Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence Day (or lack thereof...)

I spent the weekend in Canada. That is a foreign country. There were no celebrations or fireworks for American the beautiful. But I was attending a family reunion and Canada was where it was held. was my ex-husband's family reunion. I went with my ex & our kids. I mean the ex & I get along decently most of the time, so when his family invited me I decided to go. It had been 12 years since I had been there in the summer and BOY HOWDY is it wonderful in the summer. Am I weird?

So the reunion was held at my ex-in-laws house. A 23 acre farm just a few miles past the Canadian border above Idaho. If you are questioning my sanity right now, you are not the only one. I questioned it myself repeatedly throughout the trip. But I've stayed good friends with many of his family members (did I mention there were 75 people staying in a tiny 4 bedroom house?) and there is no hostility or animosity between any of us (did I mention they only have 2 bathrooms?).

The place the reunion was held is seriously one of the most lovely places I have ever been. It's unreal. This photo is taken off the front porch. Can you even handle the mountains across the street? They are much larger & more impressive than they look in this.

There were a dozen or so tents strewn across the lawn and since the house isn't equip for such a large gathering, they had to improvise. This shot is to demonstrate 2 things. 1-the portable shower that was brought in to accommodate the throngs of attendees. 2-to show you the view from the back yard. Gorgeous.

Twin "Biffy in a Jiffy"s parked in front of the barn. Seriously, I volunteered for this???

Venturing the 10 or so miles (I should be using the kilometric equivalent since we are discussing Canada, but like I know it) to town is an interesting experience. The town is situated in a valley that has all the makings for producing perfect fruit. There are cherry & blueberry orchards all over, as well as fruit stands offering apples, pears, cherries, name it and they grow it and it's delicious. Along with the bounteous fruit, you get to see cool road signs. They must have waaaay better graphics guys working for their transportation department than we do in the States.

Even the 7-11 is sporting the maple leaf. Check out gas prices...that's per liter folks. If you thought our prices hurt, be grateful that you aren't paying theirs.
And we are always obligated to stop at the Sev for candy. Ho-Lee-Smokes have you ever had Canadian candy bars? Sooo much better than our own. My faves are Wunderbar, Coffee Crisp & Big Turk. Heaven.

You can also find unusual potato chips flavors...ketchup, dill pickle & fries and gravy to name a few.

We got home late Sunday night after being detained & searched at the border. While trying not to panic about missing our flight I kept reminding myself & telling my kids that these are the things we have to put up with to stay safe. I think the thing that caused concern for the TSA agents was when they asked "where are you going?" My ex replied, "Well, we were just at my family reunion and now I'm going to home to California and they are going home to Utah." "So are you guys dating?" "No, we used to be married." Ya. Big red flag right there. "These guys are either nuts and we don't want crazies in our country or they are liars. Search 'em."

Sigh. I guess this is what you have to put up with when you defy divorce tradition. Hmm, you know, I have a lot to say on that matter. Would you mind if I posted about divorce again another day?

Happy to be back in the land of the free and the home of the brave.


P.S. I have to say it here in public that I really do love my ex's family and appreciated their hospitality and invitation. They are great...hope I didn't portray them otherwise.


mavis said...

I want some of those potato chips. Do you think they have gravy flavored? Glad to have you back. I saved some sparklers and smokebombs for you!

aimee heff said...

We do divorce all wrong in this country. I think yours is a great example of how people should "do divorce". You have kids. You have a history. You are a family - even though you don't sleep in the same bed as your husband.

What a wonderful gift to your kids to still do things together! So many families have to grief the end of that unit because of divorce.

Thanks for sharing. The world needs to hear more divorce stories like this. Please do a post on divorce!

Through the Looking Glass said...

Love me a family reunion story, especially with a backdrop such as yours and porta potties to boot! I think what you're doing for your kids, by way of being friendly and involved with your ex, is tremendous and speaks oodles to your character. That would not be easy, to say the least, but most things we do for our children because we know it will make them better, happier people, aren't.

I'd love your post on divorce. As a child of divorce, I'm pretty sure I can speak for us all to say really no one hasn't been touched and affected by it in some way.

Christy said...

I'd love to hear more about it too. And I loved reading this post - made me smile and glad I read it! Those mountains are pretty spectacular!

Mindy Sauther said...

When I lived in Buffalo, NY I would go across the border for Coffee Crisps and Mr Bigs. They have the best candy bars!

jen said...

I've been thinking about this issue too What is the definition of family? And what exactly does divorce mean? Does it include divorcing the family? Is a family morally obligated to include an ex?

There are so many downstream consequences and a tangled web of connections to consider.

I am glad there is love for Dove above the border! You were cool to oblige the family and go.

Leslie said...

Dove-I love you for being such a woman and doing the "right thing" for your kids. And I can't say I didn't chuckle over the photos of the porta potties, er, biffy in a jiffy's. :) FREAKIN' CLASSIC! There's no other way the Renny's would prefer to roll.

At any rate, we missed you tremendously at the Clark/Zollinger family reunion the same weekend. 'Tis not the same without you.

P.S. can you puhleeease get me some loads of that spectacular dried fruit that sweet Marie makes from the ripe pickin's up there?