My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

January 20, 2009, a great day

I didn’t march today. Last year’s march was inspiring and ennobling, and I’m sure today’s was too. But I was busy this year.

Just happened to open one of my first books – “Yours Truly, a book of the blog,” compiled from the first years of my blog (especially my 5 months in France in 2009,) shaped into a narrative, designed by my friend Chris, and self-published in 2010. My mother called it “the best book I’ve ever read,” but then she did not read much. Reading again, though, I did find lots compelling. From exactly nine years ago:
Tuesday January 20, 2009
Hail to the chief, President Barack Hussein Obama

Dear planet, at last! I can’t believe that from now on when we talk about the U.S. and say “the President,” we are referring to the superb, the sublime Barack Obama … It’s hard to believe today really happened not only because Barack is black, but because he’s intelligent and open, literate and generous, good-hearted, youthful, fine. How is it possible that we have gone from eight years of depraved darkness to this brand new hope and air and light, practically overnight? From the worst of human nature to the best? 

Well, it turns out we didn’t know from depraved darkness or the worst of human nature. Who could ever have guessed what, or who, was to come? That we’d look back on the glorious days of George W. Bush?


Oh well. I also found, online, a photo from 1978 – a production called The Shadow Box, about cancer and family, with marvellous actors like Janet Wright, Goldie Semple, Allan Gray with particularly effective pale “I’ve got cancer” makeup – and a very young Michael J. Fox. Oh, and moi, in a role I had no idea how to play. Here’s a shot of our dinnertime between shows on Saturdays.

That’s me in a particularly unflattering shot, shrieking at the back, and Mikey at the front. RIP beautiful Goldie and powerful Janet. But Mikey, despite Parkinson’s, is going strong. And yours truly, hanging in there.

And celebrating her students, as ever. Kathryn Belicki wrote a lovely piece for the home class, which we encouraged her to send out; it was just published in the United Church Observer. 
When I wrote to congratulate her, she replied:
You have created such a great space for our writing community to grow and flourish—and have a great time while doing it. The word “thanks” just doesn’t cover it.
It does feel good when something goes so right. Like January 20, 2009.



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.