My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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July 6 is the yahrzeit, the anniversary, of my father’s death in 1988, thirty-three years ago. Almost my son’s entire lifetime; Anna remembers him but Sam does not. Though I’m in no way a religious person, I love the Jewish tradition of burning a special yahrzeit candle on these days; I think the myth is that while the candle is burning, the person is with you. This one is burning for Dad, and he’s here. He’s always here.

In fact, I’m trying to place a 2500-word essay about writing to the FBI for his files and them sending me 60 unbelievable pages detailing every time he was followed and reported on through the fifties and early sixties. The Walrus, the ideal spot, said no without even reading it. The weekend editor at the Globe said, “The writing is great, it’s just not a fit.” 

Any ideas where I should try next?

I finished Susan Olding’s book of essays Big Reader yesterday, a huge pleasure. I now know a great deal about Keats, blood, Tolstoy, and many other things, as Susan’s curious mind ranges freely and delves deep. Now another kind of pleasure: someone left John le Carré’s A Most Wanted Man in the little free library; I read the first line and was hooked. Lying on the deck with a cold drink and a clever, snappy mystery = heaven. 

All peaceful on the home front. I’m hanging in there but still with roiling belly and not much pep. How much energy it takes just to keep the body alive with food! I have no interest in this particular chore so am surviving on sandwiches or ready-made; just bought a lasagna. Cannot stomach the thought of cooking or interesting fare. Plain and there, that’s how I like it.

For tomorrow I fast. Yuck.

My furry companion is never far away from the source of food, aka moi. She thinks the footstool was created for her. 

A blog friend, after reading about our family crises last week, wrote this, and I agree 100%: I subscribe to the Calvin Trillin definition of successful parenting – my children never did jail time.



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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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