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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Birthday, Canada!

It's still amazing to me that I can celebrate Canada Day from my HOME in the Great White North! And celebrate I will! In true Chrystie fashion, today is deserving of a Top Ten List!

(Note that there are a million reasons why I love my Home and Native land, but these are the first ten to pop into my mind...)

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Canada Today:

*UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. Without a doubt, this would be tops on my list. I will admit that I took public healthcare for granted before moving to the States. I just assumed that everyone living in a "developed" country would have access to major medical care, free of charge. Oh the naivety! It was the weirdest thing for me to bring the check (cheque) book with me to a doctor's appointment after moving to Alabama. Of course, now that we have Ellie, and medical appointments consume much of our existence, I am truly thankful for the coverage. I don't know what we'd do without it. I also love what universal healthcare symbolizes about Canada: the majority of Canadians realize that every human being is deserving of medical care, regardless of how much money they make or where they come from.

*Honey dill dip, Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, and Ketchup chips (don't even ask Richard how many times I craved these three things during our time in Texas!).

*Northern Lights. Yes, Richie, they DO exist! And they are fabulous. There is nothing more majestic and awe-inspiring than a fluid sky of shimmering lights, above a rustling field of wheat. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

*Gun Laws. Oh, I know this one is up for some debate, and I absolutely realize that guns are a problem on Canadian streets, but comparatively, the situation is SO much better here than south of the border. I remember the first time I dropped Richard off at work in Texas, and saw the "Firearms Not Allowed Past This Point" sign on the front door. It's a computer engineering firm, for crying out loud! The simple fact that such a sign had to be posted made my heart stop. I am so very thankful that Canada's gun laws are some of the toughest in the world, and that I've NEVER seen a gun-warning sign on a front door in this country!

*Hockey Night In Canada. Even Richard has become a Don Cherry addict!

*The flag. Isn't it pretty? I love how recognizable our brilliantly red maple leaf is.

*Tim Horton's. Hands-down the best coffee ever. Yes, better than Starbucks. I spend entirely too much money there.

*Colorful money. It's easy to distinguish the bills because they're all a different color! Granted, I'm still out on the loonies and toonies (coins), but I LOVE the multi-coloured bills (I suppose, since this is an O Canada post, I should spell it coloUr, tee hee!).

*Separation of Church and State. (Yes, I am being politically bold in this post!) It's a strange topic, I realize, and on paper ALL democracies should maintain this separation. Yet, after living in the US for nearly eight years, I realize that the separation of church and state is practiced quite differently in the two countries (since those are the only two countries in which I've lived, I can't speak to how other nations deal with it...). I remember when GWB was running against John Kerry in 2004, the men's group in our little Baptist church viewed a "look at how Christian our president is" promo video. I was absolutely appalled, especially since there was no one from John Kerry's camp to promote their candidate. I felt it was incredibly inappropriate for a church to campaign on behalf of a candidate. I also still get a bit heeby-jeebied when I see national flags hanging beside the pulpit, or ROTC (reserve officers in training) exercises being held in church sanctuaries. I am thankful that, in Canada, that division between church and state is much more vivid.

*The CBC. For those who aren't familiar with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, it's a publicly funded TV and radio station, which features solely Canadian content. It's a good thing.

God keep our land, glorious and free!


Sunny said...

Oh Canada!

Yes Canada is a great place. For me it created a wonderful man that I married. BUT I would have to say some of your experiences were for sure TX moments. I have never seen a sign about guns anywhere I have lived. I have lived MANY places in the South. Also Church and State, I am sad to hear about your previous church. You know where I stand in politics but my church would never use the pulpit as a place to speak its mind. You should try a different state next time. HA!

I LOVE Hockey Night in Canada once a year. HA! Now Northern Lights, I have yet to experience when visiting!

Chrystie said...

Oh, sweet Sunny, you are very right that some of my views (political and social) stem from what part of the US I lived in, and admittedly, what part of Canada I live in. I tried really hard to ensure that this wasn't a "I love Canada because it's better than the US" post, because that was NOT my intent whatsoever. I have my July 4th post ready to go too, and it was easy to come up with ten things I love about the US of A. I guess, when writing this post, I thought back to the past seven years in TX, and the things that I remember missing. Anyway, I just wanna make sure that y'all know that I'm not America-bashing (there are things I love and hate about Canada, just as there are things I love and hate about the States....I just thought I'd focus on the "love" parts for these posts!).

Speaking of love...I love YOU, Sunny-Bunny!

Sunny said...

You are such a silly girl. I never thought you were bashing. I know your love for both countries. I live with a 'once' Canadian and see both countries in such a different light than most. I totally understand.

I love you just as much or maybe even more. :)