Recently I decided to visit my sister and her family who live about 800 kilometres from my home.
I didn't have to get permission from anyone to make the trip. I was able to fill the tank of my car with gas using money that I had earned myself. My start time was one that I chose on my own.
As I drove, I was able to enjoy the countryside that had not been ravaged by war or weather disturbances. In fact, the natural beauty was enhanced by the sight of farmers who were diligently planting the spring crops with hope for a fall harvest.
At various times I could use my iPhone to communicate with my sister who was eagerly anticipating the arrival.
There weren't any border crossings or questioning soldiers to stop me on the highway. I hadn't been required to obtain or present a Passport to anyone in order to travel.
I could choose where I would stop to shop or eat along the way. Never was there any sign of discrimination or favouritism in the venues. In fact, the service was accompanied by smiles and good wishes.
As I journeyed down the number one highway I took the opportunity to drive through my hometown to relive memories of my youth. I passed through a neighbouring town and by the house where my grandparents had welcomed me for visits as a child and thought about the values they had demonstrated through their life choices.
I took advantages of a map which I had been given to me without charge and even considered the best route to my destination with my GPS.
Clean bathroom facilities which were accessed as needed along the way were all provided without charge.
We had three days of visiting and sharing an abundance of good food. Farm neighbours drove over for visits and the laughter would make any listener believe that we did have a care in the world.
And then it was home again. Tanks of gas, purchased without concern for the cost. A stop for a luxurious lunch at a spa. Good roads, attractive scenery and peace.
We live in an amazing country!
As we approach Canada Day we need to consider our blessings. We don't have to worry about hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons or damaging oil spills. Our earth has been protected from wars and riots. We have an economy that provides work opportunities and governments at different levels that invest in infrastructure which makes our lives easier. Most of all, however, we enjoy the beauty associated with living in a free country where we can make individual choices about how we will live.
It's time to celebrate, give thanks and honour our country. Remember to hold the words of our national anthem in your heart as a prayer not just on July 1st but every day of the year.
God keep our land glorious and free.
Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email email@example.com