Author, Mother, Wife. Recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship award and 2017 nominee for the Women of Distinction award through the YWCA. Climate Reality Leader, Zero-Waste promoter, beekeeper and lover of all things natural.
- Top Story - November 2023
What Neighbours DoTop Story - November 2023
“I’m dying.” He said out of the side of his mouth as I stood in the dispensary line at the pharmacy. I was looking for some relief from a nagging bladder infection. I was not prepared for this conversation with my neighbour. A moment passed between us and yet I still couldn’t come up with a response, so I reached out and hugged him, whispering, “I’m so sorry,” into his wrinkled neck. It was the first time I’d ever embraced him. No, that’s not true. One day last Spring, he’d knocked on my door to complain about a dying tree across the road. I slipped through the front door and stood on the porch in my bare feet to discuss the options for the tree. But the conversation went from Town business to neighbourly banter, and then waded into therapy territory. We stood out there for an hour that day. He told me he’d lost a child. That his brother had dementia, as does his wife. He explained his whole life story - where he had come from and how he ended up on Bishop Street, in our little corner of the world. My toes turned purple and stuck to the concrete step.
The Local Boys
"How do you know him?" My daughter asks as we exit the aisle and move towards the checkout lanes. I'm balancing a box of canned iced-tea, a bag of salad and frozen wings in my hands. We shuffle awkwardly towards the cashier. She glances back to see him still smiling towards her, giving her a look of familiarity, even though he's never met her. He'd spotted her alone a few aisles over, one glance and he knew she was mine. "Looks just like you!" He'd said. But what he meant was, she looks like you used to when we were that age.
- Top Story - June 2023
The Logistics of WorthTop Story - June 2023
Staring out of the windshield over the expansive hood felt like looking across a snow-covered field. The wheel was tight, forcing both hands and muscle power to turn it. Pumping the breaks was an instruction and not just a clichéd term. On one occasion while driving to my summer job, I pumped the breaks continuously but the Lemans didn’t stop at the overpass. Slowly, the beast heaved itself across the road while I held my breath. I reversed out of the bushes with an equal mix of shame and anger. Mad at Dad for not having a better job to afford a nicer, safer car. He worked in a factory, though I told everyone he worked in logistics. Not entirely untrue, but I knew what I was doing when I said it.
The vision of the dance mom is one who yells out, "point your toes!", one who arrives with rack-n-roll in hand and chiffon billowing out of garment bags. Someone who's high on hairspray and is equipped with multiple shades of red lipstick. A chaotic, unappealing vision most would turn away from. One that stands alone, competitive and bossy.
The calendar changes to August and with it comes a feeling of dread. My eyes scan the penciled-in events: Cinema Under the Stars, Beer Festival, VegFest, Cocktails for Conservation, an herb garden workshop, a blueberry picking event, an eco-fair meeting. And on it went.
Trusting Your Inner Compass
Dear Daughter, Let this serve as a reminder to you as you move through this life. You will have days when you desperately want to fit in. When all that matters is to have friends you can relate to, that you can walk through the halls of the high school with - either unnoticed, or noticed for all the right reasons. You'll have days where you'll wonder if fitting in is all that it's cracked up to be. You'll ask yourself, is this me?
- Top Story - May 2023
Full CircleTop Story - May 2023
We pull up to the curb of the school yard, in the same spot we always do. Her friends are waiting at the edge of the property for her. They're a huddle of pre-teen excitement with long strands of hair swirling around them in the wind. They spot my blue car a mile away. As we approach, they inch closer to the edge of the school boundary, waving and smiling; A greeting she has received every day for as long as I can remember.
Walking with Purpose
The trail unravels before me in a long snowpacked ribbon of blue under the pale setting sun. It's obvious that many feet have trampled this path, and yet, I stand alone amongst the pines. A panic begins to rise from the pit of my stomach making my cheeks flush. I turn towards the direction I came from, seeing the winding trail disappear around the rock cut, far into the distance. How long have I been on this trail? Am I heading deeper into the woods by continuing, or nearing the end? The thoughts bounce around my brain in a rapidfire argument against itself. To turn back or forge ahead? To call out for help, or figure it out on my own? I decide to keep going, wishing now more than ever I'd had a dog with me to guide the way. Animals have that innate sense of direction, something clearly I wasn't very good at. Tugging at the strings of my hooded red parka as I proceed with caution, imagining myself from a birdseye view; a blood clot inching it's way through the veins of the forest.
A Most Disruptive Morning
That mob of protesters was growin'. I can mostly slip by undetected and start my job without their harassing hatred for this place, but some days they catch me. "How can you be so cruel?! Those are sentient beings in there! Release them to the ocean!" The taunts follow me. I ignore them as I push past the crowd. I used to wait to change into my coveralls when I got to my maintenance closet, but now I just say fuck it, I'm tired. This job pays well. And those fish don't seem bothered at all. Hell, it's probably cleaner than the ocean these days with all that crap that's floatin' in there. I remember when I first started this job, people loved aquariums. Those were the days. People smiled back then. Makin' memories. Nowadays all they want to do is yell about stuff.