I know that we Canadians have our quirks and there are lots of things we do well and lots of things we do not so well, but I've been thinking about how lucky we are. There's lots and lots of things we should be grateful for, like freedom, the right to vote, and lots of other things that we are truly very lucky to have, but......
I guess I've had a couple of very Canadian experiences the last couple days that I really enjoyed. The first one was being on the bus coming to Edmonton and I brought a bunch of DVDs to watch on my laptop on the way up. I, in my infinite wisdom, forgot that my laptop has no DVD drive. Luckily the bus has wireless internet and I started watching Fubar on Netflix. Now, not that Fubar is necessarily the best example, but I was thinking how cool it was to be going from my Alberta city to another Alberta city and watching a movie that was made right here in Alberta. I know this seems kind of silly, but I just so enjoyed all of my Albertan-ness in that moment.
My other very Canadian moment was today when I took a jog in Edmonton's breathtaking river valley.
So, Edmonton isn't so bad after all (even though most of us Calgarians won't admit it happily). Anyways, while I was experiencing some of the most beautiful urban nature that we are so privileged to enjoy, I was listening to Stuart McLean podcasts from The Vinyl Cafe. For those of you who aren't aware, The Vinyl Cafe is a long running (and wonderfully fantastic) radio show on CBC. I first fell in love with The Vinyl Cafe in my high school best friend's parents' van, in which I spent a lot of time. Kate and I were totally inseparable and I used to be invited along to a lot of their family events and even a few great road trips. I'm pretty sure that the only radio stations that that van received were CBC stations. I remember listening to The Vinyl Cafe on Sundays and to CBC from Tofino, BC all the way back to Calgary after being on the island for three weeks. Anyways, I decided that one thing I could do while I jog is listen to The Vinyl Cafe podcasts (thank you CBC :) - I can't really listen to music because it ruins my pace). So today I enjoyed a Vinyl Cafe show helping commemorate the CBC's 75th anniversary (way to go CBC!). I'm not totally sure I've had many happier experiences; I can't even explain how much I was enjoying myself. Nothing like enjoying some amazing Canadian scenery and enjoying something as Canadian as The Vinyl Cafe. And I will be doing that again.
My second Vinyl Cafe podcast I listened to was the show from Oct. 8, and it included The Arthurs, which is described by the website as "awards that recognize acts of kindness and generosity that, too often, go unnoticed". The only one I actually heard before I reached my hotel was a nomination from a man whose father bought a vacation home when he was four years old and had sold it 46 years later. Every time they would leave the cabin, they would say goodbye when passing under a set of Christmas lights that had been there the whole time they had been vacationing at this property. This man wanted to nominate the person who had strung and maintained these Christmas lights through the years, whoever it was. I really can't tell the story right but I was completely crying on the street in Edmonton, but would highly recommend that you hear how the story pans out (http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/includes/vinylcafe.xml - it's the one from October 8th - The Arthurs).
So thanks to this amazing country and for all my fellow citizens who make this country what it is. I know that there are lots of things that we can and need to improve, but I'm very thankful for this wonderful, beautiful, diverse, cooperative (and polite) nation and our fabulous people.