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Saturday, May 3, 2014

OH Canada! Our home and native land. (This blog is written in "Canadian" eh?).

 
While I always call Swaziland “home”, there is no question that Canada feels like home as soon as we step off the airplane.  The first sign to greet us is a photo of Mayor Rob Ford welcoming us to his fine city.  The first news we heard was that Mayor Rob Ford had just checked himself in to a Rebab facility for cocaine, alcohol and stupidity (my blog – I can say what I want).

The Toronto Raptors are in Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets.  While we have never heard of the Brooklyn Nets, the Raptors have clearly been practicing their game since they first opened the franchise during our ONYX Marketing days in 1995.  Go team go. 

We went to dinner at Milestones and saw that the game between the Montreal Canadians and the Boston Bruins playing on the TV behind the bar.  I thought I was having a flashback to May 10, 1979, when during  Game 7 of the NHL semifinals, the Bruins were whistled for a too-many-men penalty.  Many years later I was hosting a dinner party with Mario Tremblay and Michele Bergeron when this controversial topic came up.  Our friendly dinner party turned heated and almost came to blows in a matter of seconds!  And here we are again.  The Habs vs. the Bruins.

Ian, Spencer and I are only here for a few days to visit friends and family so we had to plan our eating very carefully and strategically so that we could include Tim Hortons, The Keg, Swiss Chalet and a trip to Loblaws to get Cheez Whiz, Kraft Peanut Butter, Ketchup chips, Jos Louis and dill pickle chip dip.   This is not a weight loss trip – don’t judge.

It was great to see friends from so many different parts of our past lives.  We had an “open gathering” at The Keg and saw friends from our Grenville Christian College days (where Ian and I went to High School), from ONYX Marketing Group days, of course my lawyer from 1988 to 2004, our Canadian Board of Directors, our neighborhood on Archerhill Court and people who have been our closest friends since I landed in Toronto in 1985.  

Tim and Kathryn

Ruth Noble
Louis call 225 please!
We also got to visit with my mom at her nursing home in Guelph and got to set up a Skype call between her and Chloe in Taiwan. Oh the joy of high speed internet!  While mom can’t really hear us and there is a new dementia setting in, it was really great to see her and watch her enjoy Spencer’s photos and video from his company called Cirque Freaks.  She is a very proud Grandma.

Spencer and Uncle Al
The gang.
Spencer, Sydney and Alexis
Ralph and Judy
I love being back in Canada. The water coming out of the tap is cold.   The people want to have interesting and reasonable conversations that won’t lead you to a possible sink hole where you might unknowingly make a bi-partisan statement that changes the trajectory of the conversation, and possible friendship.

Kim Skyping with Chloe

Today we are heading downtown to the Royal Alexander theatre to see a live performance of “We will Rock You” – 24 songs from the band “Queen” (my favorite band of all time).  The irony that Freddy Mercury, who is arguably one of the most brilliant musicians of our time, was one of the first public people to die of HIV/AIDS in America, is not lost on me.

Tonight we will have a family reunion with the Maxwell clan and enjoy a few laughs and family memories.  A great time will be had by all.

Spencer with cousins Ella and Jack.
Ian and his sister Laura and her son Jack.
Thanks for reading this. If you are not Canadian and made it this far, I say “Merci beaucoup”.  

Live from Toronto … we are heading back to Tim Horton’s for a Bear Claw.

Janine

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