By Caitlin Kelly
Hearing a loon call — and it’s someone’s ringtone
Touring an Ontario heritage site hosted by a young ranger, D. Fife, whose mother is Ojibway and father is Scottish — classic Canada
Scoring a gorgeous teapot at auction
Paying a lot of tax on vacation purchases in Canada — knowing that it helps to pay for cradle-to-grave health care for everyone there and supports Canadian students’ $5,000/year college tuitions.
The scent of sun-warmed dried pine needles
The sun back-lighting a garden, iris glowing
Sitting very still in an Adirondack chair watching Lake Massawippi
Hearing French spoken all around me, and on the radio, and speaking it myself
A bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread, with mayo
Stocking up on Big Turks
Floating alone in a swimming pool, motionless and silent
Eating butter tarts, peameal bacon and smoked meat while home visiting Canada
Reading a terrific murder mystery set in the Eastern Townships, with a chapter that begins “‘Tabarnacle,’ whispered Beauvoir.” Quebec slang! Written by a former Canadian journalist living within a few miles of where I was reading her work
A very good professional massage
Huge squishy pillows covered in soft white cotton
Driving through Vermont in the rain listening to U2′s Joshua Tree
Awakening to birdsong
A pretty new cardigan in ballet-slipper pink at Ca Va De Soi, a knitwear firm with shops in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto — and also soon online
Feeling so well-loved by dear old friends who welcome us back into their homes, year after year
A badly-needed 10-day vacation — then returning to multiple freelance assignments and teaching gigs
Bonus: Having two countries I’m legally able to belong to, and to work in: Canada, where I was born and raised and the U.S., where I have lived since 1988 and am lucky enough to have a “green card”. I get to celebrate my two countries in the same week each year –
Happy Canada Day! (July 1) and Happy 4th of July!
Two sets of fireworks!