My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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leaving the south

I’m in a bar at the Sarasota Airport with hours to kill – I arrived, as always, early, and the flight is an hour and a half late. Luckily there’s wifi and a big glass of wine. The very cute waiter, after taking my order, told me that according to the regulations of the state, he’d have to see some I.D. before bringing me alcohol. “You’re joking, right?” I asked, thinking, what flattery, is he flirting with me?

“No ma’am, “he said. “It’s the regulations.” So I handed him my passport, saying, “I’m sixty this year.” He checked it out and, as he passed it back, said, “And a very good sixty too.” Ah, these brief romantic moments, ships in the night … And there, on a screen on the wall, the very great thrill of Olympic curling. Closeups of the rocks. Be still, my beating heart.

Even though I’m anxious to get back to cold, drizzly, hideous-in-the-filthy-snow Toronto, I am sorry to leave my mother and aunt. Today, a scare – it was actually warmish out, so I persuaded Mum to come down to the pool with me to sit in the sun, and then I decided, bravely, to strip to my bathing suit and sit in the 88 degree hot tub. As Mum walked over with me, she tripped on the step up to the tub and fell. Her knee was badly cut and bleeding profusely, and later we discovered her elbow was skinned and bloody as well. Thank God, she did not break anything.
I was cleaning my mother’s cuts, putting on Polysporin and big bandaids, just as I used to with my children and as she used to with me. It’s so complicated! My children are adults but still, in some ways, children, and my mother is also an adult and also a child. Last week my giant son with his flu was lying on the sofa waiting for soup; today, my mother, who used to be six foot tall and is now five inches shorter, was sitting like a little girl, waiting for a bandaid. And yet these grownups live independent lives and need me rarely. I like to be needed; I resent being needed. Thus – drama.
A very good glass of cabernet. Very boring curling. A thrilling Canadian gold medal yesterday, though – snowboard cross, whatever that is. The American headed straight into the fence and the Canadian soared through. God, we love those moments. The cute waiter just came back to check on me. “Everything okay here? You all right?”
Rachel Maddow last night interviewed Gail Collins of the New York Times – here were two of my favourite American women, funny, warm, clever and wise, talking about the madness in Washington. I have met so many warm, funny, clever Americans. Who are the idiots who are paralysing government? I guess the same kind of people as those who vote for Stephen Harper – i.e. – people I do not know.
7.20. Still two hours. In front of me: the computer, today’s New York Times, seven New Yorkers, a notebook and a book. The wine glass is empty, but somehow, this not-bad almost-sixty grown-up/child will survive.

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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.

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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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