I was born in Winnipeg and raised in Merrickville, Ontario (population 900.)
I am thinking about my homeland today as they prepare to host the Olympic Winter Games.
It’s unique to have so much attention paid to this wonderful country that is often overlooked. Overlooked, overshadowed and misunderstood. (Oh yes, misunderstood. Canadians do not all live in igloos and the capital of the country is not Toronto. And not everyone is a hoser, but some people are keeners.)
Here’s an audio link to the poem from the Opening Ceremonies:
I am very fortunate to have dual citizenship in the US and Canada, so I feel that I’m entitled to affectionately point out the flaws and beauties of both countries. If I had more time and energy today, I would launch into a gentle rant at this point, but since I just finished a grant proposal and conference call ten minutes ago, and leave in twenty minutes for Matt and Noemi’s (salad in hand), I must keep today’s post short. That rant would definitely not be short.
Someday I will tell you how I came to be a Canadian with American parents. Living in Canada made our family’s story what it is. But that is a fairly long story to write, so I will save it for another day.
Jeremy and I lived in Vancouver for several years. We bought our first house there and had our first baby there. I obviously have some lovely memories of that time. People are often surprised that we would choose to live here rather than there. The truth is that when the sun is out, Vancouver is breathtakingly beautiful. Unfortunately the sun was out very little. It rained way too much for my good mental health (that cold, wet, unrelenting rain sent me running back towards the land of real winters, which as most of you know is really saying something!) And we were far, far from family.
But do you know what turned out be a real deal breaker for me? They do not get thunderstorms. I really, really missed thunderstorms.
And it was an expensive place to think of raising a family. When I think of all of the amazing free things available for families in Minnesota, and how much easier it is to get around the city in a car, I could start another gentle rant… (I really do love Minneapolis.)
It will be very fun to watch for glimpses of our one-time city while we enjoy all of the fabulousness that is the Winter Games.
I hope you think about Canada a little more than usual over the next couple of weeks. And cheer for them occasionally during the games. Just for me.