My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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pink and maroon and forest green and …

Okay, thank you, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter, and that’s enough. We passed the test, we’re still alive and more than ready, now, for something else. Today the sun poured in my windows, so I leapt onto my bicycle – and nearly froze to death. It’s @#$#% cold, still. But the sun is glorious, and there’s hardly any snow.

Of course, I am speeding up the arrival of spring by flying to Madrid in exactly two weeks, where presumably it will be warmer. My friend Sherry just sent me the address of a hundred year old place there famous for its thick, dark hot chocolate, eaten with churros – long doughnut things. I am, as they say, so there.
But no, I am not so there, I am so here, getting speedier by the minute with lists as long as my arm, comme d’habitude. Income tax, for example – got to get the T4s assembled and figure things out and get it all to my tax guru John. Have to make lists for the tenants who’ll be looking after the place – instructions about cat, mail, plants, ants. (A determined little colony has decided to establish base camp in my kitchen and help the cat eat her food, and I’m having a struggle to dissuade them from this plan.)
And of course, most importantly, lists of what to bring on the trip. Piles of yesses, maybes, and are you out of your minds? But as you know, I learned my lesson in 2009 with my hundred pounds of stuff. I will be packing light.
To help with that, I asked my friend Debra to come by. We’ve been in the same runfit class for years and are Cabbagetown neighbours; I recently found out that Debra is a personal shopper with a keen eye for what looks good and what does not. She has been here twice now, helping me clear out my Goodwill-orama closet. One hundred pounds of other people’s castoffs have now become my castoffs – bulky pleated pants circa 1982 (“But they’re so warm!”), coats that neither suit me nor are comfortable (“But look at the label!”) etc.
Most importantly, she patiently helped me understand colour. I have just begun, at sixty, to figure out which colours look good on me and which emphatically do not. A colour I call “goose shit green,” for example, which is the colour of my eyes, has been a favourite for years (“It brings out my eyes!”) and now I see that it actually looks hideous against my sallow skin tone. Pale mushroomy or grey shades – hideous. I should be wearing bright colours, even ones I’ve never worn before. So I’ll be bursting into spring in chartreuse and turquoise and purple. You’ll see me coming. (I don’t even know what colour chartreuse is, to tell you the truth, but it sounds sparkly.)
I know, events of vital importance are exploding in the world, Libya is beseiged, crazy famous people are spinning out of control, and in Minnesota, working Americans are fighting the Republican forces of darkness. And here Beth sits, looking at herself in the mirror. Ah well. It’s not that I take PLEASURE from looking in the mirror, you understand. But every once in a while, it has to be done. Just as I depend on an editor for my words, this time the objective eye of another kind of editor helped me cut and paste my person.

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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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