My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Isn’t it ironic – just a few days ago, last term’s Ryerson student Nancy published a flattering essay about my course in the “Globe” – and just now, for the first time in years, that very course has been cancelled due to low registration. It’s because the Chang School was closed longer than usual over the holidays, until Monday, and the class was due to start next Monday – which meant that by the time it was cancelled today, students had had only three and a half days to register. Absurd. I have written to protest and assume it won’t happen again.

Though it’s a significant loss of income for me, at the same time, this will be a particularly busy few months, with much flying to Ottawa to settle Mum’s estate, distribute her stuff and prepare her condo for sale. So if my class had to be cancelled, this term is better than most.

The U of T class, incidentally, is a go.

It’s hard to get too upset about anything when I’m floating about in paradise. Today was sunny, 25 degrees with a stiff breeze, which meant it was never too hot. I walked on the beach, swam, sat reading by the pool, walked on the beach again, read, ate, emailed. The air is damp and soft and smells of the sea, and the sound of the waves of the Gulf of Mexico slapping the beach is the most calming rhythm I know.

And best of all – this country re-elected Barack Obama! They may be crazy, just not THAT crazy. But still pretty crazy. As my Jon loves to point out. Another great daily treat – the actual paper version of the “New York Times.” What a wonderful newspaper it is. A special pleasure – all this week, the NYT Bridge column has been about the Edgar Kaplan Winter Regionals. A bridge tournament named in honour of my beloved, much missed Uncle Edgar.

Last night, Mum’s good friend who lives down here, Jeannie, took me out to dinner. She told me losing my mother was almost like losing her own, all over again. We had some good laughs, especially when she remarked on how much Mum liked men. “She’d see a man in Publix,” she told me, “and be giggling about how handsome he was.” This I know, Jeannie. This I know.

Today I talked to … well, I said Bonjour to the Swiss couple who spend all day motionless, browning by the pool; I talked to my daughter at home and later will make a phone call or two. But otherwise – silence. I look at couples – people walking on the beach, two by two, side by side – with incomprehension, so fixed in solo ways that I don’t understand what people in a couple DO all day, together. Or say.

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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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