My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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meeting Miriam and Avi Hoffman

A lovely day – cascades of red and yellow leaves, sun, blue sky. Spent the morning with John, winterizing – putting away cushions and sun umbrellas, covering chairs and tables with a tarp, pulling out the remnants of plants, covering the barbecue and the air conditioner that I used twice this summer. The cold is on its way. But not yet – mild out there, still. I learned from friend Chris’s blog that it snowed on Gabriola Island yesterday – and here, people were out in shorts.

A grand event Wednesday night – dinner with Michael Shore, yet another first cousin once removed whom I hardly know, an actor who has recently moved to Toronto, and with Avi and Miriam Hoffman, theatrical son and mother formerly from New York now from Florida, who were in town to speak in Yiddish about the Yiddish theatre. I could not attend the event but through Michael, who was in the recent Yiddish Death of a Salesman starring Avi, I got in touch with them to offer to give them my book. Hence, dinner together. Avi is an interesting man with lots of great ideas, but Miriam is a powerhouse. How I enjoyed speaking with her. A mere 81 and as sharp as a teenager, she’d just returned from speaking in Prague and a separate trip to Bucharest. She taught Yiddish for decades at Columbia, has written a textbook about the language, has had many plays performed and just finished a memoir that you can be sure I’ll order when it appears.
She was born in Siberia, walked across Russia with her family to escape, her father-in-law survived Auschwitz – oh the woman has stories to tell. She reminded me of my American grandmother – my powerful roots, on one side. But the other, British side is so very different. Miriam and Avi wanted a commitment to Jewishness from me, but I’m afraid I cannot give it. I’m just not anything official, except a Cabbagetowner.

Wednesday night, big news, I slept through the night – went to bed at midnight after a comedian binge – John Oliver, Sam Bee, Trevor Noah – and woke at 7.30 a.m. That almost never happens, and what a difference it makes – I was at my desk by 8.30 and had a productive day. Usually I wake in the middle of the night to fret and ponder. Hours pass. What a waste of time! I think, furious, and then sleep late and the morning vanishes. My life would have been so much more productive, I think to myself, if I’d not had insomnia. But then – I would not be myself if I did not have insomnia. I’d be some other, more confident, less introspective and neurotic human being, someone like my daughter, who just goes to bed and falls asleep. I’ve got to accept that’s not how I roll.

I roll by making lists at 3.30 a.m., as I did again this morning. C’est la vie.

And – Paul McCartney and his beautiful daughters Mary and Stella have created a short film about saving the planet by not eating meat one day a week. Meat-free Mondays – we can do that. For you, my beloved Macca, easy.
Watch ‘One Day a Week’ by clicking HERE!



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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.


Coming soon

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

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