Subject: Re: My Hometown
My place of birth is London, England but as I've been in Canada since the age of 2, I claim southwestern Ontario as my home base. I am fortunate to live in what's commonly referred to as Canada's Banana Belt. I am about as far south as you can go in Canada and am blessed to be within 50 miles of two of the Great Lakes, Huron and Erie. I'm also about 12 miles from what is referred to by some as the sixth Great Lake, Lake St. Clair. This is some of the best freshwater fishing anywhere in the world - perch, pickerel, pike, muskellange. We are also within an hour of Point Pelee, one of the great birdwatching areas which is world renowned. This is Canada's southernmost point. We're also 50 miles south of Detroit, Michigan.

We enjoy very cold winters and very hot, humid summers with many severe thunderstorms and sometimes in rare cases, tornados. This is considered part of what is called tornado alley.

About 1 1/2 miles from my house (in the country) is a large asparagus acreage so right now I'm enjoying very fresh asparagus, one of my favourite vegetables. In the summer, we have a wealth of fresh vegetables grown on the Lake Erie marshes and Thames River flats - carrots, radishes and onions in particular. There are also many orchards growing apples, peaches, pears, and cherries. In fact, the World Cherry Pit Spitting Contest is held every year about 15 miles from us in Blenheim, Ontario.

I live in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent which is a regional municipality made up of one large city (Chatham) and many small towns (Wallaceburg, Blenheim, Tilbury, Dresden, Ridgetown) and even smaller villages like Pain Court where I live. This is also an officially designated bilingual area so we have the benefit of our children receiving an education in French if they desire. All my children are fluent in French and two of them also speak Spanish. How I envy them and wish I had this facility when I travel.

We are also blessed to be within a 3 hour drive of Toronto, Ontario and Niagara Falls and within one hour of the United States border. I think I live in one of the best areas of the world.

It's not the most exciting place on earth but I'm proud to call it home. In our travels, we've also realized just how fortunate we are to live in a land of plenty, peace, and natural beauty.