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Ingersoll visit, book club heaven

It’s summer and busy — visiting time. On Monday we rented a car and drove with the boys to Ingersoll, Ontario, the small town where my old friend Lani (featured several times in Loose Woman) and her partner Maurice live. Both have had significant health crises but are doing fine now, thank you very much. In the course of the day, the boys nearly wore them out, especially Mau who gave a vigorous frisbee lesson and nearly killed himself in the process. Lani wrote, Mau just came upstairs and said, and I quote, “Oh god I can’t tell you how happy I am from today!”

And next day, “Mau says even his face is sore from having so much fun yesterday.” I know how he feels.

Love the Paris motif in Mau’s crowded and fascinating garage workshop.

Later we drove to Woodstock to stay at a Holiday Inn with a pool; after a full day of activity, the boys spent another hour diving and splashing, and then, the best game of all, trampolining on the two queen beds, flinging themselves from one to the other, and piling all the pillows on the floor and jumping onto them. They did eventually sleep, I think.

Today my brother Mike and his son Jake are in town from Ottawa and coming for dinner with Anna and the boys. Though he’s double vaxxed, Sam isn’t well with symptoms that sound suspiciously Covid-like. Let’s pray not. 

Yesterday, a huge treat: I was again invited to a book club that had read Loose Woman. Six great readers with many good questions and thoughts – we talked for hours. What pleasure for a writer, who works in isolation, to make contact with an audience. One said, “This story of a woman’s journey – I could relate to all of it.” The hostess wrote this morning, Thank-you so much for sharing yourself with us last night – your wisdom, your humour and your humanity overflowed. 

Very kind; many thanks. And they bought a bunch of books! Another reader sent me the review she posted on Amazon: Nostalgic, touching and often humorous memoir of a talented, yet self-doubting, actress finding her way at the height of the woman’s lib era. Great evocation of the 70s … Made me laugh, cry and want to punch some of her men friends in the face … Just a great read! 

On another note, I and other bloggers have been scolded by a fellow blog writer for focussing on petty things like gardens and television programs rather than the disaster in Afghanistan and other world issues. 

So yes, all this is totally self-serving as half the world burns, the other half floods, and murderous lunatics take over as Covid variants prowl. Believe me, I’m aware the world is falling apart. I fear in my bones for our planet. But what good does it do to wring my hands here? 

The garden is a symbol of hope and beauty and constantly renewed life. Great TV, films, and books prove that creative people are still doing what they do, despite all. More hope. We need hope right now. I do, at least. 

Here in the peaceable land of the very lucky and grateful, the birds are at the feeder and I’m cooking for company. Onward.

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2 Responses to “Ingersoll visit, book club heaven”

  1. Ellen Foster says:

    Less than a week ago a few of your blog readers (fans) and I were discussing how much we enjoy your blog for the beauty of the words and thoughts, the spirit of kindness that always radiates, the optimism and the gentle, reasonable, and positive approach to life. Even when you discuss more serious personal matters (e.g., your recent health challenges, your friend Patsy, your worries for the well-being of those you love), you do so with warmth, honesty and courage, and from that we all learn and grow. I follow, and am grateful for, your suggestions on books that you recommend, for the music you discuss, and for the films/documentaries/tv shows that you discuss. For all world issues I rely on mainstream news, but am interested in other's opinions when discussed. Your blog is a gentle joy and I thank you for that.

  2. beth says:

    What a huge pleasure to read this, Ellen! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. On occasion I've wondered about continuing the blog, which takes hours of my time, or whether I should be doing something more practical, more guaranteed to drive readership to my books or whatever the marketing people recommend. But as a lifelong diarist, I love blogging, and every so often, readers let me know what it means to them. So again, thank you for your encouragement and support.

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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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