My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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celebrating: Jerri’s life, autumn, new phone, family

Gloomy and wet today; fall is here in full force. All the wintering-over plants are inside, dropping their leaves and begging for water. Everything is shutting down. Several friends are sick with colds. And this neighbourhood is littered with severed plastic hands and legs and heads, ghouls, monsters, giant spiders. They go big for Hallowe’en around here.

On Sunday I went to a wake for friend and neighbour Jerri Johnson; our children were exactly the same age and went through school together. Jerri was a phenomenally lively and energetic single mother, artist, and art teacher. All I know about her sudden death was that she had a “heart condition” but seemed in fine shape when she dropped dead of a massive heart attack last week. People gathered at her bright Cabbagetown home to remember her, how much she loved colour and fun, how much she gave to the ‘hood, her students and family. Her children are devastated. I barely recognized Jesse, her son, who’s now a man with a moustache. Sienna looks exactly the same as she did in childhood. They have children of their own. 

I guess we can’t say Carpe Diem enough times, can we?

And then I came back home to be surrounded by my family; we were celebrating Thanksgiving and Thomas’s birthday with a big feast, also attended by our non-blood family members Anne-Marie, Holly, and Nicole. Ben made us all laugh, over and over. I could not have been more glad that my own heart, so far, has held out.

Meant to post this shot from my visit to Anna’s earlier in the week: her special laundry, the kids’ masks for the week. Covid motherhood.

On Friday I decided I’d had enough of my failing iPhone 6, ancient at – what – six or seven years old. I called Rogers and arranged for a new phone, and the next day a technician appeared at my door with the phone and did all the transferring. I don’t understand how he put my old phone and my new phone side by side but unconnected physically, and in half an hour, everything from one had migrated into the other, including thousands of photos. Then, of course, Apple hit me with all the extras, the case, the screen cover, and the new plug, because of course the old plug does not fit. Brilliant. 

Here I’m testing the portrait feature, which blurs the background. The nice young Rogers man is actually studying police procedure. 

I had a ‘no’ from the NYT Modern Love section, for an essay that means a great deal to me. Sigh. But my good new friend Abigail Thomas wrote, Your book is wonderful, I began it today, you are a terrific writer, Beth. I am so impressed. And what a life. God.  I LOVED the prologue. 

Music music music to my ears. She sent me a recent essay of hers, I sent back a few editorial comments, and eventually she made the changes and wrote that she was grateful. Perhaps I should stop writing and just edit.

This came up in my FB feed today from a few years ago, and I’m posting it again. Because Roz Chast is a genius. None better. Makes me laugh until the tears come. 

Sad. But true. 



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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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