word without using the word, got it? And the reader gave the clue "First president of the USA" and the response he got was "I don't know, Franklin? Jefferson?" We were astounded that a BYU student wouldn't know this. She said, "Come on! I'm from Canada. Can you name OUR first president?" (Okay, she probably didn't say president.) Granted, Trudeau is the only Canadian leader I can name. Wait, he wasn't the one who does Doonesbury? ;)

Also, my one Canadian friend likes to use the term "potlicker" as a slight derogatory. I've happily adopted it where I can.

 

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