Common Ground

Two Cents’  Worth in the Nickel City
Common Ground

Relocating from the U.S. to Canada is an adjustment and a test, not only in attitude but in thinking. I have to admit my knowledge of the Great White North is limited. As I venture out I am stricken by the similarities and the contrasts to Florida, where I am from.  You have Walmart, Mc Donalds, Shell gasoline and Sears. We don’t have Canadian Tire, Tim Horton’s, Petro Canada or Zeller’s.  In  Florida we have palm trees,  straight, flat landscapes and miles of white, sandy beaches.  In Ontario you have maple trees, winding, hilly streets and miles of dark, jagged rocks. You have vast blue skies, fiery sunsets and seagulls.  We have vast blue skies, fiery sunsets and… seagulls. Hmm, what do these birds know that I do not?  Common ground.

This past winter was the first time since 1971 that the entire Canadian landscape enjoyed a white Christmas. People here say it was for my benefit. One of the most frequent expressions I have heard since I have arrived here is, “It’s not too bad outside” contrary to what you might hear further south, “It’s friggin’ colder than a well digger’s ass ”.  I don’t know if that makes Canadians tougher than Floridians, maybe they just take it in stride. I have been on the beach in Florida in January and heard visitors from up North complain of it being cold at 50 degrees F.  Cold is cold, no matter how you feel about it.

I am also told I have an accent. I’ve maintained my Mid-western drawl but embellished it with a southern “ya’ll” that kind of meshes into a Mid-west/southern “golly gee willickers.”.  Generally I look like most Canadians do, but when I start speaking I get the “You must be from the States, eh?”.   Most people cannot believe I would re-locate from sunny Florida to the frigid North. Usually they get a glossy- eyed expression and ask the inevitable, “WHY DID YOU DO IT?”  But I just smile.

One thing I did marvel at that probably would not have happened in the United States was while my wife and I were shopping in a liquor store buying wine. There was music being piped in over the intercom that I wasn’t really paying attention to until I heard, Sweet Little Shoe by Jesse Winchester. Canada was his adopted home for a number of years and when I recalled that, all my apprehensions swiftly dissolved away. I knew I could make a home here with that sort of recommendation. In fact, there is a virtual treasure trove of Canadian artists I might never have heard of (and some that I have) had I not relocated here… which kinda sweetens the deal.

It will test my mettle, I have no doubt.  But I do it for love and that is the soundest, most relevant motive I can think of. I do it with humility and good old fashioned Yankee ingenuity, along with the unwavering support of my beautiful girl… which makes any test worthwhile.



2 Responses to “Common Ground”

  1. Israel Laubscher Says:

    The thing about tenting, for us softies , is that when the conditions changes state bad, or the collapsible shelter or groundsheet wettings , or the landowner wants the dry land back, we can always pack upwards and go home. And look forward to the day when we can yield a holiday that doesn’t necessitate muddy masochism.And I’ve never ascertained all this all-pulling-together thought to be more a dream. Get to day three, and person will be throwing a hissy fit, sounding out “Why do I perpetually get set down with the washing up?”. Come to think of it, it is like the communist dream transformed into reality. More detail about cheap store

  2. chrisfiore5 Says:

    what a totally awesome comment! not even close to being noteworthy except for the fact that it is just plain lame. I find that not only does the sun not shine, but the moon has lost it’s effervescence. If I were a robin I would look the other way and shudder at my worm but you have made the morsel even tastier. I am humbled by your hyperventilation and the socks below your knees, you inspire me! you are a marvelous cad and thanks for the pepperoni!

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