canadians

Canadian Thanksgiving

The second Monday in October is Canadian Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; it is only food, family, friends, gratitude and relaxing, in equal and copious amounts.  This was our second Thanksgiving in Canada, and the second time we were invited into the home of Canadians to share the holiday.  I was pleased, and grateful.  There was a ton of food and copious amounts of laughter.  The meal included turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, salads and pumpkin pie, just as it would be at home.  We also had an amazing pear crisp, and peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, among other treats.  We have heard a rumor that these friends may be able to join us for the American version of the holiday later this fall, so our fingers are crossed.

There are some other things for which I am extremely grateful this year:

  • my husband, who not only provides for me, but who also supports my approach to life with unfailing grace
  • my cat, who thinks she is a person and whose company is of superior quality
  • my family members, who find my choices strange, but who still admit to common ancestry
  • my friends, who are smart, funny, talented, empathetic, motivated, ambitious and inspirational
  • Canadian fall, which is crisp and colorful and smells good
  • freedom to do whatever I want every single day that I wake up
  • needles and thread, which I find soothing when I am anxious
  • books and magazines, which are my window to the universe

Happy thanksgiving! (Pt. I)

Act (WWII-Era) British

I saw this at a co-worker's desk:


Turns out that it has a pretty serious history: KeepCalmandCarryOn.com.  Right now I like it as a general reminder for the times when I start to feel busier, and therefore a touch frazzled.

While Canadians aren't exactly Brits, I do notice some of this calm vibe up here, not New Orleans, stop-and-have-a-cocktail-screw-the-deadline calm, just it-will-get-done-and-things-will-be-fine calm.  Which also explains their approach to mail delivery.

Perspective

This is so heartbreaking; definitely puts my challenges in their place: at the bottom of the heap, or even nonexistent compared to being forced to abandon your home, on foot, already hungry, to avoid further starvation and war.

Misery Follows as Somalis Try to Flee Hunger

For more information on life in the Dadaab refugee camp, the book Citizens of Nowhere, by Debi Goodwin, is readable and excellent.  It also puts on display something cool about Canadians, which is their more calm and practical attitude regarding immigration.

Canadians

June 24, 2010

Canadians are wildly polite. Strangers will share their email address to make sure that you find what you are looking for (that happened to me in a store), and cars on highways will come to a halt if your body language even hints that you may consider crossing the street at some point in the following few minutes. I’ve been here for one month. Sometimes it feels like the best possible fit and other times I’m sure that I would give up much of our future material comfort in order to just move to a place of our choosing and live there for a long time. Probably Minneapolis, maybe Austin. In the meantime, I plan to cook and sew, a lot. Apparently feminism has gone all the way around the block and arrived right near where it started. What was a chore and burden forty years ago is now a privilege.