Monday, July 4, 2011

Destination or Journey?

Well, I missed the blog last Thursday, but I was literally sick and tired. Driving 3600 km across Canada when you’re not well is not what the doctor ordered. I’m glad to say that both Ann and I are beginning to feel nearly human again, but not until we’d had three days of sleep—all night and often most of the day!

During that drive, I could not help thinking what a relief it was to hit the prairies. While Montreal itself is mostly bilingual, a few miles into the countryside and there is no English to be found. Unless you know the French for cookies or cabbage, the supermarket aisles are all guess and eyework.

Then there is that dreaded PST, making everything more expensive than we’re used to. Ontario shares that with the now HST at 13, or is it 14%? I sympathize with BC residents, fighting that iniquitous tax. As seniors, we are far better off in Alberta; no PST and good senior benefits to boot.

As much as I like Ottawa, heading west along the Ottawa valley is not meant for getting anywhere. The mostly two lane highway passes through every town and hamlet, and corkscrews its way around Lake Superior. Beautiful scenery you say; but that is a hazard and distraction not needed when destination is the priority.

What a sense of relief to hit Manitoba. Within a few minutes, the four lane highway—now stretching almost into Golden, BC—commences. Wide lanes, faster speed limits, and travel takes on new meaning. Yes, it may be boring. But boring beats beautiful when you’re trying to get somewhere.

An if you’re ever in Brandon, check out the Midway Motel, right off the Transcanada highway. Good Korean Christian hospitality, comfortable, clean rooms and breakfast—all for $57 a night. An oasis in the motel desert!

That all adds up to the progressive centre of Canada marching west from sputtering Ontario. Never thought I would champion Alberta as the best place to live in Canada. We started our Canadian life in Alberta, and whatever brought us to finish life in Alberta, it is the right place for us now.

In fact, I can’t help the feeling that life is better than we deserve!

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