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love and tapes

My grandson is asleep upstairs, in the bedroom, the very spot where his uncle Sam used to sleep. Sam and I used to play a nighttime game called Lump. Why was it called Lump? The point really was tickling, and we both enjoyed it. Eli wants his special bedtime toys – Giraffy, his favourite stuffy, who he decided could live here and wait for his visits; the London taxi and the double-decker bus, the two yellow trucks, and the same books we read every time, Mog, some poems from Winnie the Pooh, and Harry the dirty dog. Routine; we have it down. And the main routine, that I am falling asleep and he is driving trucks all over the covers.

His mother is going to some drag queen extravaganza tonight, a friend is babysitting Ben, I’ve got Eli and she is FREE for a few hours. A pleasure to give her some time. It was a glorious day; Eli and I went to the Regent’s Park playground, which has a squishy kind of ground cover that means if a child falls, s/he will not scrape knees and be hurt – where was that when we were growing up? We went home and watered the garden, his favourite activity; we ate supper which – contrary to my lofty goals – was mostly frozen French fries and fish sticks with lots of ketchup. Bath time was long and very wet. And then bed, in the exact spot where I used to put his uncle to bed, now a man whom I hardly ever see, six foot eight and covered with tattoos.

This afternoon I went into the dusty basement with my friend Grace, who comes to help me sort stuff every so often, and dove into the huge dusty boxes of old family pictures. OH so many – my kids, my childhood, my father and mother, their parents, their grandparents, going back at least a hundred years. Couldn’t deal with the box, just brought it up and will sort it slowly.

BUT – here’s the thing – I found a box of tapes. Tapes – remember them? For a tape machine? My beloved uncle Edgar the world bridge champion was a great lover of Baroque music, and when he travelled, he had to have his music with him, so before the advent of CD’s, he made himself a series of Baroque mix tapes. They are beautiful and there are tons of them and I don’t know what to do with them. I have lots of classical CD’s, I don’t need Uncle Edgar’s tapes, but I can’t throw them out. ANY IDEAS? ANY TAKERS? Anyone with a tape machine and a love of classical music is in for a treat – I will mail you this box, as long as it goes to a good home. Otherwise … back to the basement. Please help me give them a new home.

It was the same with the box of old videotapes and, even older, film of family. I’ve had them all transferred to DVD, I think. But what if I missed some? Do I really think I’m going to go through all the old videotapes and compare them to the DVD’s? GET A LIFE! And yet I could not throw them out.

So what’s the point of sorting when it all just goes back? Well – at least I know what’s there. A lot of old photos and tapes and videotapes, that’s what’s there. Old stuff. Luckily, upstairs in Sam’s old bedroom, is some very new stuff, some 3 year old stuff. I could not love that 3 year old more; what joy, to look at him as he sleeps, snuffling with his cold. This week there is bad news in the newspapers, there’s a groundbreaking Pope in the States – that pic of him and Obama laughing, so wonderful! We are all obsessed with the terror of this election, the possibility that vileness might triumph once again. But for a few blessed minutes tonight, all that mattered was a brown-haired head on the pillow.

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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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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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