Anniversary Dreamin’

By Cathy C. Hall

Anniversary Dreamin’
Anniversary Dreamin

It all started when my oldest son innocently asked his father about Sky Miles. Naturally, my husband, who has had numerous dealings with seemingly innocent questions, knew something was afoot. Turned out that our first-born had a burning desire to see Daft Punk, which is a techno-band, whatever that is. Dad, an old radio DJ, is a sucker for anything music-related, so he agreed to give a listen to further details. Daft Punk was touring in a few select and distant locations. If only my son could have some of those nifty Sky Miles, he could see this techno-band…like in New York, the first distant spot mentioned.

“Are you daft?” I asked. (How often do you get to make that brilliant pun?) It’s just that we know our son. He could get lost on a one-way street. We’d have to be daft ourselves to put him on a plane to NYC with an overnight bag and a concert ticket.

Next city on the list: Seattle. But, hold on. That date happened to coincide with his final exams. Hmmmm. College diploma or concert?

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the concert location that fit with our son’s peculiar limitations. It happened to be in Montreal, Canada. Lucky for him, noted our son, he had a passport!

Oh, yes. He had a passport. So did I. But a passport is no guarantee of a trip to Montreal, Canada. I should know. I’d only been trying to get there for 27 years.

I’ve been in love with Montreal ever since the ninth grade when Sister Gloria chirped, “Bonjour!” The French accents, snow-capped chalets and dapper Mounties seemed so romantic compared to Georgia drawls, sand gnats and the State Patrol. And Canada, though a foreign country, was right up there, somewhere or other. You could drive, for Pete’s sake.

So all those years ago, when my soon-to-be husband asked where I wanted to go on our honeymoon, I said, “Canada.” He laughed. A little too loudly, if you ask me. We barely had enough money to get out of Macon, he claimed, much less the South. But hope springs eternal. Every year, I asked for a trip to the great Northern Promised Land. And every year, my husband smiled, pointing out all the other stuff that had sprung up in our lives: mortgages, children, braces, college. Imagine, then, my surprise when our upstart son thought he could go to Canada, just like that. EH?

Well, the times, they had a-changed. We’d come a long way from the days of eating off a card table. Now, we had Sky Miles and hotel points piled up. A trip to Canada seemed downright doable. Send the boy and his Canada-crazed mother on their merry way. But a twenty-something young man, even one daft to see Daft Punk, was not so keen on a mommy-and-me trip to Montreal. Fortunately, my son had another ingenious idea.

Why not take sis along? She had a passport, too. At this point, my youngest son wandered into the fray. Before you could say “Wayne’s World,” we were planning a trip for four. Somehow, it didn’t seem right not to drag my husband along. After all, he did promise that he’d take me to Canada someday. Bad news for him: someday had arrived. Good news for me: a lifetime of waiting was about to pay off.

In short, Canada was practically perfect in every way. I wonder if it would have been as grand if I’d made the trip 27 years ago. I mean, without the wait, the saving and the working, and the wanting of it all, would Montreal have been half as wonderful? It’s funny, but I’m grateful that I didn’t make that trip when I was young and twenty; I wouldn’t have appreciated that wish come true nearly as much.

Today, considering new anniversary dreams, I’m thinking once again about Montreal and my children. I hope my sons and daughter find their own Canada, a dream worth the working and the wanting. I hope the journey to their heart’s desire, whatever or wherever it may be, takes a good, long while. And I hope they taste the sweetness of gratitude of a wish finally come true.

As for me, whale-watching is next on my anniversary list. I just hope Paul McCartney is playing on one of those cruise ships in Alaska.

About this writer

  • Cathy C. Hall Cathy C. Hall is a freelance writer and humor columnist from the metro Atlanta area. Her family life essays have been included in anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul and Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers. She has also been published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, webzines and several regional magazines. You can find out more at her website:

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2 Responses to “Anniversary Dreamin’”

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a great article. It brings back memories of my own jaunts to Montreal, none of which were anywhere near as heartwarming as this. Ms. Hall has the “right stuff”. Hopefully we’ll see more of her around here.

  2. Great article. Love the humor and warmth.

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