Daily Living

Sometime in 2050 a student will be tasked with writing about life in the old days in Charlottetown. To ensure that they have a complete picture of the minutiae of our daily lives, here’s how it goes every morning in our house:

  • 6:50 a.m. — Clock radio goes off, thinking it’s 7:00 a.m. (it’s been running early for 2 years and we’re so used it we can’t change it now) to the voices of Karen and Mitch on Island Morning. Catherine gets up.
  • 7:00 a.m. — Oliver gets up. Or at least complains about being too tired to get up.
  • 7:02 a.m. — Catherine out of the shower, downstairs making breakfast and lunch for Oliver.
  • 7:05 a.m. — Oliver goes downstairs for breakfast.
  • 7:08 a.m. — I’m still in bed, waiting for Mitch to deliver the morning news headlines.
  • 7:12 a.m. — News headlines done; into the shower.
  • 7:35 a.m. — Ablutions complete, get dressed. Oliver on his way upstairs to get dressed (unless he’s running very late), and sometimes we’ll race to see who can get dressed first (“I have my underwear on, how about you?”)
  • 7:47 a.m. — Downstairs for breakfast of yogurt and cereal, a six-year old habit that started with Dan’s Outward Bound trip (yes, it’s really better with yogurt).
  • 7:50 a.m. — Watch first 15 minutes of last night’s Daily Show on the DVR. If Oliver isn’t dressed yet the “Oliver, are you dressed yet?” call and answer begins.
  • 8:05 a.m. — “Oliver, it’s time to get your shoes on.”
  • 8:09 a.m. — Out the door. Sometimes we straggle and it’s 8:10 or 8:11. 8:15 and we’re in the “late for school” region, which rarely happens.
  • 8:12 a.m. — Meet the woman with the salmon-coloured hat walking her son to school in the opposite direction, usually at the corner of Prince and Kent. Sometimes we also wave hello to Gary MacDougall on his way into The Guardian.
  • 8:15 a.m. — Meet the long-haired guy with sun glasses walking his son to school in the opposite direction. Or sometimes it’s the same son, but the cool-looking mother.
  • 8:16 a.m. — Say hello to the retired postal worker out walking his dog.
  • 8:16 a.m. — Say hello to the woman from Prince and Euston on her way back from dropping her son off at the school.
  • 8:18 a.m. — Maurice is backing his Toyota Yaris out of his driveway; we wave hello. If we’re early we’ll have a chat with him about his house renovations (today we talked about his new fence and how he rounded the tops of hundreds of rails).
  • 8:20 a.m. — Stop at the “Reduce Speed” sign just before the school (part of the multi-year “path to independence” project). I say “Have a good day at school” and Oliver says “Have a good day at work” and runs to be at school before the bell rings. Usually the bell rings as he’s running. Sometimes he turns around and says “Or have a good day at the gym. Or at your meetings.”

And our day has begun.


Lola's picture
Lola on June 10, 2009 - 13:52 Permalink

What time does school start? I just finished the Primary orientation for my daughter here in Hali. and school doesn’t start until 9:00. They line up at 8:50 to go in.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 10, 2009 - 14:55 Permalink

There’s a preliminary bell at 8:10 (the role of which I’m not sure — I think it means “hey, we know you’re out there, but don’t come in yet, but get ready” or something like that) and then the real bell at 8:20. Oh Canada kicks in about 8:35 and the school day is well underway by 9:00 a.m.

School lets out at 2:30.

oliver's picture
oliver on June 10, 2009 - 15:58 Permalink

Wow. “Oh Canada” every morning? I forgot Canada was like that. I can’t actually see anything bad about that, but reflexively I felt that way at first—I guess from my feelings about the Pledge of Allegiance in U.S. schools. Not to say that schools shouldn’t be national in affiliation, but is there a PEI Provincial anthem?

Ann Thurlow's picture
Ann Thurlow on June 10, 2009 - 16:22 Permalink

There is The Island Hymn

Fair Island of the sea
We raise our song to thee, the bright and blessed
Joyously now we stand
As brothers hand in hand
And say God save the land we love the best

Words by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on June 10, 2009 - 17:38 Permalink

My son’s school has “Classical Cuts” every morning which can be anything from Mozart to Gordon Lightfoot.

Heather's picture
Heather on June 15, 2009 - 15:52 Permalink

We are usually passing you at the lights at 8:12 in morning after I drop my husband off at work and as my daughter and I drive to Stratford. Charlottetown is predictable during the work week.