My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Onward to 2020

Dear friends, the decade ends in a few hours. Some crazy people I gather are out insisting on wild times. This bird is at home, watching Lincoln Centre Live on PBS, a celebration of Sondheim, other shows coming on later. I will not be watching the ball fall. My oldest friend Ron, from Halifax days, came for dinner; he has had a very tough year, I was glad to host him and listen. He asked me out in 1965 and I said no.

Not an easy decade. My mother gone in 2012, my aunt in 2018, dear Wayson this year. But still, these deaths were not unnatural – Mum 89, Do 98, Way relatively young at 80. But now I fear unnatural deaths begin – friends my age or just a little older, at risk. Loss. Loss. Loss.

Not to mention the planet. Let’s not mention the planet, not tonight. Except – Greta. Miracles do happen.

Now watching a documentary about the sex educator Dr. Ruth. Adorable, the quintessential Yiddishe mama. Last week I watched a doc called What is it about the Jews? about why the Jewish people have achieved unparalleled success – many interesting thoughts, which I will elucidate at some point, but one of them is that Jews, unlike Catholics, embrace sex as a natural and vital part of life, meaning that rabbis marry and reproduce, whereas priests … say no more. And here Ruth is, a Holocaust survivor aged 90 with limitless energy and a fabulous sense of humour, telling Americans how to enjoy sex. A fine way to bring in the new year.

Yesterday was a first – not one but two little boys for the night. And it was wonderful, if like being under seige. Luckily the weather was lovely and mild, so we burned off some steam at the farm and the playground. Big bowls of pasta, a bath with a great deal of splashing and water everywhere, into jammies, stories, lights out by 8.30. Unbelievable! Eli was on the mattress on the floor and Ben in the bed, but when I got up to check on them, they were squished together on the floor. The sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. And then those faces at my bedroom door at a very late 7.45 a.m.

I’m still watching Dr. Ruth and feeling like a slug. What an amazing woman, a tiny powerhouse.

Today we went briefly to the Y and then home for pancakes, throwing a ball endlessly, reading Spock’s beautiful Oh the places you’ll go and finally, meeting their mother for the end of the stay.

A late Xmas present – Kawhi Leonard of the Raptors jerseys. Ecstasy. Their Uncle Sam now wants one too, and their dad.

At the Y. The image of my father.

Nicole came to help me clean up from kids and Christmas; it took both of us some time. But now the house is more or less back to rights. Until next time. “Are you going to die soon?” asked Ben.
“I don’t think so,” I said. I hope not.

Dr. Ruth! Laughing out loud. She keeps asking people – her drivers, strangers, friends – “Did you eat?” I remember my grandmother, always with the food: “Ess ess, mein kind!” She loves everything. Inspiring. I’m only going to be seventy in seven months – that’s nothing. Someone just asked her, “Why keep publishing books at 89?”
“What a stupid question,” she said.

Happy New Year to you all. May you flourish, may you find joy and laughter, may you be healthy and doing work you love, may friends and family keep you company sometimes but not too often. May our world survive the cretins.

Happy New Year, friends. On we go.

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2 Responses to “Onward to 2020”

  1. Unknown says:

    Happy New Year, Beth, and God bless.

  2. beth says:

    Same to you, dear reader, whoever and wherever you are!

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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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