Gratitude 2015

Thanksgiving almost didn’t happen this year. Even though, since moving to Canada, I have two annual opportunities to celebrate, it felt like the holiday might pass me by entirely. Still, there’s always time to be thankful. And right now, I’m blasting with gratitude.

Alas, my honey and I were both sick in the days leading up to “Canadian Thanksgiving” weekend in mid-October. The week before, we had invited a small group of friends over for dinner that Sunday night. Even though we were still sneezing and coughing Saturday morning, we were optimistic that the tide would turn, so we  did a big grocery shop — a big chicken and all the fixings. [Gratitude blast: I’m thankful for Thanksgiving!] Continue reading

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Oh Canada!

download February 23, 2015 felt like my birthday, and in a way it was. For on that day, my life began as a Canadian.

On that spectacularly sunny morning, as I opened my eyes, my sweetheart presented me with a gift of red socks with the word “Canada” across the top – how chic!IMG_0026 And in the kitchen, I found a gorgeous bouquet of a dozen red roses, red carnations, white daisies and a white mum, plus six pink roses (“for love”). The vase was sitting on a souvenir tea towel with a huge red maple leaf and the word “Canada” across the bottom. What a welcome to my new home country!photo 3 But wait, there’s more! Continue reading

Obrigado

6e9a9_ipanema-rio-brazilWalking on the path next to the beach the other day, I passed by three people sitting on a bench – a man and two women, all in their 20’s, good looking, speaking to each other animatedly, all talking at the same time. I slowed as I passed them to see if I could identify the language they spoke, a game I often play with myself. As soon as the sounds came into focus, the lush, round vowels and the soft “shhhh” of Portuguese washed right over me, and I was instantly transported to a beach in Rio de Janeiro. Delicious.

Without thinking, I spun around and walked right up to them, smiling, standing, watching and waiting for them to stop speaking. When they did, I apologized for interrupting, and said I just wanted to know which language they spoke. The man said Portuguese, and I smiled and said I’d thought so. I told them I’ve been listening to a lot of Samba music lately (though really more Bossa Nova if truth be told), and the sounds of their voices made me feel like I was inside one of those songs. As I spoke, I swayed back and forth, and they laughed, which made me happy. I told them I think Portuguese is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, and they all smiled broadly.

The two girls said “Obrigado” — thanks. I asked them to repeat the word, said it back to them with another smile, turned and continued along on my walk.

My, that felt good. To just show up and be in the world, to interact with strangers and share a moment. Let’s have more of that.

This Old House

I never thought I’d say it, but I might actually miss this old house.

My time here was never meant to be long-term.  When I moved in less than two years ago, I figured I’d stick around for maybe six months, tops.  Cute place, yes… top floor of an old house, high ceilings, good light, but not in a part of town I particularly loved, and not enough square footage for my stuff (much of which I hurriedly threw into storage, after realizing the day before the movers came that it wouldn’t all fit). Continue reading

You Don’t Know Jack

I didn’t know who Jack Layton was when I moved to Vancouver three and a half years ago, and I’ll bet you that if you’re one of my American friends or relatives reading this, you’ve never heard of him either.  It’s entirely possible that your local newspaper won’t mention that he died today.  If that’s the case, then read this. Continue reading

More on Why I Love Living in Vancouver

The events of the last couple weeks have significantly heightened my appreciation of living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

First was the Royal Wedding.  I’m told it was a big deal in the States, but really, the lead up and coverage on CBC was over the top.  I loved it.  And I loved hearing about all of the “wedding breakfast” parties that my friends here attended, many in their pajamas.  Given that the ceremony was at 3:00 a.m. west coast time, you know that I was in my finest PJ’s while watching (the ones with the owls and bears on them). Continue reading