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2017 recap

Feeling the usual aches, the tickle at the back of my nose and throat which signals that something is preparing to invade, so to head it off I’m sticking close to home. Just did a quick review of the year’s blogs, which showed that I spent most of the month of February sick. Am determined not waste time like that again! There’s a new health food store around the corner, and yesterday I bought fresh orange/ginger juice and orange/carrot soup. That’ll do it.

What a year – much travel: France, London, B.C., the U.S., and of course, beautiful suburban Ottawa… Great memories, a long hike in the hot sun on St. Jean Cap Ferrat with Brucie, only a few weeks before he had the stroke that temporarily felled him; a superb dinner overlooking the water with Chris in Vancouver; Paris with Lynn, Gordes with Denis, Montpellier with them both; seeing Penny in London, Cousins Ted and Lola in New York, many cousins and my ex-husband in Washington; lying in bed for two days at Chesterman Beach – sick then too, for that matter, but in what a glorious place.

Highlights, besides those trips: the pussy hat protest march in January; learning the start of the Moonlight Sonata, more or less, on the piano; speaking about the Jewish Shakespeare in Fairfax, Virginia and meeting new family there; being part of the committee for next year’s CNFC conference in Toronto; the establishment of the English conversation group; my ex on stage at the Tony Awards; students publishing books and essays and appearing at So True. Much much much reading, too much to detail here. Fantastic comedians keeping us going, and the spectacular Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, fighting the good fight as their country disintegrates around them.

Terrible losses this year, including, for me and my friends, our beloved friend the beautiful and brilliant Elke Town, after a heroic struggle with ALS.

My dear Wayson has struggles of his own but is still as funny as anyone I know. Yesterday I gave him his Xmas present – he’d told me his favourite movie was “The Corn is Green” with Bette Davis, so I got it from Bay St. Video and last night we decorated my $10 Charley Brown tree, lit the menorah candles, watched the movie, and then had dinner. Davis plays a teacher who makes a difference – an important subject for us both.

Speaking of which, in the blowing own horn department, I just received this from a former student and editing client – we worked for years on her gorgeous memoir, which she decided to self-publish:

My book arrived yesterday, I opened it and burst into tears. I can hardly believe after all this time that it is real, a concrete, touchable, holdable thing that actually exists on this earth. And it is beautiful.
Many, many thanks from the bottom of my heart for all the work you did both with my manuscript and with me, allowing me to believe I could complete this enormous project.

I can’t wait to see it. Earlier, out doing errands I ran into a high school friend of Anna’s, a young woman who has had her share of brutal difficulties. “I just got your memoir out of the library,” she said, “and I love it! It really speaks to me.” Boy, that’s another mitzvah. A blessing.

So, sitting here swaddled in a blanket to protect myself from microbes, watching the sky darken, planning how to transform my house into two one-bedroom apartments, making lists of publishers to send the memoir to, eating snacks in silence, devouring newspapers, mags, books, FB and Twitter – is this all there is? Heading for 2018.

Wish you were 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.

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