I've never been out of the U.S. on the 4th of July before. Normally, I line our driveway and the street line with little US flags, I decorate the house and the patio, and pull out all manner of red/white/and blue paraphernalia for the back yard. But not this year...
Canada Day was last Friday. I live in Canada now. Granted it was fun, and the fireworks were great (more on that in a minute), yet we were, interestingly, watchers rather than partakers. I wore red & white and put on a little dual-nation flag pin showing my allegiances to my own country and my adopted one. We walked into town, checked out the historic sites in Amherstburg, and took in all that is the same and different about our countries' Independence Days. Jared, Jordan, and Rhiannon were here, so the day was special in many ways. I made them gift bags with Canada things in an attempt to help us all fit in somehow.
Back on Boblo that evening, all the islanders went to a neighbor's house to "watch" the fireworks. And I do LOVE fireworks. This year, however, brought something totally unexpected. The Fire Dept. showed up, with the City's fireworks, AT THE HOUSE where we were. The owners have a little finger of land that faces town, so we were at 'ground zero' for launch. Our chairs were about 30 yards from the firing range. It was amazing, scary, perhaps a bit life-threatening, and fabulous, depending on the moment. Jordan kept saying, "we're all going to die" as the fireworks exploded literally right over our heads, and we burst our laughing every time he said it. We sat there, marveling at our luck or death wish, depending on your perspective. This would NEVER happen in the States, so I have Canada to thank for a fireworks experience I'll never have again.
Today is the 4th of July, and there are no decorations out. Friends say to go ahead, but, honestly, I want to honor those where I live. This is not their day, and I'm in their country. Lest you wonder, I am a die-hard American, and my heart is with you all today. You live in the greatest country on Earth, and don't let the media tell you otherwise. No other country affords the freedoms the U.S. does.
I'm thankful today for the warmth and friendliness of Canadians, but I'm forever thankful to be an American.