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travel bug

People are getting worried – four days without a post – is anything wrong? All is well, thank you for asking. Sometimes, I just cannot scour my soul for insight or even gossip and movie reviews. Time to lie fallow, not dig anything up.

The weekend in Ottawa was hard – my mother’s whole life being ripped open for us to pillage. Of course, we did so lovingly – except when I was cursing her hoarding tendencies – but still, there’s something brutal about it all. At one point I clutched her threadbare teddybear Donald Leonard Brown, aged 89 like my mother, and sobbed.

That was Saturday. Now it’s Thursday afternoon, and there’s a blizzard on the way; my class tonight may be sparse. Donald Leonard Brown is safely settled on the bedroom bookshelf beside my own British teddy bear, imaginatively named Teddy, who’s a mere 62. The rest of my share of Mum’s stuff is still on the floor in her spare room – I’ll be back next weekend to continue sorting, piling, discarding, giving away, recycling, dividing. Until her apartment is empty, and some of her things live with my brother, and some with me.

On Monday, after my return, I went across town to see magical grandson Eli, who now wriggles across the floor like a seal. We went to Toys R Us to buy baby gates and little socks with rubber bottoms. An emporium for children – what an overwhelming place, I’d never been there. Anna wandered in a daze of desire. We’d arranged to meet her childhood friend Shani, whose first son is now 11 and who has just had another – Leo, a week old. There they were, two friends since senior kindergarten who used to play Barbies and then scream for the Backstreet Boys, now gurgling at their babies. More beautiful than ever, those girls. Keeping our planet populated.

Speaking of which – my goddaughter Jessica, Lynn and Denis’s daughter, just had a baby boy, Jules, in Sydney. Now Lynn and Denis have one grandchild in Australia, three in Kathmandu, two in Dubai, and one on the way in London. Their youngest daughter lives in Africa and is not yet pregnant but undoubtedly before long … The Blin family, populating the planet all by itself.

Yesterday, yet another medical appointment, to have yet another bit of my insides inspected. It’s surreal when a male doctor greets you with a smile and then shines a flashlight straight into your nether regions. And then says, “You’re beautiful inside and out.” How many people can actually tell you that? What a charmer. I should have said, I bet you say that to all the girls.

The most beautiful word in the English language: “benign.”

Today, as the snow falls, I have spent hours booking my April getaway – an exciting trip which involves: flying from Toronto to Washington D.C. to visit Cousin George on Dad’s side and Cousins Barbara and Francey on my mother’s; from Washington to Austin, Texas to visit Lynn, friend since 1967, who has come from Montpellier to spend a term there; from Austin to Los Angeles to stay with my dear screenwriter friend Suzette who has a beachfront apartment in Santa Monica; from Los Angeles to Vancouver for the opening of Chris’s musical about his life; from Vancouver to Bowen Island to stay on the ocean with musician extraordinaire Shari; from Bowen to Vancouver Island to stay at an oceanfront cottage in Tofino with Patsy, friend since 1971. Back to Vancouver to say goodbye, and home. Thrilling, to be seeing so many family members and good friends, this trip.

And, even though the mild Pacific is inferior to the mighty Atlantic, I’ll be overjoyed to get my fill of ocean, which, as a Halifax girl, I sorely miss. Paris? Who needs Paris?

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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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