It’s no secret I’m not much of a planner, preferring to fly by the seat of my pants (which could explain the creation of stretch denim), but I’ve been giving this long weekend a lot of thought. Sure, it’s mostly because I overthink pretty much everything, but it is also because this long weekend is my absolute favourite one of the whole summer. Celebrating the great fortune of being a Canadian is something I can totally get behind.

Breakfasts will consist of stacks of gluten free pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup. And not that mass-manufactured syrup either. No way. I want the little brown jug crafted in a real sugar shack somewhere near home. I am going to sit in my moose jammies and eat these on the patio, while I watch the blue jays dive-bomb the squirrels. This is my version of reality TV. Good morning, indeed.

I’m going to book time to read at least a few chapters of a book by my favourite Canadian author, because I can read Margaret Laurence over and over again and still find something new in her prose. This makes me happy. Then I will finish the last few chapters of Joni Mitchell’s biography, because my inner folkie loves her music, but it’s her blunt attitude on life, love and art that intrigues me.

There will be an excursion sometime, somewhere because long weekends are synonymous with long car rides. I’d like to take some time to just wander about, actively being Canadian. That means no matter where I go, when confronted by strangers I will say “sorry” for things I haven’t done and rush ahead to open the doors of every establishment for people who are completely capable of opening the doors themselves, because I am polite like that. But if someone cuts me off in holiday traffic, I am going to forget my manners and yell at them in both of Canada’s official languages from the safety of my car, and just hope I don’t run into them at the next drive-thru. 

Then there will be a visit to a chip truck at some point (naturally), and while the others may enjoy poutine, I’m just going to squirt ketchup on the mound of fries until every single potato strip has been blessed by the red sweetness of the world’s best condiment.  Red is a very Canadian colour.

The soundtrack of this weekend will be an all-Canadian playlist, spanning generations of awesome tunes. I will source the Carpenter’s favourite Canadian beer and we will toast the good life while we toast marshmallows over a bon fire until they catch fire, and then we will lie and say we like them that way. 

When the Tragically Hip comes over the speakers, we will sing along, secure that this music is a piece of us, the best part of us, the quintessential Canadian us. 

One thing is certain: there will be moments of reflection of just how awesome it is to be a citizen of this great country for reasons as simple as heading into town on July 1 to celebrate Canada Day with my neighbours, family and friends. Canada is community. Inclusion.

This quality of life we are privileged to enjoy. This weekend it draws us together. It’s a good thing, especially in our world today. 

Happy Canada Day, everyone.



Kelly Waterhouse