Operation secret (Vancouver) Valentine


In response to Kelly Diel’s Operation Secret Valentine, here’s my not so secret Valentine.

As the world turns its gaze upon Vancouver to feast on the 21st Winter Olympics, and as the season for pink cupcakes draws near, I thought I’d share my love affair with my home town Vancouver.

From the mountains encased by frothy mist, that go on forever

And the eclectic mix of granola crunching, Lulelemon yogis, grouse grinding, mogul munchers and high spirited high tech gamers

To the medical and social safety net, albeit worn and torn in places, which makes me quiver in relief when I hear stories to the south of people being forced to do their own suturing, when no other medical insurance is available

From the gritty Downtown EastSide, Canada’s poorest postal code, an in-your-face reminder of how close we are to the bleeding edge and how some of the most generous people are folks I’ve met and worked with there.

To my kids’ school, nestled in a forest of towering giants, which sits beside a salmon bearing river, where the fish run wild and frenzied in their last gasping effort to reach home

From the fact that you can ski and feast on the beach in the same day, is not some marketing guru’s pipe dream but is in fact reality.

And that I can take a ferry and if I’m really lucky, like last summer, watch pods of Orcas breaching and spyhopping along the way.

To the colourful cast of characters that can find a reason to protest something, anytime, anywhere

From the slower pace of the west coast and that business casual can sometimes mean fleece and gortex

To the vibe on the Drive

From the ancient First Nation’s territory we stand on.

To the fact that salmon swims with sushi and maple syrup in the wide range of food found here

From the gloriously accessible waterfront, which isn’t hidden behind some grumpy old bathrobe but is out, bared in public and open for all to walk, boat, bike and run

To the trees that give up their leaves in the fall, bringing eagles nests into view

From the faces, in all their colours, shapes and sizes.

… and that when my youngest told a new friend from Bulgarian that he could teach him, not English, but some Chinese

… and that mostly the faces and their owners get along

… and that temples dot the skyline beside churches

… and that a reassuring melody of languages greet your ears

From our very geography encased in a watery, blue jeweled box means being bound by water we’re not able to grow much.

To being far enough north to have seasons.  That carpets of springtime cherry blossoms, give way to verdant green summer forests, whose leaves bend and  fall in a wild cacophony of autumn colours that finally give way to the muted grays of winter.

From being far enough south and influenced by the warm ocean air to not experience dramatic temperature differences.  While other Canadians are digging themselves out from yet another snowfall it’s quite likely that my spring bulbs are poking their green heads up.

To wildly differing festivals sitting elbow to elbow, from the Pride Parade and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival to Chinese New Year and Diwali.

Vancouver is home in all her glorious colour and characters.  Gotta love her.


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10 Responses to “Operation secret (Vancouver) Valentine”

  1. Alana Says:
    February 11th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I miss Vancouver so much while reading this. Home for 7 years, always a piece of home in my heart. Thank you for this love letter. I’m smiling big from south of the border.

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    February 12th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Alana
    It’s hard, if not impossible, not to have a love affair with Vancouver. She’s gorgeous inside and out, foibles and faults included. Thanks for writing.

  3. uberVU - social comments Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by KellyDiels: for Operation Secret Valentine, @RPSInc wrote a yummy love letter to Vancouver. http://ow.ly/16BpO

  4. Shawna Cevraini Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I love Vancouver too! British Columbia is the most beautiful place on earth! I’ve only been there a few times in my life, but always long to go back. We have seriously considered moving there many times (including last summer). If you ask my kids where they want to go, the answer is always B.C.

    Beautifully written. I am there again when I read this. Thank you!

  5. TomAppoicy Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Good afternoon, Happy Valentines Day!!

  6. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks Shawna for your lovely feedback. If you ever end up moving here let me know! Checked out your blog and love it. The Helen Reddy song made me laugh. When I turned 40 I asked some women friends over for a party and before they came to email me the name of a song that had made a difference in their life. My aunt emailed that song saying back in the 70’s when she was trying to get back into the workforce after having raised two kids that she’d play it super loud and dance around the house…. to give her gumption before heading into board meetings!

  7. Mi Sandvill Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Nice website! Are you using Blog Engine as your main platform? I am asking this question because your blog looks a a little different than other blogs I visit.

  8. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    It’s a word press platform with a custom designed theme. Thanks for asking.

  9. Angelyn Oclair Says:
    April 5th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Good piece of content, this is very similar to a site that I have. Please check it out sometime and feel free to leave me a comenet on it and tell me what you think. I’m always looking for feedback.

  10. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    April 6th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Angelyn, thank you for your comments. I looked at your site – are you updating regularly? I only saw a post as of a few months ago.

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