Independence

My mother gave birth to me late in life. She was 40 and my father was 50. While I am eternally grateful that they had me at all, a great sadness in my life is how soon they had to leave it. I miss my parents. I did get to enjoy my Mother’s wit and wisdom much longer than my Dad’s, since he passed away in 1987. But my Mother passed away only three years ago and her presence and energy are still very close in my life.

She was born in central Alberta on the fourth of July in the 20’s. Hard times but she was luckily born to an amazing woman, my grandmother, and her father had a brilliant sense of humor that she inherited as his firstborn. Her father was born in North Dakota and maintained a dual citizenship which proved helpful for 3 of his 8 children in their decision to move to the USA. While my aunts and uncles have all passed away, I have very fond memories of travelling south of the border and staying with relatives, and hearing my mother’s predictable joking that “these banners and flags and parades are wonderful, but you really didn’t have to go to all this trouble for my birthday”. Ah yes. My mother. Never missed an opportunity to share her wit and sarcasm. And while I am like her in some ways I am incredibly different in others. Regardless, I miss her.

Her incredible skill with cribbage had her winning most tournaments that she entered. Her talent with items like a pot roast and a few potatoes and carrots, always turned it into a gourmet meal with melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and lovely depths of flavour. Her natural manner with people who came into her diner made it a very popular destination, especially for truckers which she (rightly so) took as a great compliment. Her gift with butter-tarts and how she transformed mere pastry and raisins into a mouth-watering and family-wide famous treat is still legendary.

She would have been proud to see how my husband and I flew Canadian Flags in our windows and yards from the 29th of June until yesterday the 3rd of July, in celebration of Canada. And today, on her birthday, I celebrate my friends and relatives in the US. A big chunk of my heart is in America.

As a lover of music, two of my favorite songs are “Southland¬†in the Springtime” by Indigo Girls and “That’s Right (you’re not from Texas)” by Lyle Lovett. And I often eliminate the extra ‘u’ that English dictionaries insist for words such as favourite, neighbour, endeavour, colour, flavour, and more. I am not exactly sure why. The part of me with US blood perhaps? I joke of course because in reality I believe we all have the same blood. We all are cut from the same cloth. So today I chose to cheer on the US and to acknowledge that I watch your politics and policies closer than one might think. Yes there are problems, just as there are in Canada, in Australia, in the UK, in Asia, in Europe, and absolutely everywhere. But I choose to focus on what IS working and how many athletes, chefs, musicians, artists, poets, doctors, travellers, and more, who worldwide join me in singing the praises of how we are all the same. So on this Fourth of July, I celebrate the fact that we are more than neighbors. We share a continent and we are kin. Let’s continue to work together and help make this world better than ever!

Today, in my mother’s honor on her birthday, and for her American-born father – my beloved grandfather, and my dear US-residing brother and brother-in-law and both their families, and for all my dear friends in the US who I’ve met through our blogging endeavors and hope to visit someday in my travels south of the border, this is for you. God Bless America, and God Bless the World!

And with great joy I present here a couple of my favorite songs of all time! The Girls for their poetry and music, and Lyle for his musical talent and brilliant, humorous wit!

47 thoughts on “Independence

  1. Thank you, dear Gina! A wonderful tribute to your mother on her birthday…I love her sense of humor – especially the part about the banners, flags and parades. And I, too, love the Indigo Girls and their song “Southland in the Springtime.” They’re from my hometown, Atlanta, and every time I hear that song, I’m transported back to my early years there. OOOH, and another two favorite Indigo Girls songs: “Galileo” and “Hammer and a Nail.” I think I’ll be humming those to myself today on my run…

    Love,

    Cathy

    • How wonderful! We truly are kindred spirits in so many ways Cathy. I too adore the songs Galileo and especially the song ‘Hammer and Nail’ which helped me immeasurably when I knew I had to take my young sons and get out of a very abusive relationship. I dreamed of more and that song helped me know it. Thank you for your wonderful comment, on this, my Mother’s birthday ;)
      Happy Fourth of July
      Love Gina

  2. America is an attitude
    most of the world see us as our politicians….
    we are not…
    once upon a time they were servants of the people doing what was best to uphold
    our laws and ways….moving toward equality….once more Amrica is stumbling ‘but….
    today we remember…in Texas we have our own attitudes LOLs…we are brassy,
    we are outspoken and we dream bigger than life even as the world holds it’s breath
    for what tomorrow brings….
    yet today we BBQ, watermelon,swimming on this hot day,
    we have parades to celebrate this great country and its peole most don’t get to see
    your post and choice of music is absolutly perfect Gina..I appreciate your thoughts today
    you are a very special spirit…
    Thank you for being you and sharing that with us…
    Take Care…
    You Matter…..
    )0(
    maryrose

    • Thank you MaryRose! How wonderful is your comment here, and your support of me as I joyfully support your country and State. This song by the Indigo Girls always makes me tear up as I long to own land and have a farm. Their poetry takes my breath away. And I do enjoy so much of Lyle Lovett’s music, and he often sings of his love for his country, but this song in particular makes me dance and sing and laugh about how we should all love where we come from. So I cheer you on today as you enjoy BBQs, watermelon and swimming. I celebrate with you. We are all one family!
      Hugs,
      Gina

      • I just saw your other blog and as I read your “About” you have described me….I have 2-1/2 acreas and am deteremined to fill every inch …as I was reading my daughter called to tell me to look at KSAT news because my granddaughter is in Castorville’s 4thof July parade….if only the world could see how the majority of us really live….
        Thank you again for your post….! it makes me smile
        Take Care…
        )0(
        maryrose
        and whisper Happy Birthday to your Mom for me …

        • Thank you dear heart, for the whisper, and for visiting my other blog. And for being You! You have brought me much sunshine on this day, and great hope towards continuing my endeavor to grow more of my own food. I want chickens, and goats, and lately – a beehive too! My sweet husband knows we may be moving to the border of the city to have more space within the next few years.
          I am excited to communicate more with you and learn of your ‘farming’ activities, and wish your granddaughter well for being in today’s parade. How exciting!
          Warm hugs and love,
          Gina

          • I am almost finished clearing the space where my chicken house will go…and I am determined to have bees by the fall…. today I was flipping through the Herb Quartly and was reminded it is time to learn to make soaps….I am working on ink form the flowers i grow and I have lots of feathers from my geese to make quills…this year I may actually get it right! LOls…i do hope you move to more land…I love getting up before the world wakes up and wandering through my little woods listening to nature stretch and wake up..there is no feeling like standing in the mist knowing you are part of both worlds and know how blessed you are…
            Thank you again…now I need to go change the water in the swimming pools for the geese!..
            Take care )0( maryrose
            and I too am enjoying the communicating with you!

            • You are a woman after my own heart, as they say. I love what you’ve written here, and I know what you mean about standing outdoors, before full sunrise and the waking of others. A feeling of deep gratitude that defies description, but you did it well here. How blessed we are, already. And may we both have healthy chickens and mild-mannered honeybees in our near future.
              Hugs, Gina

  3. Absolutely FABULOUS post with incredible photos I shared. Thank you for such beautiful writing that just flows like melted butter, seeping into the crevices of our hearts. Thank you. I’m warmer for it. :D

    Pink.

  4. Life is so fast and fleeting and you caught the haunting gentle beauty of it in this post and the music you shared. Your mother must be proud of you wherever her spirit is today knowing that you wrote such a lovely tribute to her, and flew the flags for her! Thanks for sharing this, Gina!

  5. Wonderful and inspirational post, thanks so much! Your ability to touch hearts is special and I look forward to reading what you write each and every time I’m on my computer! Keep up the great work!

  6. What an endearing post in honor of your mother’s birthday, complete with fireworks! This world is home to us all, and we do well to work cooperatively to make it a better place for everyone. God bless the whole world without exception.
    One of my favorite hymns has these words by Lloyd Stone: “This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine. This is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.”
    Blessings to you, Mark

    • Wow! That song, those lyrics, that hymn is incredible! Thank you so very much for sharing it here. These words truly strike a common chord, don’t they? We are all one family, and all our hearts are beating with the same hopes and dreams. Your wise observations and kind comments help make all this blogging worthwhile. Thank you again dear friend.
      Blessings, Gina

  7. glad i read your info, really like to take on “professions” ;-) and what a fascinating family history to be grateful for and celebrate, thanks so much ;-)

  8. Beautiful post and certainly inspirational. May your mum’s soul rest in peace. Amen.
    You certainly have magic wand to arrange your words in the most effective manner ever. I loved reading your family history. It was a pleasure to know great personalities from whom we got our splendid, creative and very beautiful writer. I cherish your blog and love it too much. Thank you very much for sharing :)
    Much love,
    -Naima.

    • Thank you dear Naima, your kindness here melts my heart into a pool of happiness. I am delighted that you enjoyed this post, and in learning more about my family history. You are like dear family to me as well, and when you come to Canada, we shall have tea, and hugs, and wonderful conversations. :) And even if you do not make the trip, we shall have tea and visits and cyber-hugs right here!
      Love and Hugs,
      Gina

  9. You pour so much love into your posts that each is like a great gift from your heart! Thank you for the many gifts you’ve given to me, including this one. I especailly enjoyed your beautiful writing and the song from the Indigo Girls!

    Russ

    • Thank you so much Russ! It means a lot to know that this humble post reached out and touched you. And isn’t that song incredible?! After hundreds of listens (maybe thousands) the powerfully perfect poetry they share in this song still moves me to tears.
      I shall never tire of thanking you for your friendship and support. Your kindness shared means more than you may know! I cherish our friendship, and our blogging endeavors!
      Hugs, Gina

  10. Beautiful post! I love both of those songs, but especially Southland in the Springtime. Thanks for sharing a lovely tribute. Happy independence week and happy birthday mom! :-)

        • Our beloved pups are so worth that 5% trouble, aren’t they? Just today my dear 4-legged one charged through the perennial garden (during a tour with my dear sister-in-law) and broke off a brand new bloom shoot on a treasured daylily, but I just said, Oh you silly pup. I always love her more than any plants and my garden must be tough enough to handle the occasional charge-through. And as my fellow gardening aficionado shared, tough plants always grow back. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Gina you ROCK! Happy post- independence day and best wishes to you on your Mom’s birthday. Mine is New Years Eve – EVERYONE gets to celebrate with me WoooHoo!!! Hugs Donna

    • Hello Donna! I was away from the computer for a bit here but am back now, and what a treat to find you here – cheering me on! Thank you so much. I am delighted that you enjoyed my celebration of my ‘born on the fourth of July’ Mother and my American relatives and friends (like You!). Hugs! Gina

      • Gina do you skype or have facetime? would love to chat sometime soon. also if you want – go to my contact me page for my email and email me your street address. I’ll send you mine in the meantime. Pen pals are fun and nostalgic! love ya! D.

        • Donna, you inspire me to get ‘hooked up’. Not sure what I am waiting for, although even starting this blog was quite the breakthrough for shy-me. Ok not so shy really, just a bit of a homebody who is alright with that. My hubby skypes with friends and family and it’s about time I got with the program! Thanks for the encouragement and Yes I shall contact you and I look forward to ‘real’ visits with you! You know I adore snail-mail :)
          Hugs & Cheers, Gina

  12. I love your blog it’s so heartfelt. I am a follower now. Thank you so much for liking my blog judysp.wordpress.com your support is much appreciated. cheers Judy :)

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