My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Thksgvg. weekend report


Go, Barack! What a thrill to hear about your peace prize. Your enemies on the right will instantly, in their hate-filled way, work hard to turn this grand honour into something dishonourable. I know how vile the level of discourse is down there thanks to Jon Stewart – though these days I can hardly bear to watch even him, because of what he shows going on. Almost beyond bearing, that sentient human beings can be that mean-spirited and crass. Mr. Obama should walk right out of that big white house and never came back. But he’s not that kind of guy.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, cold and rainy but it doesn’t matter because we’re all going to be inside eating. My mother and her sister Do arrived from Ottawa today; the kids came over and the five of us ate stew. I wish the ladies lived closer so my kids had more contact with their elders. My mother reminisced about when she and my dad came came to visit us 25 years ago after Sam’s birth, and Anna came running down the street to tell about her new baby brother. Do recited a poem that won her a prize – a fountain pen when such things were novelties – when she was seven years old, eighty-two years ago.
The kids showed us photos on their cell phones and pulled up Facebook pictures on my computer, and we looked at a 3D image of their baby sister, their dad’s daughter who isn’t due to be born until November 21st, but whose photograph in utero is on the internet.
“She’s got my nose,” said Anna, and she does.
“Do, our age is showing,” said my mother, who can barely comprehend all this technology. Mum was aghast at Sam’s new tattoo all down his arm, but when he explained that it was a line in his dead friend’s handwriting from a poem by Lord Byron, she was mollified. Both ladies admonished Anna to change her blonde hair back to its natural auburn, which she was intending to do anyway. It was great to relax and leave the nagging, for once, to someone else. All I had to do was cook. It was Mum’s 86th birthday yesterday and will be Sam’s 25th on Tuesday. Both Libras – cheery and nuts.
I give thanks that my mother, who has had open heart surgery twice and is getting thin and frail, is here to enjoy her grandchildren’s sense of humour, and so is her nearly ninety year old sister.
A beautiful day, warm and sunny. I thought warmth had gone for good – for this year, anyway -but not yet.
I don’t understand how, while I was wandering around Europe, unable sometimes to find internet access, I still posted regular blogs, whereas here, at home, I am so fraught and exhausted, days go by without a post. I’m aware that you’re out there, my reader friends, and I want very much to write more often to you. But perhaps all the mundanity, the … excuse me while my eyes close for a minute because I’m putting myself to sleep – zzzzzzzzz – okay, up and at ’em – perhaps the pressure of the day to day just drains the juice out of me, and out of you too, I bet. I had not realised before how crazy busy it gets here, how much just getting through the day, scratching things from the To Do list of life, takes out of a girl. It doesn’t leave nearly enough time for the fun things like this.
If I can prop my eyes open long enough to finish, I’d like to tell you that things are going well on our multigenerational weekend. Mum and Do actually tottered with us through the chaos of Yonge Street to that tranquil place of repose called the Gap, where Sam bought his birthday jeans and sweaters, and then we all tottered back. On the way, Mum bought a wondrous gift for me – the Beatles boxed set. All the Beatles albums in a neat box, with special DVD’s about the making of the music, apparently. My Sergeant Pepper’s album vanished years ago as did Let it Be, and my other discs are old and scratched. So here they all are, sounding better than ever. I leaned on the counter during “When I’m 64,” one of the best songs ever written, to hear the intonations, the harmony – the “hoo!” Paul hoots at the very end. That music is like food for me, a banquet of brilliant words and melody and my own past.
Tonight we were all here for dinner – Mum and Do, Anna with the four-year old she babysits on Saturdays, Sam and his girlfriend Chanel, and I. Mum had offered to pay for take-out so Sam ordered Swiss Chalet. I didn’t care what we ate as long as there was food on the table that I didn’t have to cook. The nicest part of the evening, though, was afterwards – Sam put on Revolver and we all cleaned up and then made stuffing for tomorrow morning – the 23 pound turkey has to go in early if we want to eat before midnight – while singing and dancing along to the best band in the world. Everyone went home happy. And I tried to write something, if not riveting, then at least coherent for you, though I’m ready to fall over.
And now … over I fall.



3 Responses to “Thksgvg. weekend report”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Thanks Beth.
    It was fun. Thanksgiving must be my favourite holiday.
    Have to run and get the turkey out of the oven.

  2. Rose says:

    The reason this piece worked is because there is reality sticking out of it all over the place; the aged yet acute visiting sisters, the deliberate care of the young (although the absence of anyone taking offence and departing in umbrage is a bit hard to fathom. What? No villians in the piece?)Yet refreshing to read, envy family, admire to what terms you have come re the new baby sister, appreciate the openness, despite upbeat by all. Rose DeShaw

  3. beth says:

    It's true, Thanksgiving is wonderful, less fraught than Xmas. And it's also true that we do not drive each other mad as we used to. We're either getting wiser and more serene, or else just too old to get riled. Either way, it's a more peaceful time.

    More anon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.