My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

sun on the trees

A grey morning though the sky in the distance is blue, so there’s hope for today, as there is not for the rest of the week – rain predicted. So our plan is to get out while we can. But in the meantime, I am drinking coffee and tapping away on the chaise longue by the fireplace, and my friend is having a snooze on the sofa, Diet Coke and New Yorker beside him. (I got up at 4.30 a.m. to pee and saw him, as every morning before dawn, at his computer.) The pets are quiet for once. It is so quiet. No sirens! There are no homeless people assailing you when you’re out; Patsy told me there are homeless people in the woods, but the islanders do their best to take care of them. The assault level, so high in the city, is much lower here – though there are deep concerns about the future of the island itself, the way land and water are managed etc. But no sirens.

Saturday was indeed a thrilling day – Patsy picked me up at 10.15 to get in the lineup for the 11.20 ferry, so we sat in the car and got caught up. On the ferry, she pointed out a sleek grey figure in the water – not a seal, as I thought, but an otter. In the metropolis of Nanaimo, we drove less than five minutes to Long and McQuade where I rented an electric piano – be still my beating heart. It cost $11 for 3 weeks.

We drove back, left the car in the ferry lineup for the 1.10 back, and went to the mall, London Drugs, a vast sparkling store full of stuff, so exciting. I bought notebooks for work and two books: The Inner Life of Animals, to read here and leave for Chris – I brought Wohlleben’s other book, The Hidden Life of Trees, for Chris – and The Gentle Swedish Art of Death Cleaning, a useful book for someone about to renovate and reduce her living space. We got Pad Thai at a noodle restaurant, ate it in the car as we waited to board, and by 1.40 I was setting up my piano in Chris’s studio.

Patsy came for dinner and took me to a concert, a jazz duo from the Netherlands, husband and wife who write their own material, very gentle and skilful, though not quite my thing. At the end, they told us Canada has a huge number of great songwriters especially Joni Mitchell, and they did a gorgeous version of Both Sides Now.

Sunday was cold but more or less sunny, though at one point there was a brief flurry of snow; CLo, Sheba and I walked in a gorgeous park, vast ancient cedars and firs, cliffs covered with acid-green moss – and then grocery shopped. The turkeys were on sale, and I realized it was Easter Sunday, did Chris want me to cook an Easter meal? He did, and I did – turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, broccoli, gravy – and his friend Jay came for dinner. It was splendid, wine, talk, laughs flowing.

As we cleaned up, Chris and I had our first big fight – about putting away the bag of flour. He told me I am bossy. I told him he is cranky. And then it was over. Fun! That’s what couples do, even an odd couple like us – air differences and move on. Then we watched Benedict Cumberbatch in an Ian McEwen adaptation, The Child in Time, about a couple whose 3-year old daughter is abducted from a grocery store. Unbearable.

I see the green of the trees is lightening – that must mean sun. Time for him to wake up and me to get dressed. We’re going out.



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.