My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Gabriola

And now for something completely different: Gabriola Island, off Vancouver Island near Nanaimo, population about 4000, at least in winter, many more in summer. As those of you who follow his blog know, my friend Chris, about six months ago, abruptly decided to sell his tiny perfect apartment in the heart of downtown Vancouver, buy a log cabin on a half acre of wooded land here, and adopt two kittens and a puppy. Some people effect change slowly. Not Chris.

And of course, it’s glorious.

But first, yesterday morning in Vancouver, the sun actually came out and Bruce and I went for a walk in Stanley Park. (Click to enlarge.)

 Heron’s nests

We took the Skytrain to meet Chris, who had flown in to town early that morning for his last appointment with his beloved psychiatrist. The three of us are friends since the Seventies and have travelled to India and spent time in France together. A merry reunion. And then Chris and I set off for the float plane airport, to take the tiny plane to the island.

I sat in the co-pilot’s seat – thrilling. I wanted Eli and Ben to be there too, as we skimmed over the water, floated through the sky, and 20 minutes later sailed back down to the water again. As we came ashore, Patsy was waiting for us. One of my oldest and dearest friends, she threw my 20th birthday party when we were both working at Neptune Theatre and housemates in Halifax in 1970. Patsy came to Gabriola almost 30 years ago and has been involved in many initiatives here, including the sponsoring of a Syrian family – can you imagine, they fled from Syria to a refugee camp in Lebanon and from there to Gabriola Island! – and now a tool library, a place where people can come and borrow tools. Always busy.

We drove Chris’s cherry red Fiat, surely the only one on the island, to his home. It could not be more perfect for him – a bright warm spacious 3-bedroom house full of beautiful things with an outbuilding studio for his art projects and three gorgeous animals, Sheba the half Bernese Mountain Dog and half ivory coloured poodle with sheep’s curls, and two elegant Bengal cats with perfect stripes and spots.

He opened a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and we got into
the hot tub. Paradise.

And then Patsy arrived with supper hot in her basket – a Thai curry with rice – and Chris’s new friend Paula arrived with salad, and we drank champagne and ate and talked with the smell of wood smoke drifting past.

This morning, a walk on a nearby trail with a happy man and a very happy dog. And a happy woman from Toronto.

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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.

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

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