… and Columbus Day as well. There was no walk for this Canuck today since it was a soggy, drizzly early morning, so I decided to grab a little more snooze time. Instead of pumpkin pie, sleeping in was my Thanksgiving Day treat. For dinner, I’ll have a turkey sandwich and that’ll satisfy the holiday fare requirement for 2014. This is a picture of me proudly proclaiming my heritage sometime in the 90s. Unfortunately, my mom, who was a good half-foot shorter than me, cut off part of my head in the picture. I was originally planning to attach a photo of some Canada Geese grazing at the Park to this post, but after Googling around a little bit, I found out that Canada has no national bird, but the provinces each have their own representative bird. Since I was born in Toronto, Ontario, my national bird would have been the Common Loon. I really didn’t want the word “common”, nor a loony bird associated with me, thus this picture of myself in one of my favorite sweatshirts. Through the years, there have been alot of people that I’ve known, through work or school, that never knew I was a Canadian citizen. It is not that I am ashamed of my heritage – it just doesn’t come up in casual conversation anymore. But, back when our family moved here from Canada in 1966, my schoolmates teased me horribly about my Canadian accent and my proper Oxford English. So, I tried to say as little as possible and emulate my peers with their lingo and pronunciations. My mother, however, refused to acquiescence to anyone, and for the rest of her life continued to say words like “chesterfield” instead of “sofa”, “toque” instead of “cap” and “serviette” instead of “napkin”. I am more keenly aware of being a Canadian this week as I must renew my green card, something that now happens once a decade. Once upon a time, all we did was obtain a card from the post office and send it in to the government every January … that card merely confirmed that we were still living in the United States. Then, about twenty years ago, we had a form to fill out, special pictures to be taken and had to make a trip to the police station to have fingerprints done. From there we had to get validated at the U.S./Canada border. My fingerprints were too blurry to be used – way too many years of typing and, who knows … maybe even all the accordion playing. They had to be redone. It was a little embarrassing. The procedure next morphed into an electronic application and capture of vital info in 2005. Now, the entire process is done through the Department of Homeland Security instead of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. I applied a month ago because my card expires in February 2015, but I passed muster and got my appointment right away. I go this week to have my fingerprints, photo and signature captured electronically for DHS’ digital files. I also had to pay a $450.00 fee for the application and electronic capture. I have promised myself that I will become an American citizen before I have to renew my green card again. Since Canada is our neighbor, it is a shame that I cannot just become one of you without all this fanfare; after all … Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day are always celebrated the same day – hint, hint.