My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Notre Dame rings her bell

Today’s adventure: the procurement of wine. Crisis – nearly empty wine rack! Of course I have a secret stash of a few good bottles, gifts saved for a special occasion that I do not want to drink by myself tho’ would if necessary. But Monique got organized, ordered 2 dozen bottles of red for us and another friend, made sure it was ready, and drove us there. She waited in the car while I, wearing my mask, lined up outside for ten minutes as the security guard let us in one by one. Inside, a quick grab of a few other bottles (including a Prosecco for the next time I need to celebrate something and a rosé in case it gets hot, LOL), getting the cases, everyone in a mask, the store nearly empty.

It’s surreal, all of this, how fast society changed. Bizarre.

Now I have lots of wine. Thomas arrived today with more chocolate from Anna, canned peaches, tangerines, cheese, cookies. I will not starve. Though tomorrow, a new crisis: bread. Unlike most of my peers, it seems, I will not deal with sourdough starter. I’m a busy woman and wish to purchase my bread.

I did Jane Ellison’s exercise class via Zoom, and then edited all afternoon. Chris and I often disagree about commas and semi-colons; I spend a lot of time arguing with him in my head. It’s sunny but surprisingly cold; spring is everywhere, but slow, as always. B.C. is way ahead of us. Aperitif with Monique was cold but fun; her old friend Kathy now drives from the Beach to join us for Happy Hour, as she calls it, sitting six feet away apart on Monique’s deck while I loom above and look down on them like a reigning monarch. Kathy is a public health nurse and knows a lot about viruses, though we end up, as we drink, talking woman to woman – men, marriage, life. It’s a gift. Even in the cold.

I wept at one point today. Jane always puts on music for us to dance to, and as I danced alone in my kitchen, with the sun shining through the skylights, I wept for our past life, how carelessly we lived, how much we took for granted, how limited we are now. I’m not sad, not at all, but startled and moved at how quickly life can be completely rearranged.

It’s one year since Notre Dame burned. Last year on April 15 I was in Paris with Lynn, went the next day to see Our beautiful Lady and to mourn, the smell of smoke in the air, hundreds standing around in tears. Today her last remaining bell rang to honour the anniversary. Last year a monument to Western civilization burned. Today the whole world is paralyzed and terrified. What lies ahead? No one knows.



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.