DSC_3449_JPG_t285Last week I had the privilege to take my cousin from Scotland on a canoe trip. It was on her hit list while visiting |Canada, and according to Jan it was exactly what she thought a canoe trip in Canada would be all about. We had loons calling, wolves howling, birds chirping, frogs bellowing. The only downfall, according to Jan, was all the loons calling, wolves howling, birds chirping and frogs bellowing. She basically found our "wilderness" way too noisy and had a hard time sleeping — that is, until she stuck ear plugs in before bed.

Overall it was a good trip, however, and my cousin claimed she gained a lot from the trip. But not as much as I did. This all came clear to me the moment Jan spotted a chipmunk. The camp critter wandered into camp between morning coffee and flapjacks, and caused some great excitement in Jan's life. I've seriously never witnessed someone get so enthused over a chipmunk wandering into camp. Apparently Scotland doesn't have chipmunks; they have men wearing dresses and the true spelling of "whisky" — but no chipmunks.

Taking someone from another country, a place that has a wee bit less wild landscape than us, was such a healthy change for me. Jan's awe of it all acted as an effective reminder of how lucky we are to live here in Canada. All week she has sent me notes of thanks for taking her canoeing, but it's me who should be thanking her.

Thanks Jan.