My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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fresh

Yesterday, I stood in the produce department of my local No Frills, gazing in disbelief. Almost everything, the fruit, even the corn, was from the States. I’ve battled with them before about this; all I can do is to buy nothing. This morning I zipped down to the market and returned with raspberries, blueberries, cherries, and corn – the first fresh local corn, the crunch of summer – drool worthy.

Luckily I am having friends over for dinner to share the bounty, and to help me devour the leftovers from Thursday night’s feast. Two months ago, friend Marilyn, now a literary agent, had 10 women freelancers in the book business over for dinner; we decided to meet regularly, so Thursday was our second meeting, here. I barbecued chicken and two large pieces of salmon, baked on a cedar plank, and made some veggies; they brought the rest. Something wonderful happened – what started as a businesslike networking group dissolved into a bunch of very interesting women finding out what they had in common and becoming friends. Work was barely mentioned; sitting in the twilight garden, we talked about children, gardens, health, projects, summer plans … Much food and wine vanished, but there’s enough left for tonight’s dinner.
Luckily, the garden is showing off for my guests. The echinacea is out, the black-eyed susans nearly, the rose of Sharon on its way, the clematis still vibrant, the gardenia bush (not a camellia as I’d thought, one of my guests enlightened me) wafting divine perfume … well, you’ve heard it all before. Neighbour Jane offered me a large mock orange bush she didn’t want, so my gardening friend Scott dug it up and we found just the right place for it here. It looked feeble the first day and now – glowing a hearty green. Welcome to paradise.
BUT … not all is paradise. Several people have written to ask about the new direction for the memoir, and I have to tell you – right now, I have no idea. So I have done for myself what others do with me – I have asked an editor to help me sort it all out. I’m lost. There’s so much material and I still don’t know how to thread it together. What’s the spine? Or, as I always ask my students, what is this piece really about? What is the journey? What is the moment of change? I think I know, but I’m not sure, so Barbara, one of the dinner guests on Thursday and a very experienced editor, is coming to the rescue. Pray for me, and stay tuned.
Hot date on Wednesday night, with a smart and gorgeous young woman genetically linked to me. We went to see the American flick “Bridesmaids,” which I expected not to like but did, a lot – it’s far more weighty and moving than they admit – and then we came back here to, of course, barbecue and eat. I’ve invited her to dine with me on a regular basis, so I can try to keep up with her life and thoughts. My beloved first born, dropping in from the other side of town.
Last night, neighbour Monique’s Francophone soirée – yes, I know, this is more social life in one week than I’ve had in months – woo hoo! We had our usual fascinating free-ranging discussion, this one about Freud, what still is relevant and what isn’t. But Jack and I ended in an amicable argument – he is a very wealthy developer and I the socialist artiste – I saying that increased taxes on corporations and the rich are the way to save the economy, that Ronald Reagan began the trend to selfishness and the indulgence of the super-rich. And he saying that cutting bureaucratic inefficiency and waste is the way to save the economy, because gazillions are wasted, and he feels justified in trying to safeguard his money rather than throw it away. But, I said, that’s an excuse the rich use not to pay taxes. Bureaucracies are inherently unwieldy. What’s the solution? Denmark and Sweden, he said. They hire very good people for the civil service and pay them very well, and things run beautifully. We hire far too many people, many of them dishonest or incompetent, and pay them poorly so they’re open to bribes. He talked about Toronto’s developers, how the whole system is rigged, palms are greased and deals are done in back rooms, just like in Russia.
Jack thinks our economy will nosedive when American soldiers start to come home from overseas; that unemployment, already at 10% because there are no jobs, will skyrocket, and we will all be in big trouble. Because every economy in the world, now, is linked to every other. It was depressing, and not even the delicious food and wine cheered me up. Until I got home and stood in my garden and sat and listened and smelled.
The garden is more than a lovely place – it’s family, a replacement for my children, something to care for and nurture. It keeps me company and rewards hard work. And it’s a life saver.

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One response to “fresh”

  1. Care nature ! Care Life , Make everyday fresh! Freshing minds in dairy life…skilled writing !

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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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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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