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on a solitary Thanksgiving, giving thanks

There are times when I think of all of you out there, my bloggees, as my companions. Today is such a day. It’s a long weekend; Monique and many others have gone to the cottage for the last time this year. The morning was bright and warm but now it’s gloomy and overcast, rain expected. I have a bit of a cold. The house is silent. We in Toronto are now experiencing the much-expected second wave, and things are shutting down again. The Y is shut. Sam’s bar will only have patio and take-out service. There are no movies, not that I’d gone to one, but it was nice to contemplate. 

It’s also time to shut down the garden; John will come soon to take down the pergola, we’ll clean the BBQ, put away the cushions on the deck. Time to prune and cut back the perennials and bring in the potted plants, hoping they’ll survive seven long months inside. 

The plan was for the family to come across on Tuesday, Sam’s birthday, for a Thanksgiving and birthday meal; the turkey Anna gave me is defrosting in the fridge, and I’ve bought the huge bag of potatoes for Sam. But my daughter, sensible and cautious as ever, has decided it’s too dangerous. This may be the only family where the oldster was urging a get-together and the youngster said no, it’s unwise. She said she didn’t want to have the guilt on her shoulders of her children, who are probably carriers, killing me. As I said, she’s a wise woman. 

But the turkey is defrosting, so now I’ll cook a huge dinner on Tuesday for me and Sam and send leftovers across town. Not quite the same.

I’m feeling the solitude and silence acutely, right now. But I’m used to it. There’s a ton to do – at Ben McNally’s bookstore yesterday I went a bit nuts, bought hard-cover books which I never do – but what else am I buying these days? Jim Carrey for Sam and the others for me. Delicious. 

I have started writing a new book, so far 5500 words I like – will continue this afternoon. Haven’t practiced the piano in ages, will do that. Need to cook all the yellow tomatoes I bought at the last local market on Tuesday, make a tomato sauce and a ratatouille. Need to put away all the light clothes and get out all the heavy ones. Should try to exercise, though that will come last. But I can listen to Randy Bachman tonight and dance, as I cook and/or eat. And drink wine – went to the liquor store yesterday, have four bottles to keep me company that should last a day or two. LOL. 

Will not mention the VP debate, except that the fly and Pence’s red eye turned into such wonderful endless jokes. And now there’s a new meme. Last night on Bill Maher, a beautiful and very smart black woman was addressing an issue when Maher, who can be impossibly rude, interrupted her. “Mr. Pence, I am speaking,” she said to him sternly. Woo hoo!

Back to my quiet kitchen. For my daughter with her children always there, for fellow writers with families, this kind of solitude would be a gift. And yes, it is for me too. It’s also a weight I carry. 

But lonely as I may be sometimes, at least I do not have a face as sad and weird as Barbara Amiel’s, aka Baroness Black of Crossharbour, printed in the Star today in an article on her tell-all memoir. She’s 79 and has had so much plastic surgery, she looks like an alien. Ye gods, that must have cost a lot. And hurt.



4 Responses to “on a solitary Thanksgiving, giving thanks”

  1. theresa says:

    These are strange times, Beth, and adjusting to new ways to observe our beloved occasions is difficult. Here it will be a small chicken, vegetables from the garden, a bottle of Wild Goose Autumn Gold, rather than a table of family and friends, long conversations into the night, laughter. May the coming year be safer, filled with familiar celebrations, a new stable government to the south of us. Still, there's so much to be thankful for. Across the miles I wish you peace and good spirits.

  2. beth says:

    Dear friend, I send the same to you. Among the things for us both to celebrate, bringing books into the world at this difficult time! Brava to you, with another on the way. May next year, as you say, be altogether a less interesting time.

  3. Anne says:

    Yes, there was a similar story in the Globe about Amiel's book. She used to be so beautiful! She spoke to the law class at my high school (which I wasn't in, but they must have opened it up to anyone), in the late 70s, when she was married to George Jonas. I forget what she talked about. Happy Thanksgiving, Beth! We were going to entertain Eric's older brother, but between us agreed it probably wasn't a good idea, since two of our kids (who will be here for dinner also) no longer live with us. So nice to see you recently.

  4. beth says:

    Good to see you too, Anne. I think plastic surgery must be an addiction, like tattoos – there's never enough, until one day, you've gone too far, into the grotesque. Like Michael Jackson. Amiel is such a Marie Antoinette, such a right-wing "let them eat cake" woman, it's hard to feel a remote bit of sympathy for her.

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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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