Canadian and/or American?

Me and my American dad

Me and my American dad

So I am a dual citizen. I have citizenship in the U.S. and Canada. I hold passports for both countries. I was born in Canada, in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. But by virtue of my father being an American, I was born with the right to U.S. citizenship. In fact, the U.S. considers me a U.S. citizen born abroad. My brother is in the same boat. My mum is Canadian, my dad American and my brother and I are dual citizens.

This is a fact that I don’t neccessarly broadcast in Canada. I choose my audience carefully for sharing this fact as sometimes Canadians have thier minds full of those sterotypical ideas of what Americans are like. I’ve always found this a bit of challenge to negotiate because I am American, have American friends and family and none of them match those stereotypes we’re all too familiar with.

In the U.S. I’m clearly a Canadian. I say “a-boot” instead of “a-bowt”. I can’t help it, I say “eh?”–a lot, actually. Some of the Americans I’ve met over the years have had little or no knowledge about Canada. Over my years of being a Canadian in the US I’ve been lobbed questions such as “Do you have nail polish up there?”; “Oh, you guys have a capital city too?” Things like this make those sterotypes ring truer than I’d hope to be the case. And then there are the rare but wonderful Canuck-o-philes who are familiar with CBC radio hosts from the 80s, who are big Sloan fans or who know Junior A Hockey stats inside and out.

It was odd growing up in Newfoundland and having American roots. It was a pretty foreign concept to some of people I’d encounter whose families were Newfoundlanders 4 and 5 generations back. A lot of people I grew up with lived with thier grandparents (mine were thousands of miles away in Lodi and Toronto), hung out with thier cousins (I only have two and would see them twice a year) and had names like Noseworthy, Peddle, Parsons (mine was often mispronounced even though it sounds just like it’s spelled). I was caught between two worlds, in a way: in some ways I was a “Come-From-Away” even though I was born and raised in Newfoundlander.

I like to think that being raised in this unique situation I have the luxury of having the best of both worlds, cultures and traditions. Though it’s presented me with little challenges throughout my lifetime, it’s a fantastic asset, having two passports and two hometowns: Lodi and St. John’s–two places I love dearly.


I am permanently Stuck in Lodi Again

This is the view from the back porch of the home farm house on Main St. in Lodi

This is the view from the back porch of the home farm house on Main St. in Lodi

I am permanently “Stuck in Lodi Again”, as the CCR tune* goes. Well, figuratively if not literally.

My family has lived in or around Lodi, New York for over 4 generations. Over the last decades the houses, farmland and cottages have been left to my small family and we are doing our darndest to keep everything going because we love the place so much. We don’t live in Lodi full time and so keeping everything running is a challenge, for a number of reasons, but it is a labour of love for us.

Here are the properties that we are working on:

1) main farm house, Main St., Lodi, built c. 1875 (aka The Home Farm)

2) farm house, just outside of Lodi, built before 1850 (aka The Golding Farm)

3) house in town, Main St. Lodi (aka The Wallpaper House)

4) house in town which is artist studio/storage (no plumbing), Main St. Lodi (aka The Wallpaper Store)

5) cottage on Lodi Point, built 1960s (aka The Covert Cottage)

6) cottage on Lodi Point, built 1950s (aka The Green Cottage)

In this blog, I aim to document the work that we do on these properties, puncuated by tall tales of Lodi, family lore and photos of our travails.

*in the interests of full disclosure, the Lodi in the CCR tune is actually Lodi, California. If anyone knows of a tune about Lodi, NY, please let me know!