My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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U of T course Life Stories I is a go!

Good news, students: my U of T course is a go. A small but valiant band will start meeting Tuesday May 8 at 12.30. Please get in touch if you want more information. So far, my Ryerson class is still capped at 12, but I’m hoping they will find us a larger room. If not – if you really want to take my course this term – there’s room at U of T! Come on over.

It’s incredible outside. As usual, we went from winter to summer in seven and a half minutes. It’s 28 degrees out there, stunning, very hot. I just went to the basement to try to find some sandals, and the great wardrobe transfer has begun – woolies out, sleeveless tops in. But it’ll get cold again, and then we’ll be confused, not knowing what to wear. But then it’ll be hot for good.

Right now I’m waiting for my soup to be delivered. This is something new – a Cabbagetown restaurant is experimenting with making two different kinds of soup a week and, for $9, delivering them to your door on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I’m going to try today only and see how it feels. I think it will probably feel pretty damn good to have soup appear magically on my doorstep. Even if 28 degrees is warm for soup.

Yesterday, I took the gentle art of Swedish death cleaning to heart and started. Anna’s friend Nicole came to help. She’s invaluable – I talk to myself, I pick things up and question whether I need them, and then if I hand them to her, they vanish. If she puts them outside, they disappear in seconds, it’s magic. I tidied one small section of the living room, that’s all, but it’s a start. My GOD there’s a lot of stuff in this house. Horrifying. But then, it’s not just my lifetime’s accumulation, it’s my parents’ and grandparents’ and even a great-aunt or two.

Mostly, these days are about preparing for the conference, which will hit with a vengeance on Thursday and take over until Sunday night – total immersion in creative non-fiction. Many emails are flowing. Much planning is happening. And in the middle of it all, my daughter turns 37. I will not be celebrating with her this year, at least, not on the day. Another day, to honour her 37 years on this earth and my 37 years as her mother.

There’s a New Yorker cartoon I love – a woman is watering a couple of little plants and a man is saying, “Do you think we’ll ever regret having two plants and a bowl of pebbles instead of children?”

Yes. The answer is yes.

P.S. Curried zucchini soup. To eat outside on the deck in the sun with some fresh Blackbird Bakery sourdough and a salad. The air is full of birdsong and the trees of buds. Yes yes yes.

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2 Responses to “U of T course Life Stories I is a go!”

  1. theresa says:

    I will look forward to reading more about your adventures into Swedish death cleaning. We have SO MUCH STUFF. I keep trying to winnow but it doesn't come naturally.

  2. beth says:

    Yes, it's really hard, especially the paper, the piles of stuff I've kept through the many decades of my life. Yesterday, I found a proposal that a friend and I had made to CBC, when I was pregnant with Sam, to transform Beresford-Howe's "The Marriage Bed" into a radio play. Had completely forgotten about that. It was thrilling to read the pitch. But the CBC said no. If I'd thrown it out, that whole chapter of my life would be gone. But at the same time – how much can I keep?! I'm starting with easier stuff that I've accumulated from Doubletake – five backpacks, for example. I had something like 17 berets, a lifetime's accumulation, put more than half outside and they disappeared. All my neighbours will be wearing berets.

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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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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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