Canada: My Picture Perfect Memories Growing Up Canadian

Let me introduce myself

 I’ll be honest:  I am Canadian, and I cannot help but love my country.  I was born and raised in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  I have lived outside of Canada, but Canada will always be my home.

Hopin' 'n Wishin'   (Morgan Mare)
Hopin' 'n Wishin' (Morgan Mare)

My summer playground

Growing up, I lived only a stone’s throw away from the Rocky Mountains. The summers were short as we lived at a higher altitude, but they were sunny and hot. The spring brought blossoms of delicate crocus, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The trees wore delicate new green buds and the birds would arrive with the first signs of melting snow. It never took long before the blanket of old snow was replaced with the bright green shoots of grass that turned into a soft blanket for picnics, rolling down hills and lounging around under the warmth of bright sunshine.

The air was crisp, clean and clear. It wasn’t unusual for me to go and hike in the mountains, only to arrive home exhausted from the fresh mountain air. It wasn’t from the exercising or excitement, it was from all the clean oxygen my body had received throughout the day.

If I wasn’t exploring the mountains, I was out in the foothills, riding my horse and exploring the hills. Many seasons I spent riding out in the breeze, stopping to graze my horse whilst I sat on a log enjoying my picnic. I remember, of all things, the smell of the grains from the farm fields that surrounded us. The wheat would blow gently in the wind, swaying this way and that. The barley would sound like shakers in the breeze. Birds loved to land on the stalks and pick at the grains. Along the waterways were thousands of cat tails growing tall, reaching for the sky. At night, you could hear the frogs chirping all night long. Calling to each other and announcing their presence in the night world.

Being somewhat landlocked, I didn’t grow up with many lakes, but there were a few wonderful ones to fish from. The lakes were clear and the water ice cold. I caught northern pike and yellow perch, sometimes rainbow trout. I enjoyed the fishing, but mostly I enjoyed laying back on the beach and watching the birds fly overhead. One fall, I began fishing early in the morning and stayed out until late evening. I couldn’t tear myself away because I was having a fantastic day fishing – I managed a personal record that day and it didn’t appear that my luck was going to run out any time soon. I believed then, and even today, that my luck was due to the migrating bald eagles above me. Taking breaks, I would sit back on a log and watch the sky above me. One after another, migrating eagles flew over me. They were flying low enough that I could see their bald heads. It was an unusual sight and I had begun counting after the sixth eagle flew past. By night fall, I had counted 37. Sadly, I have never experienced this again.

We had a garden in our backyard, which fed us fresh vegetables throughout the summer. I remember pulling carrots out of the dirt, brushing them off and eating them. Oh, they were so fresh, sweet and crisp with a mouthful of flavour! My grandmother always grew sugar peas and snap peas. She never knew, or rather not let on that she knew, why the harvests were always so small. She always claimed it was the rabbits or deer coming to munch, but between you and me, the peas were my favourite fresh garden snack.

Some summers, I spent in the OkanoganValley on the beaches of OkanoganLake. I could also be found in the fruit orchards, lending my skills as the official fruit tester ensuring the crop was ripe with sweetness. Many times, I took fresh apples or pears and fed them to horses that I had borrowed from friends. Those horses loved me, and always greeted me with knickers and bobbing of their heads. Away from my horse buddies, I spent time on the lake in my Uncle’s speed boat. I can laugh about it now, but it was a fight for him to put me on his boats. I always refused, but my attitude had a lot to do with nearly drowning in that lake. However, once sitting in the boat and speeding along, I enjoyed each moment of the rides.

I loved the mountains, but I also loved the west coast. I travelled there often during the seasons and enjoyed the beaches, shopping and fresh seafood. The gardens and parks are beautiful, and to jog through StanleyPark was exhilarating.

Beating cabin fever during the winters

Summers were always too short, or so it felt. The leaves turned yellow and bright reds and flaming orange. Too soon, autumn would arrive and its blowing winds would chase the warmth away and bring a chill to announce the onset of winter. Winter was long but the key was to get out in the cold and snow and enjoy the outdoors.

Like all Canadians, I grew up playing street hockey with the neighbourhood kids with the exception of Saturday nights. Saturday nights were reserved for Hockey Night in Canada and Peter Puck. I knew the hockey stats forwards and backwards, every player on each team and I could predict with fairly good accuracy who would win that season’s Stanley Cup.

Hockey is but only one winter sport. I still travelled to my beloved mountains, but instead of hiking, I skied downhill and skated on the lakes. I drove across frozen lakes and parked so that I could ice fish. During the evenings, I would walk outside as large individual flakes of snow fluttered down from the star studded night sky. Many of these beautiful flakes were caught on my eagerly waiting tongue and melted into cool droplets of water. I had friends who would climb frozen waterfalls. I didn’t do that, but I hiked across glaciers before they began to melt. It was an experience as the sun shone hot above and the coldness seeps up along your legs from the frozen glacier. I had dreamed of watching polar bears, but was never fortunate enough to come across them. Perhaps, one day in the future I will.

The beauty of Canada cannot be justified with words. Photos can capture some of the beauty, but the true beauty comes forth when you are here. Imagine sitting under a night sky, wrapped in a light blanket, thousands of stars twinkling in the dark sky. There’s a light crisp breeze signalling the beginning of autumn while scents of juniper and cedar waft through the air. The wait isn’t long before Mother Nature puts on a dazzling display of the Northern Lights. The ribbons of color paint the sky and dance to her tune. It is beauty in motion. It is incredible.

Aurora Borealis:   The Northern Lights
Aurora Borealis: The Northern Lights

Being Canadian

My life as a Canadian growing up, and living in this country, has given me an opportunity to experience life in such a way that it has nourished my spirit, opened my mind, solidified my inner core and taught me how to be accepting, respectful, tolerant, peaceful and kind. My life, then and now, is bountiful with the many gifts that the land and people provide to each other. I am proud to be Canadian.

Copyright Beth100

© May 2, 2010

 

Mountain Goat
Mountain Goat

O Canada is nicely summed up by Classified (Watch this! A great example of Canadian-ness)

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49 comments

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 2 years ago from malang-indonesia

Beautiful hub. I hope I can go to Canada one day. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Voted up!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 2 years ago from Canada Author

TonyMead60 - Hi Tony! The train ride through the Rockies is breathtaking. It's surreal. But, with the tar sands projects and the gateway pipelines, the beauty will be soon be destroyed. :( It's very sad. I hope that you will be able to travel the Rockies via train soon -- take many, many photos! I'd love to see them. :)

Thank you Tony!

Peace and light.

Beth


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 3 years ago from Yorkshire

HI Beth

what a nice personal log of your early memories and experiences of growing up. The scenery of the Rockies and the wildlife must surly compensate for the shorter days. My family almost moved to Canada in 53, but it was not to be, when G/dad had a heart attack.

A journey I would like to take is on the railway that runs along the Rockies, that must be spectacular. I saw the Auroro when I wa s living and working in Russia it is amazing, I wonder what ancient people must have thought of them. A green dragon swirling through the sky maybe.

nice hub, voted up.

regards

Tony


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 4 years ago from Canada Author

Dahoglund -- It's a small world, isn't it? There are many things about Canada that has not been shared with the rest of the world. I'm doing what I can to do this. Thank you!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

My mother's family came from Canada.It has a lot of things to be interested in.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 5 years ago from Canada Author

FeliciaM - Yes, and I have also lived in many places around the world. There are many beautiful places around the globe, but Canada, in my opinion, is by far the most beautiful. :)


FeliciaM profile image

FeliciaM 5 years ago from Canada

Wow, seems like you have lived in a lot of places in Canada. Here here to the beauty of Canada!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 5 years ago from Canada Author

Timorous - Aye, us Canadians are a great bunch! And you're right, I had tears in me eyes too when I watched the video and when our anthem plays, I catch my breath. We'll have to get together a play a bit of street hockey, eh? :) Thanks my friend!


timorous profile image

timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

Ach, Beth m'wee lassie. Ya done near make me eyes wet with pride..same with the video. Not to mention all those Team Canada medals in the last few Olympics.

You're so right, it's the best place in the world. I absolutely remember spending many a winter's day or night, playing hockey in my youth..didn't matter how cold it was..it's in our blood.

You've painted an absolutely spot on picture of Canada. Nice goin' eh?


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Quill -- We are blessed to be a part of this great country! We have so much nature surrounding us, and it is all accessible at anytime of the year. And the space! We have sooo much space to enjoy our lives in. Thank you.

Peace and light


"Quill" 6 years ago

Lovely tribute to our country, well written and many memories arose as I was reading. We are blessed to live here.

Just east of the Rockies here as well and love the playground, fishing and just sitting watching the the beauty before me. Awesome place to cal home.

Blessings


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

FirstStepsFitness -- I'm glad that it was a vacation for you. I miss my home and always feel like I'm back when I read this. :)


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 6 years ago

Wow reading your Hub was like going on a peaceful vacation :)


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Nell -- I forgot that you were tracking down your Canadian ancestory. I know that there was a Belcher Veteran's Hospital in Calgary, Alberta but I am sure there were other hospitals by this name in other parts of the country. I'll so a little research myself, and let you know. I'm really happy that you dropped by. Thanks Nell! :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, this is great, I am wanting so badly to come over there, I am still tracking down the Belcher side of my family, and Quill sent me a link that was about a Belcher hospital for veterans that might just be the one! so my Canadian side is desperate to figure it out! I will be back more often as we always get stuck in a habit of doing the same people and hub reading, I forget to track down everybody! cheers nell


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

CC -- When I moved to Texas, I realized how much I loved the cold and the snow!! It was just too hot for me! lol I have been back for the migrations, but sadly the number of eagles passing overhead has never been the same. It's a terrible sign of where our planet is headed. Thank you CC for coming and sharing my memories. xoxo


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Jennifer -- Thank you Jennifer and a big welcome to Canada! Our country is a beautiful place - from ocean beaches to snow capped mountains to prairie grasses and rolling hills. There's something for everyone here.


ralwus 6 years ago

I am almost envious of you, but I hate the cold now. Go back out there in October, the month of migration for hawks and eagles, and look for them again Beth. x CC


Jennifer D. profile image

Jennifer D. 6 years ago from Canada

Beautifully written Hub, Beth.

I grew up in California, and I thought that state was pretty special. Now, having lived in Canada for several months, I find that everywhere I look there is unsurpassed beauty. Your description of life growing up here is wonderfully written. We are truly fortunate to live in such a place.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Logic -- Thank you for the compliment! You've me smiling! My country is beautiful and I'm glad that you came by to see. Thank you!


logic,commonsense 6 years ago

Gorgegous country with some gorgeous people like you!.

Thanks for sharing your observations!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Anne, thank you. You have given me a great compliment as my goal was to have everyone fall in love with my country. I'm very happy that I can help you experience Canada through my eyes.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Through your eyes, Beth, I am learning to love canada, A place I have never seen personally, but thanks to your great hubs, get to taste! Well done!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Kimberly -- So sweet to see you! We do rock!! We need to get together and paint the town one night. I promise, no speeding tickets this time! :D Thanks Kimberly (and we love you too!!)


kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

CANADIANS ROCK!

THANKS BETH

I LOVE HOME TOO

KIMBERLY


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Cheeky Girl -- Thank you! I love my country too!! :)


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Itakins - Canada and Ireland -- two countries that I love. Canada is a beautiful country with its uniqueness from coast to coast. Where I grew up, I had the mountains as my backyard and four seasons to enjoy. I'm very lucky to have lived there.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Katee -- They are truly Canadian! Glad you enjoyed the video!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

What an awesome Hub, and a wonderful Tribute to a great country! Loved this hub! : )


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

I just loved this-I want to be there-you paint such a beautiful picture of Canada.Wonderful hub.


Katee 6 years ago

I love the video! Those guys are kewl!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

PDH - Happy Mothers Day too! ==> Terrific Mom Maita!!! xox


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Happy Mothers Day, great MOM< Maita


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Mythbuster -- AAAAwwweeee, come on back anytime for a taste of home!! I've moved far away from the mountains, and I miss them dearly. I'm still homesick for them and it's been 13 years! ha ha ha

Thank you for your generous compliments! You're always welcome to come back here and get away from it all! :)


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Theherbivorehippi -- I still don't lock my doors (sshhhh!!) out of habit, and I tend to walk away from the car leaving it unlocked too. Yes, the pace is relaxing...never pressured or forced. Gotta love it! Cheers and thanks herbivorehippi!!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Tammy -- Oh, you're childhood memories sound wonderful!!! I use to run through the wheat fields, but was always afraid of getting lost in the tall corn. :D Thank you for sharing your memories with us!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Raisingme -- I have goosebumps all over me with the thought that we were all skating and playing hockey throughout the winters!!! I hadn't pictured it like that either. Our winters may be long and cold, but our summers are heaven! Thank you for sharing your memories!


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

AAAAAAwe I'm homesick now from reading your hub. And I'm in CANADA! lol Just stuck in the city - not how I grew up. This is a great hub, Beth100. I stood outside just to let the rain fall on me today 'cos I'm stuck in the city with no way, right now, to go for visits to the nearby towns where I grew up. *sigh* Did I say great hub? I think I will return here next time I need to "get away."


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

PDH -- It was great to walk down memory lane and write this one. Thanks, Maita! Enjoy your day tomorrow! xox


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Your pictures are wonderful. I spent most of my childhood in Canada and the whole country just always seem to move at its own peaceful pace. I can't remember us every locking our doors to our home and hockey was a religion! lol Great hub!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

O Canada...Thanks for sharing your memories. I still remember summers barefoot in the soft cool grass. Dipping toes into the frigid creek. Catching crayfish. Running through the cornfields playing tag. Great read!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Larry -- I love my country! It is so true -- we have plenty of room to stretch out and not even see a neighbor! We're very fortunate. Thank you for your kindness, Larry! Beth


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Samboiam -- Oh, you must come and visit!!! You won't be disappointed! :) Thanks for dropping in, I always enjoy your company!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Sidney Morgan -- The Aurora Borealis is breathtaking! It's worth the trip to Canada to watch and I promise it will be a memory that you will savor forever. Thank you for sharing your wish!


raisingme profile image

raisingme 6 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

Growing up in this country one cannot help but feel very blessed and fortunate indeed - it never occurred to me,as a child, that children from coast to coast were skating on anything and everything that was frozen, just like I was. As an adult I appreciate the shared experience that binds us all. And, the snow peas in the garden - my absolute favourite! Well Done, I enjoyed this from beginning to end.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

beautiful Beth, it was a beautiful experience -- wonderful place, and I had fun reading it, Maita


maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

Beth...Your Hub is a wonderful love story of a wonderful nation, our friendly neighbors to the North...With a population of only 34 million, less than California, but with ten times the land area, there is plenty of room to stretch and enjoy...Thanks for sharing your Canada with us...Larry


samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

I have never been to CAnada but have always wanted to go. Even more so now that I have read this hub. Rated it up.


SidneyMorgan profile image

SidneyMorgan 6 years ago from Australia

Since I was a kid I Have always wanted to see Aurora Borealis, maybe one day

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