Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Voila! I am now a Canadian ! AND American!

 June 26, 2014 I became a Canadian  citizen.  I've been in Canada for almost 40  years as a landed immigrant.... Why wait so long to make it official?
My reasons sound kind of lame.... I was pretty busy raising a family and got pretty comfortable with my permanent residence status....I could do everything except vote.
Also, being a hippy in those early years I disliked red tape and paper work . In the past year and a few months since I applied for my citizenship  the idea of incorrectly filling out the forms freaked me out!
I almost applied a few years ago, but when the time came, the money had to go else where...which turned out kind of cool because after you turn 54 you don't have to take the test!
Anyway , about a year and a half ago I thought it was about time...  ( I was encouraged by my Son, and also new information about filing taxes to the U.S. had me more freaked out than I was about filling out the application!)  I buckled down, filled out the applications, photocopied  a whole wack of documents and filled out another whole wack  of documents and waited....
I thought about it a lot...got a letter saying it was being processed....it could take 2 years....I stopped hoping it would take less time....
Funny how cool things happen. Have  you ever noticed that? Wonderful stuff happens all at once , like the world is all magical.
My Son, who had encouraged me to  become a citizen on Christmas Day, 2012 just happened to be visiting with his family, just arriving , in fact. When I went to greet them at the door I also checked the mail...and lo and behold there was the much anticipated letter from Canada Citizenship and Immigration!  It was a notice to attend an  interview and swearing in Ceremony!
Much Happy Dancing!
There were of course the instructions of what to bring with me....photocopies and original documents and the invitation....time and place were noted....I checked and rechecked to make sure I got it all right.
When the day finally arrived, I barely slept the night before! Woke way too early, left way too early....just in case there was an accident, traffic downtown, car broke down....
It was such a surreal day.
I met 3 other ladies that were also over 54 that didn't have to take the test. Out of 85 people we were the only ones over 54!.  We hung out together joking and also comparing our experiences ...we had all worried that we got the date wrong, didn't have the right documents, left way too early...just incase....older ladies are so fun! 2 were from England , one from Switzerland, and me...USA...One turned out to be the sister of a very good friend of mine...what are the chances??
After I was granted the letter of invitation to be sworn in at 2 pm that afternoon, I breathed a sigh of relief and took a walk along the river, there were giant iceland poppies growing alongside the pathway. I had a delicious Indian dish in the sunshine. Simple pleasures are the best.
Then the time came. My Son was the only one to be with me. If  I had to choose only one person to be with me it would have been him.
He filmed me being sworn in and getting my certificate....I was pretty choked up for the whole thing. The judge was phenomenal! She gave the best speech ever! You can read about in Zaak's blog. My Mother, the Canadian
He really put it perfectly....I enjoyed my visit with him...walking for blocks for an icy cold beer after....supper with Him and the family....delicious red wine and chocolate cupcakes topped with little mini canadian flags. Life is good!
Today is my first Canada Day as a Canadian Citizen and I felt so proud at the celebrations at Bower Ponds to proclaim loudly and enthusiastically with the people around me "I AM CANADIAN!"......(and still American too!)

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