Try to Remember

Imagine last summer, at the end of August. Do you recall checking through your children’s backpacks and clothing? You wanted to be sure they had gym shoes, a serviceable lunch bag. You needed to be certain their windbreaker still fit. Perhaps like thousands of other parents, you tried to get a jump on back-to-school supply…

Help From Around the World

COVID-19 has isolated us very effectively. We are all in our own “bubbles” in every sense of the word and isolation can magnify our problems by giving us the impression that we are alone to find solutions. For myself, I see my neighbours preparing with their children for a return to school and hear their…

Endless Cups of Tea

Everyone needs their own plan to manage stress. My plan involves having soothing cups of tea throughout the day. For a brief period during the pandemic, my hospital gave out free tea, coffee, and beverages to staff. I loved it! It was as if I was being reminded deliberately to remember to take a break.…

How to Have a Great Vacation at Home

Something that has surprised me in my recent meetings with families is that there are many people who are not used to spending their vacations close to home. This was evident with the number of requests I had to discuss developing “staycation plans” in family meetings with me. Since I am presently on vacation myself,…

Preserved

My aunt had a friend who was famous in Eastern Ontario for her preserves. She won prizes at county fairs and even published two books. When my aunt and I would go to visit her, she always had some concoction cooking on the stove or waiting in jars or bottles on her counter. She must…

How Poetry Can Help When School Starts

When I was in elementary school, one of the regular lessons in language class was poetry. The expectation for a student was that you would memorize the poem to recite back and then learn about the poem and its place in literature. This article in The Atlantic, written by an English teacher suggests that teaching…

A New Approach to Addiction

Early in July, Canadians with substance use problems received support from an unexpected group: Canada’s police chiefs. This is taken from the statement of Chief Constable Adam Palmer, the President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, on July 9, 2020: “The CACP proposes increased access to healthcare, treatment and social services to divert…

Outdoor Education

For about the past week, stories about conducting school classes outdoors have been capturing my imagination. I loved school anyway, but there were no better classes than conducting science experiments out of doors or spending art classes drawing in nature. And isn’t poetry more poetical when it is recited under a tree in English clash?…

Families and the Pandemic

My youngest son was about seven years old when I married for the second time. His father had married again about one year earlier. My new husband had two sons, both older than my youngest son, who already had an older brother and sister. He was now the youngest of five and he was terrified…