My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Veuve Cliquot and thou

Movin’ slow. A perfect summer day in downtown Toronto, and the birthday girl is in recuperation mode. Quite the party!

Saturday – cooking. Chaos.

Sunday – the flowers from my friends at the Y …

… and from the universe.

When the 20 or so guests arrived, we sat outside on a beautiful afternoon, eating hors d’oeuvres, drinking rosé and thinking about dinner; I’d set up a series of tables on the grass so that we could all sit together.

However, nature had other plans. Just as we were preparing to eat, the sky grew dark and suddenly erupted into a full force storm, almost a hurricane. We had to grab food, wine, tablecloths and especially bring in my mother’s antique mahogany table from the lawn. It reminded me that at my 60th birthday party, which was even bigger with 60 people, there was such a big storm in the morning that the house lost power. Now, as then, my capable guests had no problem rearranging everything, setting up new tables and beginning the meal again, inside. My birthday celebrations seem to bring forth apocalyptic weather. Something to remember for next time.

Everything was delicious. And then we had cake and toasts with three bottles of Veuve Cliquot Champagne provided by my ex. Eli played with Emilie, who’s eleven and a wonderful babysitter, and many of the other guests, who didn’t mind getting down on the floor and making car noises. Ben mostly slept in his carseat but also enjoyed being passed around and fondled by nearly everyone – “He’s so SMALL!” It was sheer joy to be surrounded by so many interesting and kind people, who all had a great deal to say to each other. A great moment when I introduced my friend Donny to Lani, who’d taken the train in from Stratford to be there. “I know you,” he said immediately; it turned out they grew up on the same Mississauga street and Donny went to school with Lani’s younger brother. They spent the next half hour getting caught up on the last fifty-five years.

People had been forbidden to bring gifts, but they did anyway – fine bottles of wine and other wonderful things, and a card from my children with messages that made me – of course – weep. After everyone had gone home, Lani and I sat in the dark kitchen and watched the sky light up with flashes, an eerie light show.

Today Lan went home, Sam left for a cottage, I distributed leftovers to various friends and neighbours – I’d made enough potato salad for an army – and went for a bike ride on this tranquil holiday Monday. Came upon the Panamerican food festival, where people were learning to dance the salsa in the street-

and rode down to the lake, where I sat in the shade and counted my infinite blessings.

And so dear friends, on this note I’m going to leave you for awhile. It will be hard; I am so used to shaping experiences in my head to share instantly with you. It’ll be good for me to simply live for a bit. I’ll miss you. Back soon. Happy August to you all.

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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.

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.

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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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