On July 1, I got to celebrate Canada Day with the other 35 million Canadians up here. Although Canada is a country, it is also part of the British Empire, so it has Queen Elizabeth on the currency, and a Governor General who represents the queen in some governmental situations. On Canada Day in 1867, Canada got its own constitution and started being more independent. Canada Day was a fun, family day, with fireworks at the end, just like the US. It was clean and orderly (maybe not so much like the US), and people were safe and sane. Overall, it was a lovely day. And a few days later, it’s the US’s Independence Day. This is a holiday I remember quite fondly, full of picnics and fireworks, family snuggles and squabbles. And, occasionally, a bunch of ants. Oh, and sunburns, let’s not forget sunburns. Ouch! This year, I won’t be celebrating in the US, but I will commemorate the day and think of all my friends and family in the US as I watch the fireworks over Stampede Park as they commemorate the first night of the Calgary Stampede rodeo. The park is only about 1/2 a mile away from me and we have an unimpeded view of the fireworks, which go on for 10 nights. It’s something to look forward to every night around 11. (It doesn’t get dark up here until around 10:45, and even then, it’s more like late dusk, with light still in the sky.) But, dear Americans, I wish you all a Happy Independence Day! Be safe.