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final decision

Anna and I just had a final talk and came to the same conclusion: it makes no sense for her to jump hurdles to get to Europe right now, at the most chaotic time ever for world aviation. Even if she made it to Paris, and there’s still no guarantee of that with this fresh explosion of volcanic ash, she might not make it back out; that’s not something to have hanging over you on vacation. She can apparently get the fare refunded minus $200, so she is going to ask for that, and leave a place free for someone who wants to get home. I nearly wept today, missing her so much, seeing everything I want so deeply to share with her; this will be tough for us both. But it’s too dangerous. They have no idea what’s going on up there, what that dust means to planes, what the volcano is doing, where the winds will go next.
So I am feeling sad today, but I’ll get over it. It’s just that we gave up last night, then had our hopes restored this morning, then had to give up again. This morning I bought food at the market for us to eat together and now will eat it alone. But … I’ll eat it. It will be eaten. We both feel strongly that this is the right decision. I miss her with every fibre in my body. But it’s just a cancelled trip. We’re all healthy. It’s really not a big deal.

Went to Café Rostand this afternoon for a coffee with my new friend, an hour in the sun across from the Luxembourg gardens, commiserating about our worries for our children and our parents, and for her, her granddaughter too. But enough. Now it’s clear – I am here alone for ten more days (I hope only ten, since I have to get home too), and will make the best of it. I will get some work done and somehow, just somehow, enjoy Paris too.

My beloved girlie, how I wish you were here. I promise to bring back a great deal of cheese. Today, near Luxembourg, I passed the Air France offices – the line-up was out along the street, with staff patrolling to keep order. Look, right now, there’s something in the sky – not a bird, not Superman, it’s an airplane, heading east. Haven’t seen one of those for awhile. But it’s the only one.
P.S. And just to cheer me up, I received notice of my royalties for the year from Syracuse University Press. The first year after publication, I received nearly $500; the second year, under $100, and this year, my royalties were – $6. That’s minus six dollars. But the press has generously wiped out that debt. Hey Paris – let’s par-tay!

PPS. In my usual melodramatic way, I have exaggerated the royalty situation and have just read the statement more carefully. I did in fact make substantial royalties this year – with a total of 727 books sold, the royalties were $2.90. Because of some complicated dealings which I don’t understand, this luscious figure turned into minus $6.00. But originally, the figure was on the plus side. Just.

In mourning, I have drunk several big glasses of a Bergerac (red wine) that cost $4.00 and is really not bad. I’ve eaten a large meal which featured giant white asparagus stalks, and eaten a lot of chocolate and cookies, and now I will just have to move on.



4 Responses to “final decision”

  1. Unknown says:

    Hi Beth
    I am sorry that you couldn’t meet up with Anna. It was the right decision to stay away from anything that looks like an airport unless it had a zeppelin. Nick and I have been watching that cloud move back and forth over the Small Island, as we are scheduled to leave for London on April 30th. Heathrow is open, for the day, but there is already talk of closing it again as the winds shift. Ah, don’t mess with Mother Nature. I had dinner with MJ last night and our unstoppable conversation confirmed that absence makes you wonder why it took so to get together.

    Thirty daffodils are filling the corners of the garden formerly known as The Pool and make my heart sing with joy that spring is here.


  2. Beth says:

    Lynn, I can imagine your pool full of daffs – not to mention the rest of your sanctuary-garden. Paris is alight with lilac, cherry blossom, wisteria.

    Yes, this is not a good time for intercontinental travel, that's for sure! I hope all has blown over by April 30 – especially as I am going the other way May 1. Bon voyage – sorry we will miss each other again, but … soon.

  3. Anonymous says:


    My father used to write an article in a microbiological textbook and his royalties came to about $3.00 annually and that was when $3.00 was real money.

    P.S. I too am an attendee of Tower Road, 1950 – 1954.

  4. Beth says:

    Hello, Tower Road – I was there Grades 4 through 6 – 1958-1961. Sounds like the dark ages, doesn't it? Did you have Miss Hewitt? She still gives me nightmares.

    If only "royalties" weren't such a grand name, making them sound consequential. Which for some, I know, they are.

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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.

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