Canadian Living: good to come home to

Let me tell you about my best friend CLio.We have been friends almost 20 years now.Every few weeks, she lands on my doorstep after work, bright, vivacious, full of news and great ideas.Right away, I make a pot of tea and...

Let me tell you about my best friend CLio.

We have been friends almost 20 years now.

Every few weeks, she lands on my doorstep after work, bright, vivacious, full of news and great ideas.

Right away, I make a pot of tea and we share some of the best private time I have in my busy lifestyle.

She has recipes that are even better than any other homemaker I know and I use them every week.

She has the best advice on raising children, better home and garden ideas than I have ever heard, and craft and sewing ideas I can’t wait to get started on.

Newsstand, the community where CLio lives, is incredibly competitive.

But she doesn’t take a back seat to anyone. In a recent neighborhood study, everyone agreed that CLio was the most popular best friend, the kind who comes into your home and who you like to keep there forever.

Maybe she is the most popular because she beat out all her neighbors in being first to talk to our new prime minister.

She is much more popular than vanna fair and all the other landed immigrants.

She’s just as affluent and well-educated as chatty laine (but not as gossipy). She is certainly more expensive to invite to our homes than chatty laine, but I always believe that you get what you pay for, and the time I spend with CLio is well worth the investment.

She is as fashion-conscious as her glamourous neighbor or the little m’mselle down the street, but manages to do it without spending nearly as much money.

That’s true of anything she does – she knows how to get the biggest bang for the buck. She has even been called a cheap date.

A lot of people are surprised to learn she really is a city girl. Perhaps that is because she seems to understand what it is like to live in small-town Saskatchewan or outport-Newfoundland.

She loves to escape to the country where she has just as many friends as in the city.

In fact, there aren’t many places in this country she hasn’t discovered and explored and she shares her experiences with all her friends.

She is fiercely proud of Canada and believes that we should get to know our own country and all its people first.

At the same time, she hobnobs with people such as cbc broadcaster Peter Gzowski, as well as the best on the international scene, and can tell you anything you should know about what is going on in the world and how it affects Canadians.

She is forever involving me – asking my opinion and telling me I am her best critic, really caring about my concerns, or entering me in contests to win fabulous prizes.

And her latest escapade? A baseball game.

But this wasn’t any ordinary baseball game. CLio managed to get the Blue Jays wives to challenge the Maple Leafs wives, all in the name of her favorite charity – the Canadian Living Foundation for Families – which funds nutrition programs for hungry children.

Not only did I go, I had a terrific time. And I can hardly wait to go to the second annual game next year.

Is it any wonder she is best friend to me and millions of other people?

Kirk Shearer is publisher and vice-president of Canadian Living magazine, a division of Telemedia Communications.