My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

thanks giving

A moment of blessing. It’s the most stunning day, 20 degrees, the leaves red and falling, the afternoon quiet, the next door dog not howling, though the guy on Spruce is, as is usual on quiet holiday days, doing something with his relentless power tools. One day I may kill him.

Went to the market this morning for apples – Ambrosia, this time, and Empire, forcing myself to ignore the Jonagolds and Macs, those will be next week – and a load of brussels sprouts for our Thanksgiving dinner. Plus – keep this a secret – a quick trip to Winners to buy 12 pairs of black socks for my son’s 29th birthday tomorrow. He may be six foot eight and working at the trendiest restaurant in town, but his socks are full of holes, and what are mothers for?

I spent time shutting down the garden, digging up and composting the last of the veggies, putting away the outdoor chair cushions, the sun umbrella, the outside tablecloths. Have spent days gathering, not hunting – big meals are hard without a car. Wayson drove me yesterday to get the 19 pound turkey and the drinks, and I’ve been carrying potatoes and the rest on my bike. Left all the stuffing bread outside all day to get stale in the sun; had to share it with the squirrels, who wanted some too.

But it’s the last hour that was the best – listening to Sheila Rogers’ CBC program about Alice Munro while I made the stuffing. Frying sausage meat, whirring it with bread, parsley, onion and celery in the food processor my mother gave me years ago, as Alice talked about her work. Sheila asked her why she didn’t write memoir, and she said

she wanted to be able to invent characters and situations. Fiction tells the truth about life, she said. Memoir tells the facts. Well yes, but also the truth, we hope, we memoirists. I gather that her last book, “Dear Life,” has stories at the end that are more explicitly memoir, and my friend and tenant Carol has just lent me her copy.

And then I went out to see what was left for our centrepiece, and managed to pick a bouquet.

Mint, lavender, hydrangea, the last rose, the last black eyed susan, the last echinacea, salvia, thyme, rosemary, marigold…

Tomorrow, my son, daughter and grandson and various friends will gather to feast, give thanks and wish our boy a happy birthday. I am more grateful than I can express, especially this year, with a 17 month old boychik and a Canadian Nobel prize in the world – to be alive, to be Canadian, to be a mother and grandmother and a writer. And to have the rest of the evening ahead to work on my memoir – I’m cutting a lot and reshaping, in anticipation of the next stage – and to read Alice’s book, with a little glass of wine. Or two.

The fridge magnet Wayson gave me says, “It doesn’t get better than this.”

Oh, and Paul McCartney comes out with a new CD on Tuesday. Woo hoo!

P.S. On the other hand – someone has just cleaned out the Little Free Library, taking almost every book, again. It’s like the squirrels and raccoons raiding the birdfeeder – very annoying. I think they must take the books to sell; they certainly don’t bring them back. I have no more to put in, so it’s nearly empty. Oh well. People will be too busy reading Alice Munro and eating turkey this weekend anyway.

And my spectacular neighbour Jian Ghomeshi moved out this afternoon. Neighbour no more. I can no longer set my schedule by his little Mini, zooming out every morning at 8.30 a.m. to head to work. I wish him great joy in his new home and ‘hood.



8 Responses to “thanks giving”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Have a wonderful Celebration

  2. beth says:

    Thank you, anonymous. You too, if you're in Canada!

  3. Mary Jane McPhee says:

    I'm thankful for you, Beth. You've been a most encouraging and gifted teacher and every day I look forward to reading "the world according to Beth" for some insight, some laughs and a few tears. What better?? Enjoy your family today.

  4. beth says:

    What a treat to hear from you, Mary Jane, and thank you for your kind words. I wish you joy and a lot of turkey today, too.

  5. theresa says:

    Lovely post, Beth. A toast to you and yours and to Alice Munro! Cheers!

  6. beth says:

    Theresa, thank you. I read on your blog that you were ill after your trip. Glad you're feeling better. Alice has lifted us all with her, hasn't she? It just feels so good to know that her lifetime's work has been honoured by the entire world.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a lovely bouquet. And I'm sorry to have missed Sam's birthday. We were busy celebrating Rob (my nephew)'s 30th … 65 grownups, 9 kids under the age of 5, and 2 dogs. Love, Lani

  8. beth says:

    Mon dieu, your celebration sounds wonderful and exhausting. I suspect we'll have a grand blow-out for Sam's 30th next year, too. Hope you and Mau can come, Lani mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.