Let me start by saying that this is NOT a political post, so lets don’t go there. I WILL say that I believe you can be patriotic without being political and vice versa – that’s all I’m going to say! As you know, since I lost my dad over a year ago, I decided the time was now to really do some research on my family history. I do have some information such as names, significant dates, photos, that I got from my dad and my late paternal grandmother. My mom passed away in 1986 and I never really had an opportunity to ask her any questions about my heritage and frankly, back in those days I was too focused on raising a young family and struggling to keep my head above water to even think inwardly about “who am I?” Now, that most of my family members that have that knowledge are gone, I am struggling to find that information, so take a lesson from me and Don’t wait too long to ask questions about your family heritage. In other words, don’t be like Raegan.
Recently, I have been going through some of my dad’s things and I am surprised by how much I am learning about him and his family! To say that his mom was proud of him is an understatement. My dad received a football scholarship to attend college and she kept every single news article that was ever written about him or any of the various teams he played on from high school to his college days, all neatly glued into a huge scrap book. One of the little treasures I have run across is a homework assignment from his middle school days (maybe 7th grade), and I thought I would share it with you. I loved reading it because it gave me some insight about how proud he was of his family and just how proud he was to be an American. My dad has always been one of the most patriotic men I have ever known. He was a proud card carrying Republican and made no apologies about it. He encouraged me to speak my mind (even if he didn’t agree with me) and to always exercise my right to vote, even if I felt that my vote wouldn’t make a difference. He told me that my vote was just as important as the president’s own vote. He believed that America provides the opportunity, but you need to provide the hard work to make the opportunity a reality. He believed you should not rely on the government for the things you can earn on your own. He also taught me to respect and thank the men and women who protect the rights and freedoms that we enjoy everyday. He believed being an American stood for Freedom. He adamantly defended his beliefs that America is centered on liberty, freedom, and opportunity, and as such, we need to honour that. He died believing America is a great nation and heaven help those who ever tried to challenge him on that.
America has helped make my family what we are. America allowed us the opportunity to do what we love, it allowed us to live freely and to participate in multiple entrepreneurial ventures. I love the ideals of the American Founding Fathers. I believe the United States of America is about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
When I moved to Canada (with my Canadian husband), my dad was proud of me and supported my freedom to make that decision, not to mention that he went on a quest to understand what made Canada such an amazing country to live in. He even went so far as to learn every single word to Oh Canada so he could sing it loud and proud (in my honour) when the anthem was played. While I am proud to be a Permanent Resident of Canada, I am equally proud to be an American. Is America perfect? Absolutely not. What country is? Does America have challenges? Absolutely. But what country doesn’t? So yes, I am proud to be an American but also proud to now call Canada my home.
Anyway, here is the excerpt from my dads homework assignment –
It’s rather hard to tell much about my ancestors because none of them to my knowledge, have been notorious or famous. My ancestors were Irish on my father’s side and English on my mother’s side. On my maternal side my great grandfather’s name was Maltby and it has always been interesting to me to learn that in England there is a town named Chester, which was his first name, and just a few miles away a town called Maltby. On some large maps, the towns are shown. His parents, it has been rumored, named him after these towns.
My mother’s side of the family has a family coat of arms, which I have never seen, although I would very much like to. I have seen though, our family tree made by my grandfather. I understand my great great grandfather had it made when these things were popular, it meaning the coat of arms and at that time seemed to matter. William Penn’s name is listed there and as many of you know, Pennsylvania was named after him.
One of my great great grandmothers was born in Hannibal, Missouri and lived next door to Samuel Clemmens. The Clemmens family was very poor and I understand when Samuel was born he was dressed in my great great grandmother’s baby clothes. Samuel Clemmens of course became famous as Mark Twain.
On both sides of my family, we have pictures drawn and painted by my ancestors. One great grandmother won a first prize at the St Louis World’s Fair with a pencil sketch of a portrait. These are very interesting to me because I am very interested in art too.
On the whole, my ancestors were not famous but good Americans as am I and my family.
He got an A on this assignment and I love that even in 7th grade, my dad was a proud American which was a value that he raised us to have. I remember my grandma telling me the Samuel Clemmens story when I was young but had somehow forgotten about it until reading this assignment. I also know that dad eventually found his family Coat of Arms, which hung proudly in his office as did the marriage certificate of his great great grandparents. I’ll tell you one thing, I got absolutely NO artistic abilities from any of them!!
This summer I was lucky enough to have my brother and sister in law visit from Colorado. What a lovely time we had! My husband and I used this as an opportunity to be a tourist in our own area! We travelled up Island, went whale watching, checked out the Goats on the Roof (you will have to go to Coombs, BC if you want to see this), visited the Driftwood carvings, went to Cathedral Grove where the trees seem to reach the clouds and the best part – ate a lot of great food with amazing company! My sister in law is an expert in Mexican food and turned me onto Cholula Sauce – have you tried this stuff? If not, find it and try it! I love it because it is not too too spicy but has a nice small kick for tender little taste buds like mine! This Avocado Cholula salad is a flavour explosion right in your mouth so I thought I would share it with you – I could eat it every day and I will admit, I’ve eaten it at least once every couple of weeks since she has been gone. When she made it, we didn’t add prawns as my husband is deathly allergic to shell fish but when he is gone to camp, I kick it up by adding the prawns! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do (and it’s low carb / high fat so that is a bonus for me)!
Avocado Prawn Cholula Salad
This healthy salad is a flavor explosion for your tastebuds!
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium cucumber
- ½ red onion
- 1 avocado
- Avocado Oil
- Lime Juice
- Cholula Sauce
- Salt and Pepper
- OPTIONAL: Prawns and Cilantro
- Roughly chop the veggies and avocado and put on a platter
- If using prawns, cook, peel and place a handful on the platter
- Drizzle top of veggies with Avocado oil, lime juice and Cholula Sauce to your liking
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Sprinkle with cilantro if desired
- Eat up and don’t forget to lick the plate!
What are you eating today?
Until next time!