My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

What is that hot yellow thing in the sky?

Quickly – because for some reason there’s wifi in Mum’s condo – some generous person is sharing theirs but who knows for how long? Jesus God, the rigamarole to get here. They now have a holding pen at Pearson. There was an incredibly long line-up even for those who already had boarding passes and baggage tags, so we stood and stood just at last to be checked by someone and sent to Gate 15. That’s new, at the far end of the terminal, and it turns out to be a holding pen where you sit until they allow you through to walk all the way back where you came from, to American customs. So you wait in a long line up there, and then you get through and wait in an interminable line to get through security. The guy in front of me had an inch of distilled water in a portable bottle that took ten minutes of deep discussion between all the guys – should they let it through? Need I mention that the guilty party was brown? They did not.

So – gruelling to get to the gate, and then of course wait, the flight is packed. Sitting in front of me was none other than Clayton Ruby, a principled Toronto lawyer whom I deeply admire. We chatted for a bit. He dislikes Harper, is concerned that Justin surrounds himself with Liberal party apparatchiks, thinks Mulcair has a good chance to make a difference. I thanked him for all he has done for Canada, which he shrugged off, and asked him why he was flying back here instead of up there. “I can’t afford up there,” he said. How is that possible, famous lawyer? I wanted to say but didn’t.

I watched a wonderful documentary called “Children and Film,” showing how kids have been portrayed through the decades in classic and unknown films. As the narrator pointed out, film itself, in terms of an art form, is a kid.

And then here we are, rent the car, get the bag, leave the terminal – and melt. That first hit of warm damp air and heat and sun – and you think, why ever leave? I’m in Mum’s living room now – it smells musty and uninhabited here, but I have the windows wide open. I can see the bay and palm trees. I’ve been for a walk on the endless white beach and to Publix to buy groceries and, of course, wine. And now I will sit in a stupor. So much to do at home, so busy, frantic. Here – silence, warm damp air, this computer, books to read, books to write. Bewildering.

I mourn my mother, whose battered sunhats are still hanging up here, whose taste furnished this place, who enjoyed it through the winter months, with her sister Do, for a dozen years or more. It really is heaven. Too bad it’s in Florida.



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.