Friday, April 20, 2012

Proud Colors.

Let me tell you a little story.

About 9 and a half years ago, shortly after the first Boy was born, I was surfing online and found a spot where you could request a Canadian flag from the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa for your family. I thought it would be cool if The Boy could have a flag to hang in his room with pride.

I send them my Taxes, they could send me a flag.

With the usual speed of Governmental bureaucracy, I figured it would take a while. They did say at the time that there was a waiting list of about 5 years. To be honest, I only thought about it on Canada Day and when I submitted my taxes. I briefly thought about it when we moved into our new house 6 years ago. Not being sure how long our change of address would stay in the Postal system, I figured it was lost.

Next to that, I completely forgot about it.

On Tuesday, The Wife was picking up the Boy from Karate class. One of his classmates, who just so happens to live in our old house, comes up to her with a package and says "This came to our house for you." My wife looks at it and, sure enough, my name is on the package. When she brings it home, we open it up and see this:

That is one huge fucking flag.

It's 4.6 meters (15 feet) long and 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) wide.

There was a letter with it as well:

It's my old address, but I blacked it out so you can't stalk me.
So not only did they send me any old flag, they sent me the one from the Peace Tower! (For my American friends, that's like getting the flag from the top of the Capitol Building - do they have a flag up there?) The Peace Tower flag is changed every day, Monday to Friday, (unless there is extreme weather or if it's being flown at half-mast) and shipped out to whichever Canadian has asked for it. It's also given to families of Canadian dignitaries who have died. My flag was flown on February 27th this year. The wait list, which was 5 years when I applied, is now 32 years - us Canadians really like our flag!

Just chillin' out here...watching over the country.

My kids were so impressed that we took it to school to show their classes - the "Wow!" from the kids when you unfold this massive flag is amazing - The Boys teacher even asked if they could borrow it for their Canada Day celebrations near the end of the school year.

I'm still astounded at the size of it.

When I told the Boy the story of applying for it, and what my original plan for it was, he asked immediately if he could hang it in his room.

Umm, no.

What amazes me is the coincidence of it - the fact that I'm still in the same town almost 10 years after asking for it, and that the people who live in my old house (which is across town from my new home) happen to go to the same class as the oldest boy, made getting this possible.

What if we had left town? What if they had sold to someone who didn't know us? What if the Boy wasn't in that class? It just would have been returned to the Post Office, or lost forever.

Now my kids have a piece of Canadiana that can be passed down to their kids - it's pretty freakin' neat, and right now, I'm a proud Canadian.

I guess I'll pay my Taxes this year, just to show my appreciation.


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