Special Occasions, Travel Tuesday

Oh Canada

Today is Canada’s 147th Birthday and so I wanted to celebrate by bragging about why I love my country. I don’t usually brag about anything, but Canada is worth it to me.

Okay, so I don’t like maple syrup or poutine, (yes, I realize this could get me kicked out). There are, however, plenty of things I do love in their stead. Here are just ten.

1. My Oma and Opa chose Canada and they came here and worked hard to make a new life. They raised a good family and that is how I came to be here at all. I love that they were welcomed here and that they were given the chances to make all this possible. They were proud to be Canadians and to raise their family here and I am proud because of them.

2. I love our flag. The red and white always made such a bright contrast for a visually impaired person like myself. Maybe my favourite colour is red because of this and my earliest memories of the main symbol of our nation.

3. I love the music Canada has produced. I love artists such as: Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Chantal Kreviazuk, Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Blue Rodeo, and Alanis Morisette. These musicians represent Canada with their beautiful voices, their moving lyrics, and their distinct sounds. I love them for making me smile, making me cry, and for helping me deal with the hard things in life.

4. I love the literature of my country. I love brilliant writers such as: Lucy Maud Montgomery, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro. When Alice won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature I was so very proud and I felt honoured to be a woman, a Canadian, and an aspiring writer.

5. I love the land itself. I love how vast and sweeping it is. I love all the open space and our Canadian north. I love how we value nature and all its natural resources. I love the Great Lakes and the St. Laurence River and the oceans surrounding us. I love the Prairies, the Rockies – from the lush forests to the expansive Arctic .

6. I love the places I’ve traveled and the ones I have yet to explore. I love Niagara and its power which awes me every single time I stand at the railing overlooking the Falls. I love Toronto (Ontario’s capital) for its acceptance of all humans (coming off of 2014’s World Pride celebrations) and for the mixture of cultures and countries it houses all in one city. I love the Maritimes out on our east coast and Vancouver Island out on our west. I love having a little piece of another language and culture right in the middle of all the English-speaking provinces. Quebec is where I received my beloved guide dog all those years ago. I hope to see as much of Canada in the years to come as I possibly can.

7. I love the pride Canadians have in this country and as a result, in themselves. Despite the things the rest of the world think about us and the stereotypes that exist; it is true we are kind and welcoming, for the most part, and are known for it all around the world. We do come off quiet and reserved in contrast with some other countries, but as a quiet and reserved person I feel I am living in the right place. In fact, in my opinion these qualities are highly under-rated. We may not treated our native peoples properly over the years, but it is because of them that Canada is what it is today. I hope we are on the way to making it right and to righting the wrongs of our past. We disagree about the environment, politics, and when it comes to Canada’s role in foreign matters and militarily. Sure we have our problems and don’t always agree. We are by no means perfect but these disagreements just make for a successful democracy.

8. I love how this pride extends to our sports teams. Again, I could get kicked out for admitting I am not quite as enamoured with the game of hockey as the rest of the country, but I do love the image of a backyard or pond rink in winter. I have good memories of Saturdays at the arena with my family or late night roaming an empty one with my siblings while my father played. My brother loved playing hockey in his youth and my father loved being a part of a team as goalie. My family are not Leaf fans or any other Canadian team in particular, but what hockey means to our fellow Canadians it means to us too.

9. I prefer baseball over hockey. I love The Toronto Bluejays and no…I am not just saying this because they happened to win today of all days. I remember sitting tight between my father and brother in our basement, on the couch when Joe Carter scored the home runs to win the 1992 and 1993 World Series and I could hear the pride in their voices as they cheered. The Bluejays are our only team here and we have high hopes for them making the playoffs this year. Going to a game at the Sky dome is an experience in fun and an atmosphere of high energy and enthusiasm.

10. And last but certainly not least, I love the health care we are lucky enough to have here. Again, many could voice their complaints and sure nothing is perfect, but I know of what I speak. I am proud of innovators such as: Dr. Frederick Banting and Tommy Douglas for insulin and universal health care. I know nothing in life is completely free, but after all the surgeries, hospital stays, and medicines my brother and I have needed over the years I am thankful for the universal health care we have. I would feel forever guilt-ridden if I had caused my family to end up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for the care I required. Not all countries around the world would have payed for all the care me and my brother received over the years and my family would be so far in debt if we weren’t living in Canada.

So there are just ten reasons why I love being Canadian. I will now enjoy a wonderful firework display from the comfort of my front porch with my nephew and be thankful I live where I do and enjoy the freedom and the beauty I enjoy.

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians today and I want to wish my neighbours to the south an early Happy Fourth of July. We all need to be grateful for the blessings we have and celebrate our countries and how lucky we truly are to live where we live.

What are you most thankful for where you live?

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20 thoughts on “Oh Canada

  1. I too love Canada and for most of the reasons you do. But it is something in our nature, the feeling I get when I return home from travels, that I love the most, and I find it hard to describe. Our quietness, our acceptance of others, our sense of humour, being open to our differences. P.S. Our literature is great!

  2. I can see why you love Canada. The health care system alone is enough and you are very right about the universal acknowledgement of Canadians being a friendly warm bunch. I have yet to meet one who is otherwise.

  3. You are such a Patriot for your country. Sadly I learned on the news this morning, our people in the USA are diminishing in pride as a percentage of the population. Thank you for an uplifting post that gives me pause to consider my USA love.

    Over from LInkedIn group BHB

  4. I’ve never been to Canada but love all the things you just mentioned about your country. Having a few Canadian friends while living abroad has exposed me to just how much better it is in ways than my home country in the U.S.

    Currently, I’m living in Korea working as an ESL Teacher and am thankful for quite a few things.

    1. The Safety. Believe it or not, there’s almost nowhere safer than Korea and Japan. Dangerous Crime is almost nonexistent here and I know everyone freaks out about the North but hey, nobody cares here for the most part.

    2. The Healthcare. Similar to Canada, it’s universal and cheap. Very thankful for that.

    3. I could go on but then again, maybe I should write a post about this.

    Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. You left out Rush for your music loves. Do you not like them? I have a few American friends who’d name them first and foremost.

  5. hi kerry; a most excellent post. I can feel the pride in your words, and you really rocked this ten things post. I think that texans and canadians. have a lot in common. we both come from places that are victims of many stereotypes. Texans are very proud of our state that offers just about every type of climate from beach to mountains. we have a rich culture including musicians, artists, artisans, writers, and actors. We have many sports teams that are widely known, and currently the spurs are not only the NBA champs but they are the first ones in a while to do it as a true team. as a houstonian I’m sad to say we only have one successful sports franchise and that’s our mls team the houston dynamo. 🙂 the one thing I”m not proud of is that our state is no longer thought of as being the friendly welcoming place it used to be. But I have hope for better days. thanks for sharing with us. Have a happy canada day while we celebrate july 4th here. take care, max

  6. Hi Kerry! Thank you for describing Canada to me. I live in Asia, in the Philippines and all my life I have dreamed of visiting Canada and the USA. I love the great outdoors, something I know Canada has a lot of. It is heartwarming to read a post about love for one’s country. In the Philippines, we can be proud of our wonderful beaches (7,107 islands in all – slowly diminishing in number because China is staking claim to some). I too love my country. I just hate the people running it.

    • Yes, I also don’t agree with a lot of what my country is doing politically. I love our landscape and yours sounds beautiful too. I love beaches. Thanks for commenting.

  7. ramonamckean says:

    Kerry, thank you! I live in Victoria, British Columbia, which has got to be one of the prettiest little cities in the world! I’ve lived elsewhere on Vancouver Island as well–Port McNeill on the north end and Nanaimo, about 1 1/2 hours north of Victoria. (Victoria is the southernmost place on the Island.)

    My favourite place on this beautiful Island? Absolutely, Pacific Rim National Park on the West Coast! Wonderful, wild pristine beaches, rain forests, eagles, deer, bears, whales, etc etc.! Take a boo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/striderv/5041000875/ 🙂

  8. Pingback: Reconciling The Truth About Canada | Her Headache

  9. Pingback: “People Of Canada…” #CanadaDay #FTSF | Her Headache

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