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Rosedale Heights celebrates

The most beautiful weather – how lucky we are, October and yet warm, like summer. These days are doubly precious because we know what’s coming. My daughter and her family, plus Thomas’s mother and two nephews, are spending Thanksgiving more or less camping in the country, four little city boys running wild in the grass and woods. Heaven. So we have deferred our dinner till later. Fine with me – I’ve cooked enough turkeys for a lifetime.

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Sam’s high school, Rosedale Heights School of the Arts; I’d been invited, as one of the founders of the Parents Arts Council and a parent deeply involved with the school, to speak. I wrote and practiced; it’s funny, after many public speaking engagements, I’m still nervous about the task. Just walking into the school brought back those years – 1998 to 2003 – when Sam was growing from normal size to 6’8″ and I was trying to get a reluctant scholar through high school. We all were. What a wonderful school it was and is, thanks to its indefatigable principal, Barrie Sketchley – a welcoming, warm environment bursting with creativity, an incredible dance and music program – fantastic. Yesterday, when the alumni and the current kids had assembled in the auditorium and Barrie stood up with the mike, he got a long, loud standing ovation. As I said at the beginning of my talk, “Try to imagine any other school on earth where the man who’s been principal for 25 years gets a standing ovation.”

Okay, hyperbole – I’m sure there are a few. But this school is rare. My main objective during my talk was to make the kids laugh and not to embarrass my son, and I gather I did and didn’t. Sam was sitting with his friend Tristan who in 1999 lived in our basement for months and was so skinny and pale, I called him Ratboy. He graduated, went to art school, and now is a phenomenally successful graphic artist about to move to New Zealand to work with one of the world’s most famous film directors. He drove me home in his BMW. Ah life, what a mystery.

 Mr. Sketchley with an alumnus

Miss Snider, English teacher, with Tristan aka “Ratboy.”

Today, a gorgeous Sunday, I got up at 8 to find my new tenant, the young Frenchwoman, had taken over my kitchen and was busily cooking. Carol, my former tenant, usually uses the kitchen to make meals when I’m not home; I’m not used to sharing my favourite space with such a fervent cook. So I went to the Y, where the mixtape for the class was all oldies, Beatles, Beach Boys, Elvis – loved every minute, singing and loping along. And when I came back, I was given a plate of freshly-baked madeleines. The giant boy is asleep upstairs, will shop today for a grand dinner he’s cooking tomorrow for me and for his girlfriend, whom I will meet for the first time. The adventure continues.

Marcel Proust here, over and out.



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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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