I swear I have premonitions.

Something told me that today’s presentation wouldn’t go right.

Something told me that I should check on the address of Maple Leaf P.S., but did I listen? Nope.

They’d invited me to present a little story and hand out certificates at their recognition assembly. It was an assembly where they’d be recognizing students who’d been particularly empathetic towards each other. A great idea!

The lady who contacted me signed her name and then just Maple Leaf P.S., no address.

No problem, I thought. I’ll just google it, and I came up with an address in Newmarket, about forty minute drive north of Toronto. I even emailed the teacher the invoice ahead of time, complete with the Newmarket address, didn’t hear anything back, and thought it must be okay.

I was supposed to be there for 1:15 pm, so I left home at 11:30, giving me plenty of time. And in fact I got there by 12:30. My husband always advised me to leave plenty of time, which I do, he said if I get there super early I can always stop for a cup of coffee.

Well I did pick up a chamomile tea, my throat was sore, and I thought hot liquid would help. And since I was forty-five minutes early, I sat in the car for fifteen minutes and drank my tea. Then I went in, asked the man at the office for the teacher whom I’d been corresponding with. He gave me a blank look. “Are you sure she’s a teacher and not a parent?”

I said, “I’m here to present at  your recognition assembly.”

Again the blank look.

“You are having a recognition assembly aren’t you?”


So he went over to his computer and checked the district school board for the name of the teacher I’d been corresponding with, and couldn’t find her. So I asked him to see if there was a Maple Leaf P.S. in the TORONTO district school board, and sure enough, there was one.

While I called, he was kind enough to do a mapquest for me, and figure out how to get there.

Sure enough, when I asked the office of the Toronto Maple Leaf P.S. for the teacher I’d been corresponding with, they put me right through.

I told her, “I’m calling from Maple Leaf P.S. in NEWMARKET!”

Oh no, she hadn’t checked the address on the invoice! I had about twenty minutes to get there when it normally would have taken forty-five minutes. She told me she’d hold the assembly till 1:30.

I got there by 1:38. There was traffic and I drove in the passing lane all the way there!

No time to catch my breath, luckily I had already decided what story I would tell, asked the principal how much time I had, “Five minutes.”

Five minutes!!!

So I just told the one story, and then stood there smiling while I shook hands with all the kids who were being recognized.

Then I went upstairs to chat with the grade five kids who’d spent all week examining my books and even watching that youtube video I’ve linked to on my website, where I’m telling my story The Roses in My Carpets.

It’s funny how you push aside the soreness of your throat when you’ve got to perform! I don’t think they could tell at all that I was feeling horrible.

And driving like a fiend, was like my perpetual worst nightmare. It’s a recurring one for me, where I’m desperately trying to get somewhere but all kinds of obstacles keep coming in my way.

Like when I got to Lawrence Ave. on Black Creek drive and there was a backup a half a mile long!

Lesson learned? CALL the school ahead of time and confirm the address even if I’ve been corresponding regularly through email.