The Home Team

I’ve started writing personal essays again, using Tinyletter. Here is my most recent one.

Last week I went to a hockey game with my cousin. He was in town for a conference, knew we both liked hockey (we’ll go with “like” even though it’s vastly inadequate), and thought he’d be able to get tickets. I had kind of given up on going to the World Cup of Hockey, so I was glad to be asked and we made plans. I hadn’t seen this particular cousin in ages (the kind of ages where you have to say it like a groan when you’re telling people – “in aaaaaages”) and was excited to catch up with him.

WCOH.PNGWe fell into an easy conversation – partly hockey, partly exchanging news on mutual family members. There are a LOT of mutual family members, so I’m sure that could have lasted us at least a period or two, but the game was exciting and there was lots to discuss, including when exactly we had seen each other last. If you’d asked me before the game I would have squinted and then gone with, “I guess like 7… 8 years maybe? Gosh, maybe 10.” A decently long time for cousins, I thought. We spent a while trying to piece together what event could have seen us in the same place at the same time.

“Oh, the last time I came out east was 1995.”

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The Auntening

Earlier this year, two of my Aunts came to stay with me in what I affectionately termedThe Auntening.’ After a few years of my grandmother living in a retirement home, we sold her house in Richmond Hill and the family congregated to oversee unearthing and divying up all the treasures the house holds.

I’ve been living at 55 (as it is known) since last May, when I got a “can you start Monday?” phone call on a Thursday from a different city and was lucky enough to have the little white house waiting for me. I packed up my pet cactus, my modem, and an approximation of a business casual wardrobe and moved down the 401 to start a new job with and comfort of a neighbourhood I knew and loved ready to welcome me. I planted red geraniums, threw out most of what I found in the kitchen cupboards, and spent the summer being whisked in and out of the city on a scenic-if-unforgiving commute.

So I created new memories of my own in the space of a house I already had a childhood worth of visits and pumpkin-carving contests in – but it wasn’t until The Auntening that I appreciated the depth of remembrance the house holds.

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Watch them run

“So, what are you up to now?”

2016 got off to a great start – I took an extended Christmas to catch up with my family and enjoy Muskoka. As much as I’ve become very much a city person, I’m a country mouse at heart and Muskoka in the winter is nothing short of breathtaking.

So what am I up to now? I’m back in the city and back to work – on finding work! I just wrapped up an amazing 8 months with the CFL, wherein I learned everything from the new rules (hi, 32-yard converts), to making infographics (fiddly, but worth getting right), to just what a small group of people can pull off in a season when an entire country gets behind you (quite a lot, as it turns out). I was lucky enough to work with a fantastic team, and now I’m even more excited for the next challenge!

So, what exactly am I up to now?

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The woods are lovely, dark, and deep

I’m up in Muskoka for the holidays, surrounded by dogs, food, love, and – for the moment, at least – snow.

Every year my family goes all out for our Christmas tree. Living in the woods affords us a great opportunity to go out and get what my mother calls “a big honker” of a tree – usually in the 20-28-feet range. I’ve posted about it on social media a few times, and friends always react with disbelief and delight when they see the full process, so this year I decided to document the whole process. I used snapchat for several reasons:

  • it allows me to share as much as I want via my story without worrying about spamming people’s feeds with separate posts,
  • it’s live,
  • if I lose service in the forest (a distinct possibility), my posts will upload automatically as soon as I’m back in range,
  • and I can do it on the fly with just my phone, leaving me free to put it away or jump in to help at any moment

My sister used her Go-Pro to take some footage for a project as well, but here’s a rough look into A Very Hutchinson Christmas (or, How Our Dogs Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Sticks).

I promise my dad’s accent at 1:20 isn’t faked in the slightest, and the lumberjack coat is worn with great earnesty.

Merry Christmas!


Twas the Night Before Grey Cup…


I had some fun with this on Twitter the actual night before Grey Cup, but I went through and finished it as a fun little project to wrap up my time at the CFL. Enjoy!


was the night before Grey Cup,

And all through the stade,

Not a light graced the big screens,

Not even an ad.


The hopes were all hung by the sidelines with care,

In hopes Earl Grey’s trophy soon would be theirs.

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of championships danced in their heads.


And mamma in her jersey, and I in my cap,

Had brought blankets and mitts for a long winter’s scrap,

When out on the field there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the press box to see what was the matter.

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Being better

This is a long-overdue post, but I suppose being delayed makes for a better ICYMI.

On August 5th I went to Vancouver with my bosses to launch the CFL’s new violence against women policy. The policy was a long time coming, and had been in the works long before I got there, so it was merely good timing (and bosses who are great about giving ownership of projects) that had me involved.

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Just under one month ago, I moved to Toronto (or, well, the GTA) for a position with the Canadian Football League. This life change is best illustrated by the following screenshot from my phone’s mobile data useage:

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 8.51.53 PM

Yes, I burned through almost one month worth of data in the space of one week – that’s what happens when you get a job on a Thursday evening, move Sunday afternoon, and start work on a Wednesday. Thankfully I had a place to live, but it was going to take the Lovely WiFi People (as they are known) two weeks to set it up, and in the meantime I had to figure out how to navigate public transit in a new city, get my hockey scores, and stay in touch with people.

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