Some surprising things happened

There are no ladies nights. No casual dinner parties. No school fundraisers or lunches with friends. No bring-friend-along just because. No receptions, no launches, no opening nights, no birthday bashes or graduations, no special decade-milestone events.

Each new week yawns open to a sea of not much.

Photo of the horizon with dark clouds and sun peaking out from behind.
Photo of the horizon with dark clouds and sun peaking out from behind.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

It’s easy to get down on this fact. Our social lives have been cut down to the necessities of connection: Those in our immediate family, or our defined Bubble Family (if such a thing exists) and perhaps our close by neighbours whom we see incidentally, or the people who walk dogs on the…


19 days short of living through two pandemics

There was a day I can remember in the backyard of my childhood home, with my grandmother. She’s sitting on a lounge chair with her feet up. Her bunion-curled toes are sticking out of her tan leather open-toed sandals, second toe slightly crossed over her big toe. It’s warm outside, but not hot. She’s sipping a cool drink, iced tea maybe. It was the spring of 1982.

Grandma, Madge, is crying, a slow awkward cry. The kind that tears slip down your cheeks at quiet intervals. She’s not weeping, not making heaving sounds. Just quietly and shaking her head, muttering…


There are essential playlists, of certain bands, that I seem not to be able to live without. These offer non-vocal music, that's not just background, but rather makes me think. Sometimes I swear it does the writing for me.

My three faves:

1. Explosions in the Sky

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DZ06evO0Poxt6?si=22f351a676ca4433

2. Godspeed You Black Emperor!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DZ06evO2BTXzh?si=6eda23411a4e4c1a

3. Hammock

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DZ06evO0ujy0M?si=0220ae7ae67e4102


It helped me to let go of some stuff

It was a particularly cold January afternoon. If it had been sunny, the sun would have been going down. But that is not the way the sky looked this day. It was dark, and grey, and gloomy, much like the rest of my January. Goodbye January.

Shovelling a snowy driveway in the winter with house in the back of the photo.
Shovelling a snowy driveway in the winter with house in the back of the photo.
Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

You can’t hear me from your car (or maybe you can) but I’m singing at the top of my lungs. I love driving with the radio on. Top 40 hits, hits on repeat. I listen to local radio to feel connected to my city, and podcasts for longer drives. …


The definitive history of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2, which is 40 days hence Christmas and the exact midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. On this day, we celebrate the uncanny ability of rodents, around here it’s groundhogs, to tell us when to expect spring. I admire the percipient quality of humans to delegate this task onto a still-slumbering animal, drawn early out of hibernation, to make this most important prediction, as we grumpy Northeasterners continue to endure the darkest and coldest days of winter. What’s not to love about a tradition that celebrates magic, without consumerism?

There are now many…


Only the whole history of writing proves this to be true

I found this image at <a href=”https://freevintageillustrations.com/vintage-fairies-at-night-illustration-russia-public-domai
I found this image at <a href=”https://freevintageillustrations.com/vintage-fairies-at-night-illustration-russia-public-domai
Image source: Free Vintage Illustrations.com

It’s my own personal belief that the importance of oral stories, from our most ancient history, still define us today. This is why when we sit down to read or watch, or listen to a story we understand — and feel and see — without really being able to articulate why. The system and structures of stories are so deeply woven into our consciousness that they are just there. Carl Jung’s collective unconscious theory explains why this thought is more than just woo-woo.

That means that, on some level, whether or not you have read The Odyssey, the oldest known…


Here’s 5 reasons why they are better for you

This year I surprised even myself that I was actually awake when the clock struck twelve. My daughter and I were in the kitchen…she decided to make a pancake cake, which, for the uninitiated, is pancake batter, with some extra sugar and vanilla, cooked in a pan, and then stacked one on top of the other. To be fancy, you can add food colouring, and then wrap it all up in a whip cream icing. It’s surprisingly tasty.

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Image for post
Yummy. You should try it sometime

As we stood in our kitchen eating this cake, I was awash with some mixed emotions about the coming year. It felt…


And I got out…here’s the first 3 things I had to learn

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: Oli Sansom

At first, going there was only a dream. So that became the story — about imagining being there. And then, that rare thing happened to me. Someone heard that quiet inner voice, the dream that lived deep below the surface, and responded to it. I was invited to actually go there.…to the place I was dreaming of going. Yes, of course I went, even though just getting there was one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life.

I left with huge ideas, massive ambitions, completely unrealistic timelines of how and when I could finish this next story…


There are 10 things you really need to know

I don’t know how much you know about this last year, but it’s been a doozy…Where do I start….I’m happy to jump on a Zoom call if you want a quick catch-up on all of this.

Photo of Santa looking surprised. He’s wearing the traditional red and white cloak
Photo of Santa looking surprised. He’s wearing the traditional red and white cloak
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash


And when the small Toronto company BlueDot Global sounded the alarm

On the last day of 2019, one sole member of the BlueDot Global surveillance team was on duty working the holiday when she came across a short article in a Chinese business newspaper. It referenced an unusual pneumonia-like virus that had no known origin, which had just emerged in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

So much for pulling the quiet shift.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

The analyst got right to it and penned an internal memo to colleagues first, raising her concern….should we be concerned about this? BlueDot CEO Kamran Khan and his team quickly realized that, yes, it was concerning, and…

Samantha Hodder

Audio Producer, Writer | Host of This is Our Time podcast | Insta: @ThisIsOurTimePodcast | ESCAPE Your STORY | Start here ~ bit.ly/15Bworksheet

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