My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Shari Ulrich Back to Shore

This is the place to be during the August long weekend – right where I am. There is no sound coming from the empty city, hardly any traffic, no sirens, nothing. Silence. Even Monique’s noisy A.C. she just turned off for me. Just birds, sweet air, flowers. And, of course, cucumbers. How good to be alive.

Today’s crop. They’re big.

Yesterday, I took the streetcar across town with my bike, got Eli, and rode back with him along the lake. It’s a long ride for me, let alone for someone much smaller, and yet when we got here, he was raring to go to the basketball nets and the playground. So we did. It was hot, though, so we did play a number of games of Go Fish and read some stories. And then his mama came with Ben and we had dinner – for Eli, the usual, 3 helpings of the only things he’ll eat, salmon, avocado and rice, and for Ben, meat, just meat.

My old friend Shari Ulrich is staying at the house, in Toronto to launch her new CD on Tuesday at Hugh’s Room. We met in the mid-70s and have been friends ever since, she pursuing her music, singing with various bands big and small, then and now, though increasingly with a solo career. She and I, almost the same age, talk a lot about where we are in life with our careers and our families. I just sent her this quote from Abigail Thomas, that kind of sums up what we were saying about being single:
I’m okay alone. I don’t always want to answer a question about why I’m coughing if I’m coughing. I like falling into a book without being asked what I am reading. I appreciate not being interrupted in the middle of thinking about nothing. Nobody shoos my dogs off the sofa or objects to the three of them with sardine breath farting under the covers in bed at night. I like moving furniture around without anyone wishing I wouldn’t or not noticing that I have. I like cooking or not, making the bed or not, weeding or not. Watching movies until 3 a.m. and no one the wiser. Watching movies on a spring day and no one the wiser. To say nothing of the naps.

Us too.

Shari’s new CD is gorgeous. And so is she.

For me, however — I’m stuck in my work. Perhaps it’s discouragement – if no one wants to publish the memoir I’ve spent 3 years writing, why write something else? Perhaps laziness – there are always more fun things to do. I know what I want to get down, just have to start, find the way into the story, unpack. One two three go.

Instead – I’m watering the garden. Which also is necessary.

Lynn sent these pictures from a lifetime ago – the two of us at my wedding party in 1981, when Anna was 3 months old, and me with Denis in Toronto maybe 15 years ago. Who’s that young woman?

Happy August long weekend to you, wherever you are. May there be silence. May the birds sing in your ears and the wings of butterflies make you wonder about the existence of god.



2 Responses to “Shari Ulrich Back to Shore”

  1. theresa says:

    Such sweet photographs of you. And Shari — have loved her music forever.

  2. beth says:

    Me too, Theresa, I've loved Shari's music, and it's just as great now. We met in New Denver in the Kootenays, 1975.

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.