My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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In which she comes in sixth and looks for cottages in Nova Scotia

Oh my, she said ruefully, I’m not the woman I once was. This weekend is the Cabbagetown Festival, the once-yearly event when my ‘hood is taken over by garage sales, street food, arts and crafts, music – fun. This morning was the fundraising mini-marathon, a 2 k. fun run through the streets which I’ve done nearly every year since we moved in in 1986. At one point, when I moved into the Senior Women’s category, I actually won. Twice. The first time I stopped to tie my shoelace and still won. But I’m years older now, and anyway, despite my classes at the Y, am simply not in shape any more.

Eli was here for a sleepover last night but did not want to run with me, so I left him briefly to the good graces of TVO and my tenants, and ran. I took it slowly, walked a few times, finished, and went home immediately, where the results were already posted online. It took me 11 1/2 minutes to finish  a 2 k. race, so managed the less-than-stellar pace of more than 5 minutes per k. And yet I came sixth in my category.

And have been in pain from neck to knees ever since. Poor Eli – I did manage to go around the ‘hood with him on our bikes, and we bought little presents for his parents. Yesterday he bought himself a magnificent diamond necklace for $2 which he wore all weekend, and I got things for the kids – 2 MEC sleeping bags, a snow-racer. A whole weekend where your neighbour’s crap is exchanged for yours, and vice versa.

Would have bought these but couldn’t bring them home on the bike – giant charts for English composition teachers. Would have been fun for my gang.

Hand in the cookie bag and diamond bling around the neck.

God, my body hurts. At home, I offered Eli $2 if he’d do a puzzle, and then another $2 if he’d do it again. $3!, he replied, but he took my offer and I got to lie down for a bit. After his dad came to get him, I rode to Parliament Street to buy some pad thai and mango salad and came home to recuperate. Sorry for my aching body, but still – the sixth fastest old lady in C’town.

Have not mentioned last week’s social events – the Word Sisters here for dinner on Tuesday, a gathering of fabulous women in the word business; the C’town Short Film Festival on Wednesday, a selection of films under 15 minutes from around the world, also fabulous; and the launch of term event at U of T on Thursday, good food and drink and meeting colleagues.

Usually I start teaching the Monday after Labour Day, but not this year, not for a whole other week. I’ll do more transcribing of my parents’ letters. In one letter, Dad mentioned our family vacations at Toney River; I remembered, vaguely, tiny cabins near a beach, and Googled. I’d proposed renting a cottage in Muskoka for my 70th next year, but my daughter had a better idea – a cottage in Nova Scotia for a family getaway. She went to StFX and loves everything Nova Scotian, as do I, plus I grew up in Halifax and still have friends around the province. It suddenly seemed a great idea. So I’ve been online for hours, checking cottages on the water – near Toney River.

Perhaps you CAN go home again.

People have been kindly asking about my son. He seems to be recovering from the hideous trauma inflicted on him. Thank you for caring.



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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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