Saturday, June 13, 2009
LOCKED OUT OF LIFE
My quilt journal assignment for June is "sometimes a great notion"...so I went to my sewing box and pulled out some oddball notions that I could use to interpret something of interest or going on in my life. Our current situation is so powerful that it all just flowed out onto the cloth....a heavy-duty zipper as the border, an old emblem for the Canadian side, and some cloth tapes to represent the U.S. side...I know, stars would help, but I couldn't find any. Then the safety pin just had to go onto the wrist of the "southern" wrist, as that is my husband, Tom, who was turned back at the border last week as inadmissable into Canada.
We have been traveling to Canada (as U.S. citizens) for many years, first as boaters, enjoying the waters of the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound, then in 2000 purchased a share at Refuge Cove and have since been spending our summers here. It is heaven on earth here for us. We respect the laws that say we have a 6 month limit per year, so annually migrate between Canada and Mexico (via the U.S.)...two countries we have grown to love, and thank our lucky stars that we are retired and able to live the lifestyle we do.
BUT, last week something came up on their computer screen that caught the Canadians' attention. In 2004, Tom and I went to a hockey game for our beloved UAF Nanooks in our hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska. We were avid fans, and we were at every home game. At this one very exciting game, the fans were up and down in their seats, but this one very tall man in front of me failed to sit down. In my polite, reasonable, non-confrontational way, I asked him to sit down. From that he began to verbally abuse me. My husband got into some verbal discourse with him which I thought might have ended everything, but no, he had to turn one more time and go at me. At that, Tom punched the guy, then the police came, which followed with a court case....and now we are separated by the forces of Homeland Security that are dominant in our world today. (Thanks to George Bush!) Even though the judge reduced the case from a felony to a misdemeanor with a $50 fine (maybe like a traffic ticket), it is that word ASSAULT that Canadians don't like. I just keep thinking there should be a different category for assault at a hockey game...like maybe making him an honorary citizen with a parade and such! But no...that is not our lot.
So he is in the land of lawyers and fbi checks and fingerprinting and fighting this battle which the Canadian consulate says may take 3 years, and I am up at our cabin, managing the garden and the boat, and keeping up with all the little maintenance issues we have here. I have custody of the dog and he has the truck. Phone calls and emails keep us connected. Once the family visitors come and go in August, I will join him south of the border in his fight for re-entry. Unless the immigration lawyer from Vancouver happens to have the middle name of God.
Again, we wait.