My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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finding family

No line dancing today, but we will start it up again Monday, after learning that you’re allowed to use playground spaces but not the equipment – maintaining distance, of course. The sun was heaven today; I sat outside in a t-shirt for awhile and was hot. Talked at length to various friends including Judy in Vancouver. Went to neighbour Mary’s for a distanced chat in her garden, and sat on my second floor deck having aperitif with Monique below, on her deck. We’ll get through. 

A friend who’s reading the manuscript emailed: I’ve got 3 chapters to go to finish your wonderful memoir! I’m absolutely loving it! I’ve taken a few tiny notes… But basically – it’s soooo good!!

While life as we knew it is screeching to a halt, that is good to hear. 

Life: who knows what curveballs will come hurtling through your window? Hmm, where did that lame metaphor come from?

Anyway, I was sitting here minding my own business, clicking and scrolling, as usual, when Geni came up in my inbox, a genealogy site relatives on Dad’s side signed me up for. Messages come through regularly about distant cousins I’ve never met in distant American cities celebrating anniversaries of various kinds. Today, what came up was my great-grandfather Jacob Gordin, about whom, because of researching my book, I thought I knew almost everything. On the site is an extremely long post I’ve never seen before, with bits and pieces of information I didn’t know, including the fact that his mother’s name was Ida. We know his father’s name was Michael because HIS name was Jacob Mikhailovich – son of Michael. But in all these years, I have never known his mother’s name and none of the relatives I interviewed knew either.

I checked more closely and found the post was edited by someone called Eilat Gordin Levitan. So I wrote to her, to ask how she came by this information. Checking the site again, I learned that she is the wife of Dr. Daniel Levitan. A month ago or so – in that previous lifetime we all vaguely remember – I watched Dr. Levitan interviewed on Steve Paikin’s TVO show and was so impressed I went out immediately and bought his book about aging successfully. He’s an engaging, intense, attractive man; in fact, he reminded me a bit of my dad. And now I find out – he’s a close relative of mine! Isn’t that amazing? I wonder if Eilat will write back. Maybe one day I can go visit. 

Also, I did write to the distant relative in South Carolina tracked down by the young researcher in London, whom I will visit on my next trip to England. Fascinating!

Well, okay, not that close.

Dr. Daniel Levitan is your second cousin once removed’s wife’s great niece’s ex-husband’s great uncle’s wife’s great nephew.



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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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