My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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departure imminent – will she get there?

As always, before going on a trip, I’m going nuts. Got up at 3.30 a.m. to email my new collaborators Nishat, my 20-year old tech assistant, and Ron, my 88-year old mentor. Nishat came Sunday with her ring light to tape a video of me talking about the book, which we’re going to send to book clubs. 

But even with the script on a music stand nearby, I couldn’t remember bits of the five minute speech and kept blanking. Nishat said she could edit out the blanks and cobble it together, but when I saw it, I thought it looked pretty bad and we should redo it when I get back. After sleepless hours, I got up to tell them so. We’re going to decide what to do before tonight.

And for a tiny bit more stress, my downstairs tenant is moving out next week and another short term tenant will move in while I’m away, so I’m arranging for cleaning, greeting, key exchange etc.

It’s raining, which is good as it’s getting me ready for the Wet Coast. I’m wearing my red rainboots on the plane because they’re so heavy, only I saw yesterday they have a split, now repaired with duct tape. I will cut an elegant figure in sweatpants and duct-taped rainboots, no question. 90% chance of rain in Vancouver Tuesday and Wednesday. Of course! 

On a happy note, I received the design proof of the essay on Alice Neel going into The New Quarterly in November. It’s gorgeous. I sent it to a few friends, and here’s what they said: Lynn: Honestly, this is amongst the best you have ever written. 

From Abigail: Oh, Beth, what a wonderful essay. Now I’m jealous of that life! How thrilling to have been Alice Neel, and in those days. It’s really just wonderful, and I love how your father shines through everything. Thank you for letting me read it. 

Abigail finished, You sure can write. Which means more to me than I can say. Especially as I run around today feeling guilty that I blew the taping.

My longterm student Bill, a very funny Irish curmudgeon, has a piece in the Globe today that I edited. He was concerned it would come across as sexist. I said, Yes it’s sexist, but it’s also funny and true. He has 74 comments so far, some from appreciative laughing husbands, and others, from scornful wives. Understandable, but as someone pointed out, It’s humour!

Last night, dinner with Anne-Marie whose sister Chrissie is visiting from England, and new friends Emil Sher the writer and his wife Kathy; Emil, Kathy, and I have so many friends in common, it felt like we’d known each other forever. Food, wine, great company on a dark rainy night – blessings. 

Anna and the boys are on their way home from Nova Scotia; I’ll just miss them. They’ve had a magical time. 

We will all go back together next summer, which means I’ll be running around then getting everything done. Always worth it, once I’ve managed to drag myself out of this chair and the house. Here’s part of the list: furnace, plants, garden, fridge, papers, toes, recycling, garbage, money for cleaner, birds, print, dishwasher, make lunch for plane. And this is with Robin on the top floor keeping the house going – watering, mail, deliveries. Etc. 

I walked by the Beach last night on the way to Annie’s, the lake dissolved into mist. Soon I will be in the land of the big trees. Talk to you soon, from B.C. At least, that’s the plan. Or as other friends might say: God willing. 



2 Responses to “departure imminent – will she get there?”

  1. Kerry says:

    Happy travels, Beth!! xo

  2. beth says:

    Thanks, Kerry! I'm here, the clouds are low, the seagulls are shrieking, and the rain will start soon. Heaven!

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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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