When I was about 11 years old, I had an epiphany while driving to school one morning. While sitting in the back seat of our family sedan, I realized that my success in life was dependent on me becoming a resident of the United States of America. And, if that long-shot were to transpire (my parents having no desire to move out of province, let alone out of the country), then I would live as big as my dreams would allow. I would go to Harvard University, and subsequently to my graduation from law school, then follow my rising star to the White House where I would become the first Canadian-born President of the free world.
I ended up becoming a kindergarten teacher instead. Not quite what my Grade 5 self had planned.
Life has a way of taking you on detours, and sometimes it even leads you down roads you might never have traveled had you seen the map beforehand. But, in the end, our lives are what we make of them. And life is a highway -- or, so they say. It just so happens that I have journeyed through most of my life on Canadian terrain. And, in doing so, I have discovered why it is that I love this country more than I first thought I did.
Canada is unpredictable. And no clearer example of this can be found than in our variable weather conditions.
This past March, our family traveled down through the Eastern States to visit family in North Carolina. We left Prince Edward Island in blizzard-like conditions. Thankfully, the snow tires were still on, so we arrived at our first night's destination intact, albeit hours behind schedule. As we were going through the border, my husband asked the American immigration official what were the possibilities that we would drive out of the bad weather (inferring, would that be sooner rather than later?). The border crossing security guard looked at him as if he had just sprouted moose antlers, then said this:
"Where you going?"
My husband replied, "We're headed to North Carolina to visit my sister and her family."
"Well," he replied, "one thing's for sure. If you're driving to North Carolina, you are going to drive out of the snow somewhere along the way."
Here's the thing. Had there been a vehicle just like ours, on the other side of the road heading north. And had they asked the same question of their Canadian border crossing official, here's what might have gone down:
Driver: "Any chance we might drive out of this bad weather in the next hour or two?"
Border crossing official: "Where you going?"
Driver: "We're heading home to Prince Edward Island. We're also hoping the bridge isn't closed due to high winds, once we hit Cape Jourimain."
Border Crossing official: "Well, one thing's for sure, this weather isn't letting up any time soon. But, on the bright side, the roads aren't half bad now that the potholes are filled in with slush and snow!"
That's the thing about Canadians: although the weather is unpredictable, we know how to look on the bright side. Rather than glass half empty, it's a cuppa Red Rose tea half full, eh!
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