Grandparents to the Rescue

Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring.

“You’ve reached the voice machine system of the Taggart family, please leave a message after the tone.”


Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring.

“You’ve reached the voice machine system of the Taggart family, please leave a message after the tone.”


Ring, ring, ring… “hello” my groggy voice, barely audible, responded.

“Time to wake up!” said the cheery voice on the other end.


“What time did you go to bed?”

The conversation always started the same way.

“I don’t know!” I grumbled in reply.

“Well it’s time to get those feet on the ground.”

“uh, huh.”

“Are they on the ground?”



(No answer)

“Shannon, are you there?”

(Still, no answer)

“Shannon, Don’t you dare fall back to sleep. Shannon!”

(Deep breaths)

In frustration, Nanny hangs up the phone.

Ring, ring, “You’ve reached…” Click!

Ring, ring, “You’ve reached…” Click!

Ring, ring, “You’ve reached…” Click!

Thirty minutes later, her fingers ache from dialling. Redial was never understood by this 80 year old lady. Finally, I wake up in a panic.

Ring, Ring. “Nanny, I am sorry! I fell back to sleep!” I quickly apologized.

“I have called and called for the past 30 minutes, what happened?” she stated with concern in her voice.

“I know, I know, I fell back to sleep with the phone off the hook, I am sorry.” I responded, suddenly wide awake.

“Well, I don’t think you are making your bus.” Nanny nervously shared.

“I know! I better go and figure it out what I will do.”

“I love you the most I said it first.” She said, our sign off since before I remember.

“You got me, I love you too!”


Ring, ring, “Hello!” said the man on the other end.

“I am sorry to call so early, but I missed my bus, again.” I shared with embarrassment.

“I’ll be over in 15 minutes, Shanny.”

The only person in the world that called me Shanny and got away with it, was my Grandpa.

Fifteen minutes later the key turned the lock in the door, and we hopped into the car together and headed to school.

These occurrences were far too frequent in my high school days.

Never a question, a complaint or criticism, Grandpa came. He drove me to school regardless of the number of buses I had missed. He never turned me down.

Never a question, a complaint or a criticism, Nanny called. Every morning at 6:50 sharp, regardless of the times I fell asleep mid-conversation, she never gave up.

Grandparents, they are truly the best!215656_548878432953_2695024_n 1390547_643203464833_756287459_n

Collaborative MadLibs

There once was a young writer named Neko. She had been given the task of becoming a flimsy individual by writing every day. She could shove on anything as long as she did it every second. This worked out for the first couple worms but she soon ran out of ideas. Her armpits hurt! Luckily, she was the girlfriend of Brad Pitt, the most handsome and unreliable circus in all the land! Together they created a sailboat for her pool, and it was the giant piece of writing in the seventeenth century. She rewarded him begrudgingly by giving him a smooch on the snaggletooth .  Holy moly, he cried!

And they screamed happily ever after.

Shannon & Brad Pitt

Sleepless nights?


The relationship between me and sleep

is like

a door and it’s ability to close.

I sleep well,


I sleep on a plane

or on a train.

I sleep in bed

or on the concrete floor.

I sleep when I am stressed

or relaxed.

I sleep through alarm clocks

and security calls.

I sleep through

fire alarms

and telephones.

I sleep through it all.

Sleep comes to me,

as swimming does to a fish.

I sleep well, always.

Childhood Memories


My fondest childhood memories were all created in the same place, Haliburton Lake.

Every summer, we filled the Astro van with cereals, old clothes, canned goods and swimwear. Along the way we stopped at Dave’s Chip Truck to fill our bellies with the greasy goodness of hand-cut fries drenched in malt vinegar.  If we were really lucky, we might have washed our fries down with Kawartha Dairy’s finest banana ice cream.

As the sun began to hide in the depths of the dense forest trees, the roads began to curve. The windier the road, the closer we were to the cottage. The final turn down Hipkiss Drive led us to the bumpiest part of the journey. The one kilometre that seemed to never end. Bend after bend, bump after bump, we traveled down the gravel path until we reached the finish line, nailed to the tree: TAGGART.

The cottage door always opened at the exact moment we descended the big hill. Grandma and Grandpa stepped onto the porch and welcomed us with open arms, under the starlit sky. As the car rolled to a stop, we stepped out into the Haliburton air, taking a deep breath, letting our troubles from the year melt away. Hugs and kisses greeted us, and the unpacking began. The sooner we finished, the sooner the Euchre game commenced.

With jujubes, peanuts and popcorn on the table, the bargaining for partners was initiated. Laughter and banter floated around the cottage. As the hours ticked by, the cards were passed round and round the table. With our eyes drooping and the bowls empty, save a few crumbs, the last hand was dealt. The evening ended with a little more good-natured ribbing before goodnights were exchanged. We all headed to bed, washing our faces and brushing our teeth with lake water that trickled from the tap. We crawled under the crisp covers, our wiggling toes finding grains of sand from summers past. We quickly drifted off to sleep, dreaming of the summer days to come- splashing, swimming and skiing in the crystal clear water.

My fondest childhood memories were all created in the same place, Haliburton Lake.



Not enough

Not enough memories created

Not enough books read

Not enough smiles exchanged

Not enough moments cherished

Not enough words written

Not enough kindness shared

Not enough risks taken

Not enough movements made

Not enough experiences gained

Not enough knowledge acquired

Not enough fears over come

Not enough time in peace

Not enough!

Too Many

Too many thoughts in our head

Too many clothes in the closet

Too many anxieties filling our heart

Too many shoes at the door

Too many dreams abandoned

Too many knick-knacks on the shelf

Too many harsh words uttered

Too many leftovers in the fridge

Too many fast-foods ingested

Too many hours at the screen

Too many books left unread

Too many dollars spent on desires

Too many worries in our mind

Too many!

The best part of my morning

Sleepy eyes begging to close

warm blankets and arms

wrapped close

hoping to stay forever

or at least an hour longer.

That slow roll

as if a bear

waking from a winter’s nap

one foot

in front of the other

plodding to the kitchen

robbing Jeezy

of his shower’s spray

to fill the kettle.

Oatmeal rains

into the bowl

dusted with cinnamon

covered with the work

of a thousand bees.

A smooch goodbye

as the door closes

clothes thrown on

without thought

or concern.

Stepping into

one of three pairs

of the exact same

black shoe.

An endless wait

as the elevator arrives

fingers crossed

for a quick descent

without a stop.

Cheerful greetings

Jo San!


What are you reading today?


Jo san!

A short wait under the mall

for the bus to pull in.




as the octopus cards are scanned.

Familiar faces

exchanges of nods

and smiles from ear to ear.

The endless circles begin

testing our balance

with a few stops

along the way

“Yao lok mm guy”

I descend from the bus

eyes somewhat wider

I sip my tea

as I prepare for the day.

Alasdair enters the doorway

with his bag still on his back

out of breath

from his sprint

to the classroom

looking for me


he shouts

each and every


My Children Love to Write

From scribbles and scratches

to lines that wiggle,

My children love to write.

From circles and squares

to almost letters,

My children love to write.

From topsy and turvy

to strings of letters,

My children love to write.

From beginnings and ends

to almost the word.

My children love to write.

From stories and poems

to facts of fish.

My children love to write.

My children love to write.

My children love to write!