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Beth = house

Crazy mad tired – busy. Just got home from Ottawa and am leaving again on Saturday for my mother’s condo in Florida, which my brother and I have been trying to sell for months. I need to see the lawyer handling the estate issues and the real estate agent – and, yes, I need to walk on the beach one last time. Pick up shells, watch sea birds skitter in and out of the waves on their spindly black legs, sit and work alone for a week in that quiet place. I don’t like Florida much, but this is a lovely spot, unpretentious and calm. But it’s still Florida, one of the most right-wing states in a lunatic country – more lunatic, more criminal than we could ever have imagined, as we now know after the release of those appalling CIA stories that I refuse to watch or read.

Get me out of there. But first … the forecast is for sun. High of 21. Let me at it first.

In the meantime, there is a great deal to do in regular life, let alone the Christmas tsunami. Today I did some Xmas decorating – suspended a string of pretty coloured lights from Ikea on tacks in the front window. That’ll do for now.

Tonight, the annual swish gathering of the U of T Continuing Studies department, this time in the wonderful Artspace at Wychwood Barns. Great food, lots of wine, not too many speeches. When I got home, a student had forwarded an email from my boss at U of T, a general press release listing all this year’s book publications by our department staff and students. She was very proud, because she took the memoir she wrote for me and published as a memoir, and changed it into a novel re-published under a pseudonym. That book was listed.

My books were not. They slipped his mind. I wrote to remind him that the woman who teaches memoir writing in his department had newly published both a memoir and a book about writing memoir that’s now a textbook for her course, and perhaps he might consider including those.

He’s a busy man. As the blue princess bellows in “Frozen,” which I watched in a dreadful on-line version with Eli, “LET IT GO!” But it’s like defending your children. You left my precious offspring OUT?

On the other hand, today’s triumph: riding my bike in the very cold. In Ottawa, we killed time, as you’ve read, in shops, and one of them was Mountain Equipment Coop, one of my favourites, where Eli loved the canoes and wanted to get in them. I noticed women’s snowboarding gloves on sale. Bought them, wore them today on the bike in the very cold. Warm hands! A new frontier of elegance – wearing snow pants, boots, two layers of hat, parka, scarf over the face and kickass snowboarding gloves, I rode in comfort, except for my eyes which were very cold.

Here’s today’s lesson. I love that my name means “house.” Because I am my house.

A Short
History of the Letter B:

The
letter B was part of the Phoenician alphabet more than 3000 years ago in 1000
BCE. At that time, the letter was called beth and looked a little different,
but it made the sound of b and was second in the alphabet. The shape of the
letter resembled the floor plan of a house, and the word beth meant “house.”
This is pictured below. In Hebrew, the letter was called beth, bet, or bayt
which also means “house.”

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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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