You had to be there. There being the Tea and Trumpets concert on May 17, 2018 at the Orpheum Theatre. It was a thoroughly amazing, heart warming, magnificent occasion that began with the orchestra playing O Canada, the Canadian national anthem. It seems very unusual but I had not heard it since my return to Canada over a year ago AND trust me that do not play it in the USA, where I lived for almost fifty years. I had the most incredible reaction – I began to sob with tears streaming down my face. I am sure my fellow patrons thought I had taken leave of my senses. I was so moved. At least I had the dignity just to mouth the words, as I am the world’s worse singer and besides. those sneaky Canadians changed some of the words when I was gone. Now I am certain to hear it again because for one thing I am going to Whistler for the very special Canada Day celebration sponsored by the Vancouver Symphony. It shall be VERY posh, staying at the Fairmont and luxuriating in constant music. I am blessed, truly blessed and it shall match the moments of Canada Day 2017 when I painted my face like the Canadian flag, had 82 people take their picture with me AND had countless hugs and “Welcome Homes”. It is a touch act to follow but it seems I will be following it in style.
But I am, I hate to say, growing rapidly disillusioned with Canada. There are many cracks in the system and Canadians are, by and large, very self satisfied and refusing to look at the potentially lethal flaws. I once considered spending the rest of my life here but now I have serious misgivings. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love it here now but, as one ages, medical care becomes the most valuable commodity. And it isn’t here and is not going to be for the simple fact that there are not enough doctors and there are not going to be. The reason for that? Taxation. A recent newspaper article found in the Vancouver Sun reported that because of taxation: “More Canadian physicians, engineers and scientists move there than here by significant percentage. For instance, for every American physician that moves here, 19 Canadian physicians move there. A study by Canadian Public Policy said if Canada’s taxes were equal to the United States, immigration south of the border would have been dramatically lower.” Already, here in Vancouver, it is almost impossible to find a general practitioner and they are the gate keepers for medical care. You HAVE to have one in order to access a specialist, for example. Now right now I am fine as I have medical care provided by my retirement and all I have to do is hop on an airplane. Swoosh and I am there. And the arrogance and ignorance of Canadians who tell me I need to get my medication here. What? It is provided under my medical plan in the United States. Now I have managed to access medical care here and have a gastroenterologist and a neurologist. But I have a gastroenterologist because he is the brother-in-law of a friend (and my medical plan paid for the cost of the visits). The friend gave me his cell phone number so I was able to make an appointment. I am not sure how I got the neurologist but the threat of social media exposure may have played a huge role. I jokingly say that I do not have the Cadillac of medical care, I have the Lamborghini of medical care. I do laugh. But I cannot rely on this forever – hopping back and forth between Marin County and here. Most of my goods and possessions remain in storage in the USA – not here. My apartment is beautifully furnished. Diane Francis, the reporter summarizes the situation: “The inability for Canada’s political class to abide by tax-and-spend ceilings, zero-based budgeting, or apply common sense fiscal discipline is hollowing out the country. Canada remains America’s ‘farm team” and as long as taxes outpace growth this will continue.” So I am happy, happy, happy here now but not forever I fear. The best thing that ever happened to Trudeau was Trump, let us all admit it.
On that high note I shall end. If you are looking for me to cheer you up by reading this blog – look elsewhere. I am not burdened by Likes, or Hearts or Followers as FaceBookers and Instagrammers are. I am an independent blogger and will remain so. So there! So there! So there! I just might not get my statistics, that is how little I care about my approval ratings.
I will speak more of the Tea and Trumpets concert later. The picture accompanying this is one I posted on Instagram – the chairs were for special needs patrons. I reasoned I had special needs and sat down and drank my tea. Please look at my utterly cute shoe in the foeground.