My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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a warm sound on a cold day

A miracle, my friends – I just lay down on the sofa near the crabby cat and stroked her head – and she started to PURR! Like a normal cat! I counted fifty purrs. This has never happened before; oh yes, occasionally through the years, a rusty sound has emerged from her throat, as if she’s testing a mechanism she’ll never use. But today, she allowed a spontaneous contentment to erupt.

Mind you, I kept expecting her to turn around and slash me anyway. That would be like her.
Found an old address book from a pivotal time in my life – the mid to late 70’s. Fascinating, to see who has remained a constant, who has vanished, who I have wiped from memory forever. And at the back, I found something startling. My friend Judy Marcuse was going to Toronto one spring, and for some reason, I wrote down the address of where she’d be staying. It says:
April 1979, Judy Marcuse
c/o Plaxton
308 Sackville St.
M5A 3C7

308 Sackville Street is where I am sitting right now. It has been my address (with the wrong postal code) and home since we bought the house from the Plaxtons in 1986. Cosmic.
What’s wonderful about old address books is … Google. It’s possible to check up on all those names, see in seconds what they’re doing now. I looked up my boyfriend Bill from the late 60’s, a true hippy with a long beard who hitchhiked to Marrakesh in his Spanish boots of Spanish leather. Now he’s a real estate agent in Nantucket. Sigh.
Moving to the here and now – I am a member of the Creative Non-fiction Collective, a group of non-fiction writers mostly on the West Coast. One of the other members, Theresa Kishkan, and I have started a correspondence, and I got her book, Mnemonics: A book of trees, out of the library. It’s a beautifully written, thoughtful, profound piece of work, in which she links specific trees to times in her life, and writes about both trees and life with clarity and haunting depth. And again, those cosmic bonds – she writes about living in Victoria and Halifax, where I have lived, about la rue Mouffetard in Paris, where I walk nearly every day when I’m there, and about going to Greece in the mid-Seventies at the age of 22, ending up in a village on Crete called Agia Gallini. I went to Greece in 1979 aged 28 and stayed in Agia Gallini. Only she remembers a lot more than I do.
I feel I’ve a great new friend, though we’ve never met. Only she’s not in my written address book, she’s in my computer’s address book. Won’t be able to flip through that in thirty-five years, to see who’s still around.



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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.


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.