By Helen Harper
Our nation is celebrating its 150th birthday tomorrow, and I for one will be doing it with gusto. Too often we Canadians sit on our hands when it comes to patriotism. We certainly are not as demonstrative as our neighbours to the south. Sometimes this isn’t a bad thing, but I truly feel we should be showing our appreciation at this special time and, yes, with some noise. I chose my noisemakers to be my flowers and flags. With a bit of spray paint and some selective plant purchases, I turned my patio into a sea of red and white.
My family came home for the July party. My grandchildren are American born but made with Canadian parts, and this proud grandma loves to infuse Canadianism into their lives as often as possible. My hope is that some day when they are older they will say they enjoyed their trip to the great open North as much as they did going to the Jersey shore.
I also have some new friends coming up later in the summer from Minnesota and am busy working out our visit itinerary. I want to show off all the wonderful and interesting things we have to offer. They won’t be here long enough to see everything but a few highlights will be Grand Beach, Gimli, Museum of Human Rights, BDI, a walk through Osborne Village and Corydon, Assiniboine Park for a picnic and some Jazz at Lyric and my list just keeps growing. After their visit I’m sending them off to Clear Lake in their camper, for a few days and to then leave Canada through the International Peace Gardens. I’m hoping they will leave with a new appreciation for their neighbours.
We have so much to offer and probably don’t take advantage of it enough ourselves. It takes a visit from out of town folks to remind us of all the wonders in this province and country.
So I say to you, Happy Birthday to Us. Be proud, be loud, if only in your flower pots.
Helen Harper is a freelance writer and volunteer for CJNU Nostalgia Radio.