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the big city

Yesterday’s plan: a sleepover with Eli; Ben was going somewhere for a sleepover too, so this would be a much-needed night off for Anna. I slogged across town – this city is impassable, especially on a boiling day, with construction and street repair everywhere, and furious drivers. I made it to Eli’s day camp to bring him back here but found him in tears – earache. Change of plans – he, his brother and mother are flying on Sunday to Boston, to spend ten days in Rhode Island with Edgar and Tracey, and for Eli to go to day camp for a week with his aunt, Greta Lee, who’s three years older. So a cure was urgently needed.

Eli and I went directly to St. Joseph Hospital’s “Just for kids” clinic. What a marvel ten minutes from Anna’s place – a bright space, the examining tables hippos and other friendly animals, a great staff. Anna joined us as soon as she could, to cuddle her miserable son, who was diagnosed with an ear infection – aka swimmer’s ear. He wouldn’t take the Advil to take away the pain; that was a 20 minute, very loud struggle. He is as stubborn as his mother was; payback, for sure. I told him when his uncle Sam was a kid and refused to take important medicine, his dad and I sat on him and forced it down his throat. But Eli’s mother is more patient than I was. He finally took the Advil, and by the time we got home was bouncing off the walls, demonstrating how he’d learned to somersault and do jumping jacks. He showed me his painting of our planet on a round paper plate. “There’s Canada,” he pointed out, “and there’s Ottawa and there’s Rhode Island.” The boundaries of his world this month.

So, no sleepover for me, no day off for Mama.

Just as well, as I’m getting ready for my big workshop tomorrow – ten writers for the day in my humble garden, part of which looked, ten minutes ago under a rainy sky, like this:

I love how the rudbeckia unfurl, like tight fingers loosening their grip.

Last night, awake at 4 a.m., I marvelled that I could not hear a single thing – not a distant car or siren, a voice, a dog, nothing. Even this morning, as I sit under the pergola, protected from the drizzle, there’s not much – someone is roofing, a dog is barking, the rain is pattering. I just picked two cucumbers and a boatload of cherry tomatoes from the garden. City living at its best.

Speaking of which …

Woo hoo!

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3 Responses to “the big city”

  1. theresa says:

    What a beautiful garden. I predict great things from the writers lucky enough to spend a day there.

  2. beth says:

    Thanks Theresa – thunderstorms predicted so perhaps they'll be in my messy house. But I hope the day frees them. It's about paying attention, stopping the routine to sit still and listen to what's going on, what's beneath the surface. Being given permission to write. I need it too!

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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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