My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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chez moi

Home. Sitting in the Toronto sun on my own
deck IN DIFFERENT CLEAN CLOTHES with a glass of wine. Hear those birds? MY
birds. Well, not exactly, but they’re in my trees and eating my birdseed. See
that gigantic mess of dead leaves and brush in the garden? MY mess. Hmmm.
Everywhere I look, work to be done. And that’s okay.
The flight was much better going than
coming, for sure – the movies were much better, for a start, so I got to see
two films I’ve wanted to see for ages, Keep
on keepin’ on
, a documentary about a brilliant old jazz trumpet player
mentoring a young blind pianist. Very moving – not just about music but about
the power of a great teacher, very inspiring. And then Selma, ditto. Riveting. So, trying not to weep for the first few
hours of flight. And then squirming and dozing and feeling sorry for the young
couples with babies and little kids – except for the couple with a two-year old
who had their Filipina nanny with them – in first class. Four tickets in first class.
My kids and I were texting before we’d
reached the gate.
Carol my friend and tenant was out but had left a welcoming note,
half a bottle of red wine, some dinner in the fridge, and a neatly towering
stack of mail. Five New Yorkers, groan, the weekend newspapers, bills, stuff to
do. Responsibilities. Real life. I unpacked and sorted and inspected, got out my daytimer and made lists. So good to get everything out of the suitcase and put it
away – I do not want to see a @#$# suitcase for a long time. Had a long hot shower – MY
shower, my shampoo, when I opened a drawer, there were my hairbrush and facecream, just where I left them. What a blessing.
The oleander is covered with scale; I need an oleander whisperer. 

Went to the corner to buy a pot of pansies and daffs,
some colour for the deck, then got out a bike and took a tour around the
neighbourhood, saying hello to neighbours – someone knows me! – checking out the farm, Riverdale
Park – families playing ball and having picnics, idyllic. My heart was
bursting. Yes, Harper is still here, there’s an election, I’m going to have to
get up to scratch and be depressed. I gather that Obama made a funny speech. Devastation in
Kathmandu, but Lynn’s Sarah and her family are okay, if without power and many
other things. The world is staggering along, the world is vast, the world is
magnificent, and I am home.
Behind me – Paris, London, Florence,
Cortona, Lucca, Cinque Terre, Nice, Gordes, Villeneuve, Montpellier. Behind me
– friends Lynn and Denis, Michele and Daniel, Annie and Paolo, the Daudier
family, Christopher, Cristina and Marina, the other Christina, Penny and Lizzie,
and, always and forever, Bruce.
My next-door neighbour is arguing with
another neighbour, right now, about their dogs. It’s hilarious, all last year
the dogs were trying to kill each other through the fences, and they still
are. What makes me happy is that if she’s fighting with him about the dogs, perhaps
she’ll be too tired to fight with me about the trees. Neighbours. Haven’t had real
neighbours for five weeks. And there they are, still arguing. What bliss. Can
hardly hear them over the birds.  And someone’s barbecuing burgers. Mmm.

It’s 6 p.m. here, midnight my time. Was hoping to stay up for Wolf
at ten, but there’s no way. If I last two more hours, I’ll be lucky. 

I am reunited with house, garden, kids,  bicycles, plants, friends, piano. But most importantly, tomorrow I see my boy.

P.S. Randy Bachman on the CBC! Dancing around the kitchen! Does life get better than this?



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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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