My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

la Boucanerie Chelsea

My Aunt Do is truly amazing. I don’t think there can be many other nearly-97-year olds who live alone in their own apartments, taking care of everything themselves except for a caregiver who comes in once a week, to drive her to get groceries and clean. She doesn’t want help with anything, because she thinks doing for herself is what has given her such staying power. And I guess she’s right. 
It was such a stunningly beautiful Saturday that I said let’s go for a drive, and once in downtown Ottawa, I realized where we should go – to my brother’s shop, la Boucanerie Chelsea in the Gatineau, which he bought a few years ago and Do had never seen. It’s a wonderful place where he brines and smokes salmon,  sturgeon, and other fish and sells all kinds of gourmet treats. We had a tour and left with a bag full of goodies which the security guys at the Ottawa airport had a good time with today – what’s THIS on the x-ray machine? A big chunk of hot smoked salmon. Mmmm.

Do and my brother Mike.

I took her for dinner afterward as an advance birthday present and actually got her to drink a small glass of red wine, as we talked, of course, about family. She said, heartbreakingly, that she felt her mother didn’t like her, starting at birth because she was a baby with a lot of black hair, and then later, not as pretty and smart as her sisters. That is, smart in a different way that wasn’t recognized by her parents. She has struggled all her life with low self-esteem. But now – she wins! She’s the last one standing. Go Do go!

This morning I did my usual walk in Britannia Park – another brilliant sunny day. So much crunchy clean white snow. Love this sign by the beach.

Now, a few days left to get myself together, to NOT get the cold that’s trying to invade – both Anna and my tenant Carol have bad colds – and to somehow blow this pop stand. At this stage, it’s always hard to believe it’s going to happen. But I have the distinct feeling that it will.



4 Responses to “la Boucanerie Chelsea”

  1. theresa says:

    May you stay healthy, Beth. I look forward to your posts from France!

  2. beth says:

    Thank you, Theresa. I look forward to actually getting there! A bientot.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Beth…if you've inherited your aunt's genes, you've got another 30 years or so ahead of you!! I know you'll be busy in Paris. If you have time to meet up in the Marais for a drink or a meal, that would be great. (I'd love to meet your best friend from Montpellier, actually.) If not, I understand. très bon voyage, Juliet

  4. beth says:

    Juliet, I'll see how my times goes, as Lynn has plans for us – but it'd be great to meet up for a drink. I'll be in touch.

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.