Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oh Canada!

My pop's family settled in Canada from Finland in the fifties and as kids we'd boogie up there to visit my Aunt in Toronto and Momou up in Northern Ontario. My folks would always tell us to keep quiet when we went through border inspections. One of the few times we felt like espionage.

Mummo's cottage is on a lake near Parry Sound. When they bought the property they built the Sauna first and lived in it until the cabin was done - this is Finnish tradition.

Sometime later in the 70's my father and his father built a second larger log cabin. My dad says they didn't know what they were doing. I looks ok though. Eric and I briefly lived there in 2003 while we were looking for work to support our Visas. There were bats and mouse shit in all the cabinets. We watched a lot of satellite television as we communed with nature. Remember the show The Restaurant with Rocco DeSpirito? Yes you do.

Here is a photo of my grandfather and a picture of the Sauna.

At the end of that summer we packed all our possessions back into our truck and headed back to the USA to set up camp in New York City. On the way across the border the inspector flagged our vehicle for detailed inspection. This would have been incredibly exciting as a kid, but as an adult, the idea of a canine tearing through all your stuff as officers look on with raised eyebrows is more infuriating than it is amusing.

We checked out and the officer said to us, "Whats all that junk in your truck?" [Note, I said truck, not trunk"]

We explained that we were trying to move to Canada.

"You can't just move to Canada!" she said.

After harrowing weeks of trying to extend our visas and find work as American citizens, this statement from the US security guard was entirely appropriate. But why hadn't they told us that on the way over?

Some other things Canadian to love:

Boards of Canada [music]

[Boards of Canada; Music is Math]
CANADA [art]

The Souvenir Shop [amazing Canadian design objects]

Canada Is by Roger Whittaker

Butter Tarts [Canadian national treats]



perfectbound said...

Woo, Canada! I love your story.

robin ann mcintosh said...

i'm canadian too.... aw, i miss cottages, butter tarts, black water and mosquitoes. i'm an expat now, living in california :( great story, and great blog! looking forward to reading more.

marie said...

wow! what an adventure :) id love to visit canada!

P said...

Canada would be lucky to have you.

I love the tradition of building the sauna first and living it. That seems perfectly sensible to me.