Hunter Weitzman

What is YOUR Canada?

Canada has the largest coastline of any country in the world. This is just one of the many incredible facts that makes this nation so amazing. Everyone is aware that Canada was founded in 1867, which makes this July 1 st the 150th anniversary of this beautiful country. To mostly everyone, that is what their Canada is, 150 years old. But my Canada, is only 97 years old. That is the age of my great grandma, Daisy Deman. Daisy was, and still is, a wonderful woman. Obviously, she can’t be as old as the country itself, but she is just short of 2/3rd5 of its age. Daisy was born on the seventh day of March, 1920 and all I know of Canada has been from her life stories. Daisy was the seventh child to a farming family in Cortland, Ontario. She lived in an extremely small farm house with just one bedroom for all 9 people. Things that we take for granted today, they did not have. They had no electricity, no plumbing, no car, no television… and definitely no iPhones. Our nation back in Daisy’s childhood was completely different from the way we live today. For example, today we have cellular devices that fit it our pockets, and they do a lot more than just calling. What did Daisy have instead of an ‘Phone? A candlestick phone, which operated on a “party line”. This meant that numerous farm houses would share the same line. People were able to listen in on all their neighbours conversations and that’s exactly what a lady who lived down the road from Daisy did all day. Our country has gone from a single-family party line phone, to nearly everyone in a house with their own personal device that fits in the pocket of your jeans.

Wow, look how far we’ve come! In regards to the evolution of everyday technology, my great grandma was fortunate enough to be able to purchase the first Model T Ford, at a price tag of $950. This was a huge jump from transportation via horse and buggy, which Daisy experienced for the first part of her life. Throughout Daisy’s many years she saw the evolution of transportation, from horse and buggy to simple automobiles, to the introduction of planes, and now fancy, complex vehicles. In a few more years, it’s very likely that the very land that she once saw roaming with horse and buggy will be packed with self-driving cars… and she would’ve seen it all. Technology was just a small part of what Daisy has experienced over the years. At the age of 19, Daisy snuck across the U.S border to elope with the farm boy down the street. They kept their marriage a secret for quite some time and spent their first few months in separate homes. The Second World War was now beginning and Daisy was pregnant. Her husband was ready to go off to serve his country. Shortly after her son was born, they all attended a family picnic, where during a friendly game of softball her husband was struck in the head with the ball. He died a week later due to blunt force trauma.

Daisy was now a widow and had to begin working at the ammunition factory, making guns for the Canadian military to earn money. In today’s world, we are able to replace organs, create artificial hearts, perform CAT scans, MRI’s, and perform heart surgery on an unborn child. The lengths of the advancement of the medical world are endless and continue to improve every day. To think that her husband died from a softball to the head is almost unbelievable. By the end of WWII, Daisy was with her second husband, who helped her raise her young son. They purchased a tobacco farm and from sun up to sun down, she worked harder than one could ever imagine. During harvest time, she would always be on the search for farm help and nine times out of ten, it was immigrants who stepped up to work. They worked the fields during the tobacco harvest, were payed a small amount and were able to live with Daisy and her family in their farm house. Canada, to this day, still allows for the entry of immigrants and are provided with employment opportunities, housing and everyday essentials. Daisy’s family lived off the animals and crops, similar to the thousands of farmers across our agricultural nation. Today, in our great nation, farmers continue to play an integral role in our country. We still rely on them to feed our 35 million Canadians. By the way, our nation’s population has quadrupled since Daisy was born. Being 97 years old comes with secrets to longevity. Every day, Daisy drinks a couple cokes and some cranberry juice. Also, given that all of her retirement friends refuse to eat their breakfast bacon she has 6-8 pieces of bacon every day. She grew up a farmer and believes that eating from local Canadian farmers is the right thing to do. Along with food and beverages she takes 1 Aspirin a day.

Daisy also has never been to a doctor and doesn’t plan on ever going. Most of what my great grandma eats and drinks isn’t the recommended diet of an elderly women but it’s what she loves and she will continue to do it till the day she passes. This is MY Canada! it comes from the stories and learning’s as told to me from an amazing and wonderful 97-year-old woman by the name of Daisy Deman. I’ve come to realize how beautiful our country is and how grateful I am to live in it. What is your Canada? … I will leave that with you to figure out.