Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Small Town Canada & Me

Happy Birthday Canada! So I am a day late, I was out yesterday doing your typical Canadian celebration, camping, bbq'ing, dressing in red and white. 

Proud Canadians everywhere are filling up Facebook timelines and twitter feeds with what it means to be a Canadian and how proud we are. I would like to take a moment to reflect on what it means to grow up in my little corner of the country, Newfoundland.

We are the first to celebrate Canada day here in our own little time zone. The most easterly part of North America. There is a sunrise ceremony here but I have never seen is as that would mean getting up at 5 a.m. Yeah.... no, not for me. 

Growing up Canadian is a great thing, growing up a Newfoundlander is amazing!

I grew up in a very small town in rural Newfoundland. I went to college in Ontario and heard a classmate say she grew up in the small town of Grimsby Ontario. I nearly choked on my coffee as Grimsby has over 25,000 people. My town has 1,100 people, and that is between 3 towns, amalgamated as one. Everyone knew everyone and you really didn't need that much of a memory span to do it. 

As my sister and I left my grandparents after a visit last year and headed back to St. John's she turn to me and asked "What the hell did you do when you were young?" My sister is over 10 years younger than me and grew up in Ontario.  What did I do? Of course she meant without movie theatres, summer concerts, sprawling malls, or any mall really. 

So what did I do? Well I had friends, and through great times and bad all we really had was each other. Of course there was drama, it is a small town, everyone knows everyone and their business. Who the heck needed texting and twitter when work of mouth only took 10 minutes? Social media be damned. 

So together we had bonfires and gravel pit parties (of course they didn't start until someone with a car and good stereo system showed up). We had school dances and house parties and nights camping out. Snow mobile and ATV rides and swimming in the brook. 

Loved each other or at times hard each other we always got over because after all we needed each other or we were in for a boring night! That was my life, I would not change it in any way as it has made me who I am. I love malls and Starbucks as much as the next "Townie" but I have my small town values instilled in me.

So in honour of Canada Day I raise my glass not only to fellow Canadians, because we are awesome after all, but to all my friends and all of those who grew up in towns so small Google earth has to search to find them. 

Raise a glass and thank your friends for helping you survive your youth and Happy Canada Day!

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