As I mentioned, one of my nieces (C1) and her boyfriend (C2) are spending a week here before C1 begins university next month.
C2 lived in Canada for 7 months last year, playing hockey in one of the higher-level junior leagues. He has hockey friends throughout Ontario and was hoping to get together with some. I was skeptical. C&C don't have a car here, and I was assuming hockey buddies wouldn't be driving great distances to see each other. Shows you what I know, as our home has become reunion central for guys from Barrie, Newmarket, Orangeville and wherever else. This also means C&C can go enjoy themselves while we are glued to the Red Sox-Yankees series. Very nice.
[Hockey fans may be interested in knowing that Ron Ellis's nephew had dinner with us last night. Just a random factoid for anyone who cares.]
While Allan and C1 went to the beer store and the LCBO for reinforcements, C2 and I had a very interesting chat. Smart guy, this C2. We had a wide ranging conversation - initiated by him, I swear - about the differences between Canada and the US. War was a major topic, as was health care, the environment, government lies, treatment of veterans, same-sex marriage, abortion rights... you name it. C1's conclusion: "Canada is just a better country". To paraphrase, it cares about people more. It isn't the bully of the planet. It's more accepting of difference. And if there's a draft, I'm coming here, to stay.
I was heartened by this 19-year-old, white, heterosexual, beer-drinking hockey player having such an open mind and a progressive view of the world. It made me feel hopeful.