Family, Canadian style

I’m Canadian. My parents are a mix of Canadian and Scottish and my in-laws are Canadian and Jamaican. It’s an interesting mix. I just got back from spending a week with both families, including my brother. He is kind of a stranger to me, even though we are siblings. He’s been through alot of health stuff in his life, will turn 40 this next May, and I really don’t know him very well, aside from that we share the same family upbringing, we are really very different. Sometimes I feel sad about that, other times I just notice it and move on. This trip I realized that I don’t really quite know what to ask either he or my parents. I do the usual kind of catching up of stuff and life and then just plum run out. They don’t really ask much in return, and then I feel like they don’t know me that well, but they do love me, which is just strange to me – so I often find after leaving them that there is such a mix of love, fun, laughter, sadness, grief, irritation, frustration, and wondering. I enjoyed  hanging out on Saltspring Island (a Canadian gulf island, just north of the San Juan Islands). It is a beautiful place and we got to head out for an afternoon on my parents boat to another island. The scenery is beautiful and I have some wonderful childhood memories from family boating trips. The kids had a good time: swimming, laughing, joking with my parents, playing at the playground, shopping in Ganges (the main town on Saltspring), finagling (sp?) my mom into buying them more stuff.  My parents are very kind, loving and generous to my children and to my husband, Dave. I am thankful and grateful.  I also discovered that I just plain like being Canadian.  I think I’ve got some nationalism in me. Also, the milk chocolate candy bars just taste way better.

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