Today is Canada Day. It’s the day we mark our 1867 Confederation, and the day we celebrate Canada’s uniqueness. Because we share North America with the United States, it’s easy to think our countries are the same, but that’s not the case.
I have many friends and relatives living in the States and I love to visit, but it feels a bit different there, especially when I go blind trying to figure out exactly how much of that plain green money I have in my wallet!
When I return home — the moment I cross the bridge from New York into Ontario — I feel the different-ness more acutely. And in a good way. No, we’re not as big, or as bold as our neighbours, and we’re not as flashy, but we have a great country too. We have two official languages, our money is drop-dead gorgeous, and we can spell words with an extra “u” like nobody’s business. Did you notice, favourite neighbours?
In honour (<– see??) of Canada Day, I wrote the following list to celebrate things I love about my country.
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REASONS I LOVE CANADA
POUTINE! French fries, cheese curd, and gravy, oh my!!
CANADIAN TIRE. I mean, what other store is equally appealing to men, women, and children. And it’s entirely Canadian. No one crosses the border to get better deals at the Canadian Tire outlet mall.
BUTTER TARTS! Need I say more? Not unless it’s to give you the recipe.
RED AND WHITE. Great colours, although I’ll admit they don’t lend themselves to kitschy home décor in the same way red/white/blue/stars/stripes do.
MOOSE(S) and BEAVERS. What’s not to love about such noble animals representing your country? And you can make a deep-fried fair food that resembles the tail of one of them. Great, eh?
EH. Suitable for all conversational situations. “How ‘bout them Maple Leafs, eh?” “That’s a nasty cut you’ve got there. You’re going to need stitches, eh.” “Yes, I’m a lawyer, and I specialize in mergers and acquisitions, eh.”
Try to imagine life without it.
Although its days are numbered, there has always been CANADIAN TIRE MONEY. What’s better than paying cash, and then getting cash back? Sure, it only works in their store, but I love buying stuff with Canadian Tire Money.
And speaking of Canadian Tire Money, don’t you just love our real CANADIAN MONEY? Loonies and toonies add up with the rest of your pocket change at a great rate, and before you know it you’ve got $10 or more. Beautiful discovery, especially when you stop at Timmy’s for a coffee. And the paper bills! Or even better, the vinyl ones. Every colour of the rainbow and now virtually indestructible. Yay for Canadian money.
DEMOCRACY. We get to choose our leaders, and then we get to complain about them for the next four years without fear of retribution.
THE QUEEN. Even though we’re free of Britain, we can still lay claim to the Queen and all of the goings-on over there. Kind of like a rich distant relative you can name-drop when it’s convenient.
And again: POUTINE AND BUTTER TARTS. Love, love, love poutine and butter tarts, both distinctly Canadian. I think I’ll harness up the huskies and dog sled it out to the nearest fast food igloo to see if they’re serving poutine today. If not, I’ll strap on my snowshoes and head to the trading post to pick up butter tart ingredients. What a way to celebrate, eh?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CANADA!