There are so many reasons I love Canada. Sarah MacLaughlin, William Shatner, curling. And besides the beauty of the land, the people are pretty great. I've never met a Canadian whom I did not like instantly. If you've never had the pleasure of getting to know any citizens you might not expect such warm hospitality from the inhabitants of a land that most Americans think rarely thaws out (actually, this is the warmest weather we've had since Death Valley). And I guess that's not a totally illogical assumption. I mean, a mass of winter air can make it all the way from Alberta to Tampa and still pack enough punch to send us Floridians diving under our down comforters (okay, so that only takes a ten degree drop).
But I think the most welcoming gift Canada has offered us so far was an afternoon thunderstorm. It happened while we were visiting with our friend Joel and his family in Abbotsford where we had a great meal and a nice evening chatting. He was showing us around the backyard when a nice crack and rumble of thunder broke through the stillness. I was so thrilled it did not even occur to me to beat feet and make for shelter. I miss thunderstorms in ways I cannot describe. That storm followed us back to Surrey and poured rain on our roof half the night. Ahhhh....I couldn't sleep for listening to it and could not decide if I should feel really homesick or very well comforted.
And speaking of wind, tomorrow we hit the road again to complete our drive to Jasper National Park in Alberta, as well as Banff where we will be meeting up with friends Dean and Chloe Radbourne. (!!!) We also just received word from some other friends, John MacMurray and AJ and Rachel (whom we met way back in Zion when I chickened out of Angel's Landing) and we will get to spend time with them too. So July and August are turning out to be fairly social months for us, which is a good thing. A frequent dose of good friends is superior to a daily dose of rain and thunder anyway.