Saturday, July 2, 2011

Canada Day Kiwi-Style

Abigail on the winter water-slide

Our Canada Day picnic feast

See? Proud Canadians!

Violet and Madeline still celebrating Canada Day on the see saw

Sam and Abigail, side-saddle style

Canada Day.

You might think from the title of this blog and the photos above that I had it planned all along. Beautiful sunny day, playing together as a family, picnic feast, roast dinner, etc etc etc. All that was missing was the street parade and fireworks. In actual fact, it all happened because of a bribe: "if you help us tidy up and clean the garage, we'll have a family picnic." I had two goals for such a sunny day: get the garage clean (Paul and kids) and create new garden for birthday gift plants (Paul and me). Then I noticed my neighbour's Canada flag waving (he's a Swiss Kiwi wanting to emigrate to Vancouver, hence the flag), saw my friend's notices on fb and realised, oh, it's Canada Day. Of course! That was first and foremost on my mind, naturally.

So while the children played in the sun, pretending to clean things in the garage which really meant pulling everything out and putting it on the driveway, I got busy in the kitchen, baking brownies and savoury scones for our picnic. Then they decided, "hey, the sun's shining; let's get out the waterslide." I went along with their enthusiasm as long as I didn't have to a) get togs and towels or b) clean up togs and towels. I must admit, they had a great time and what's a snotty runny nose among friends?

As I was preparing the last minute touches to our picnic (what could we possibly have in the fridge that would go with savoury scones and brownies--oh yes, salami, cheese, mandarins and carrots! Excellent!), Paul came into the lounge with a very satisfied smile on his face. I had no idea what he was up to but realised he had brought in a chair...with four legs. If you are friends of ours, you will know that we've had a chair crisis for at least...two years. Ever since we moved to Ingleside, our dining room chairs have been dropping, one by one. We've been managing with three chairs, 2 office seats and a piano stool for quite some time. But my lovely husband has just today discovered that three chairs with broken legs can become two sturdy chairs and one chair with no legs. I'm embarressed by how long it's taken us to work that one out! I'm sure he was inspired by Canada Day.

The picnic soon followed and it was a grand feast. I even found our Canada flag to adorn the celebrations. What a great time we had eating a variety of cheeses and sundry delicacies. Until my lovely husband said, "why don't you tell the children how Canada became a country and why Canada Day is celebrated?" Umm. Oh dear. What were those Social Studies and history lessons we yawned through at elementary school? I do have a book on my shelf...what's it called? I bluffed my way through a brief (very brief!) history of English and French relations and left it at that. Lovely husband indeed!

The afternoon was taken up by the children riding their bikes and playing on the see saw (oh what a fantastic toy that is--thanks Dave!) while Paul and I finished the garage and planted the new garden. We didn't exactly turn the soil for the entire garden I had envisioned, but we did plant the two things that needed to go in. And not only did we tidy the garage but Paul took the horrible mattress (bain of my life) to the dump. Such an improvement, Paul even got his car in.

But the day wasn't over and I cooked a roast pork, crackle, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and corn, and...what was that other thing? OH! Sweet potatoes. Still in the oven. Oh dear. Might just have to make a casserole with those for tomorrow. Needless to say, we opened a bottle of 3 Stones Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for the celebrations--highly recommended--and lit the table centrepiece candles for dinner. Another grand feast enjoyed by all.

And to top off the night, at this very moment while I blog, Paul is reading to the children one of the last chapters of Anne of Green Gables. We've been working our way through it for several months and have thoroughly enjoyed our Anne moments together. But I had to check which chapter we were on tonight, knowing that we're near the end. It would not be possible to finish this day with that dreaded chapter of our beloved Matthew's death. I know we have to face it sometime soon (how will we do it?!) but not tonight. Not to cap off the most perfect day we've had in ages. Our Canada Day.

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