I am Truly Blessed in Every Way; Surrounded by Bounty: Bounty Defined; Successful Grocery Delivery by a Philippine N.A.I.T. Student; Stay on the Sunny Side; A Tour of the Alberta Legislative Building Brings Joy and Many Photographs; There is No Place Like Home 

I am truly blessed in every way. I rest, writing from bed, surrounded by bounty. The literary definition of bounty is something given or occurring in generous amounts. That is such a generous definition.  But wait until you read the synonyms, they actually soar: magnanimity, munificence, open-handedness, bountifulness, largesse, lavishness, indulgence; benevolence, beneficence, goodwill, big-heartedness, kindliness, compassion, care, bounteousness. 

My favorites are benevolence, bounteousness and munificence. The antonym describes exactly what no one on earth wants: meanness. Definitions of that word are: 1) unkindness, spitefulness, or unfairness 2) lack of quality or attractiveness; shabbiness. Synonyms of meanness are too much to behold. But we are going to be discussing good will. Big-heartedness and care in today’s blog. I write it, I get to decide. Hahaha??

Lying on my bed are three examples of my bounty. They need to be put away where they belong, that shall come later. One is a carefully folded portable plastic prayer rug. It was gifted by a Saudi woman physician, met in Mecca ?. She lived in Riyadh, when I visited there she took me on a tour, a UNESCO sight, a palace first occupied by the Royal family. Then there is a dividend check from TC Energy. These shares were gifted by my beloved Aunt Alice upon her untimely death in 1985. I will never forget her, the dividend checks serve as a most pleasant reminder. The third item an official prescription receipt from Allin Pharmacy for $236.16. “Is that goodwill or indulgence?” Well yes, it is because $52.19 represents my prescription drugs for three months and the other the fee for a shingles vaccination. I had a prescription plan in the USA but my necessary medication was far more expensive and a shingles vaccination was impossible to get. Therefore I am most grateful for the medical plan in Canada. It was certainly not a blessing to have my aunt (the only real mother I ever had) die so soon. But death is a part of life, the dividend check is a balm, in a way. My Umrah trip definitely did have its ups and downs – but it was on the downs that I met the treasured Saudi physician. 

I am blessed in that I can look on the sunny side of things. Stay on the Sunny Side is a song. Google it, there is a video made for kids by GoNoodle, watch it, it will make you laugh. Then there is a song by the Limeliters. Both are interspersed with silly jokes. It will cheer you up, but there are people that do not want to be cheered up. Some people love being miserable. 

I am about to be eased into the next topic. There are some Canadians who are not grateful, not happy to be living in this fair land. They can be seen at so-called Freedom Rallies, complaining about taxation and vaccinations and the government. Others are found on Instagram, being critical of my Canadian positivity. To one I said (cheerfully) 

Me: You clearly have never lived anywhere else. You have never lived, nor do you live now, in Palestine, in the USA, nor in the UAE. You are not informed. Please read the Canadian Charter. It would be good for you. Hahaha? ?  ?. 

I will now describe what I did yesterday, attaching photographs. I had my groceries delivered from SaveOn. The young man arrived, brought them up to my apartment. I was not exhausted from the experience of purchasing them and getting a taxi home, therefore had the energy to immediately put them away. I spoke to the young man – he is from the Philippines, here studying at N.A.I.T., (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology), working on weekends. 

Me: I am so proud of you!! 

He: Thank you! I am so happy to be in Canada. 

Me: And we are happy to have you here! 

Fortunately, was able to keep the reservation I had made forgetting about the grocery delivery. I, finally, toured the Alberta Legislative Building. I have been here since June, visit it constantly but never took the tour. The tour was nothing short of magnificent, it was a true joy. I wore my Alberta tartan scarf, being most patriotic. The scarf, purchased months ago, came with the following description. “The Alberta tartan was designed by Alison Lamb and Eileen Neilsen from the Rehabilitation Society – a voluntary agency providing work for handicapped students. Allison Lamab was the Society’s Executive Director and Eileen Neilsen was its weaving instructor. It was adopted as the province’s official tartan by the Alberta Legislature in March 1961. The colors of the Alberta Tartan were chosen to reflect the uniqueness of the prairie province. Pink represents our famous wild rose. Green represents our abundant forests. Blue is for the blue of our skies and sparkling lakes. Black represents our coal and petroleum. Gold For the wheat fields and sunshine.”

Is that not a beautiful tribute? It says it so well, reminding me that I am blessed to be home after my many years of absence. (55 to be exact). 

But you must hear more about the tour!! There were probably about twenty of us. The tour guide was nothing short of incredible, dressed in a vest of Alberta tartan. She was so informative, so upbeat, so courteous, so welcoming. As you shall soon be able to see I took many photographs. I politely listened intently but absolutely HAD to tell my story. Here is how it came about. 

Me: What was the cost of the construction of the building? 

She asked a coworker, as she was not sure. 

He: About six million. It was over budget. 

Me: Oops. I hope that was not my grandfather’s brother’s fault. William Dryburgh came to work as a plasterer in 1910 – staying in Edmonton until he left to serve in WWI. I would not like to think that he got paid so much in overtime that it broke the budget. Hahahaha???

Got special attention as I was unable to navigate the stairs and had to be escorted by elevator. A most helpful security man who was later relieved by another man who came to Canada from Jamaica in 1974. 

Me: Oh Jamaica!! I know the song.Take me to Jamaica where the rum comes from and we will have a lotta fun. That one? 

He: Yes indeed that one! 

Me: I have never been there. Planned to once. Actually fell in love with a man from Jamaica but it did not turn out. I met him in London. 

He: You get around! 

Me: I know but there is no place like home, I am finding that out. 

There is no place like home is an idiom meaning home gives us a special feeling that nothing else can. “It was popularized by the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, spoken by Judy Garland’s character Dorothy as an incantation to deliver her back to Kansas.” 

At the conclusion of the tour I spoke to a group of young men who were on the tour. There were about five of them. I asked them where they were born. The answers were varied: Yemen and Palestine were two.  

Me: My goodness, you are so lucky to be here now. 

They:  Yes! We are!  

Me: As a Canadian I am glad you are here. 

It is my belief that all of those who criticize this country should be sent to Yemen, to Palestine, to Sri Lanka or to Palestine to the UAE or even the USA.  They can go there, ones wanting to come here can replace them. So many in those countries hunger to be here. It seems unjust, it seems unfair that the miserly grouches are here – if they were in those countries they would have something to complain about. Hahaha ?????

There was a family rushing to the West Entrance of the building. 

Me: Are you going on the tour?

They: Yes! We have been on the tour before but we are bringing our children with us this time, 

Me: That is great! Teaching them appreciation of democracy and freedom. Good for you!

In the USA the kids would be going to Disneyland. Horribly expensive, probably all the funds that should be designated for the children’s university tuition went to the Disneyland trip. In days of yore I went to Anaheim Disneyland with three of my then grandchildren. Their parents had a lot of money so I guess they will get both. I hope so anyway. They are no longer in my life. But that leaves me free to live in Canada and be a Muslim. I am so grateful to be a Muslim and I am so grateful to be home. 

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