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Two big yesses

Before I recap the past, just have to tell you that today has been full of gifts. It’s a gorgeous day, first. At my usual Wednesday Y class I was surrounded by folks who’ve been taking the class for decades, just like old times. At home, I found a beloved ring, missing for months, I thought had been lost or even stolen; may never take it off. Then, an essay I’d sent to Queen’s Quarterly was accepted. The editor wrote, “A story of family, connections and even futility, it articulates elements to which anyone can relate. It is also very well crafted.” It won’t run till fall 2023, but it has a home. 

Inspired by this, I found an essay I’d sent out in August and re-sent it to the Brevity blog. Brevity is an American online magazine for nonfiction only; the blog is for short pieces about the craft of writing. An hour (!) later, I received this: Wonderful, fresh, gripping, helpful piece with a dynamo takeaway. 

They’ll let me know when it’ll appear. I’d felt down, with so many essays and my essay book out for consideration and not a word back, except one No. Two acceptances in one day is certainly a boost. 

Okay, back to the past: Did I write a little too much about NYC? Will this woman ever shut up? In the end, I was glad I went, to get out of my comfort zone, though Ted’s apartment is hardly an uncomfortable zone. I always find NYC overwhelming, but this time – I guess the heatwave and the lack of travel for 3 years beforehand – it was much more so. However, I loved seeing my cousin and his husband, loved Matisse, the Frick, the Park, the street fest, the French pants 2/3 off. And then there was Sam, the cabbie who drove me in from La Guardia. We chatted, and when we got to Ted’s he offered to come get me Sunday to drive to the Newark airport. I was hesitant but decided to trust him, and it was wonderful! Usually, I’ve had to figure out complex schedules and routes and get the subway to the bus or the train. This time, there he was at the door. Since I’d spent almost no money on anything else, I spent money on Sam, the courteous Egyptian. If you’re going to NYC and want a driver, I’ve got his number; get in touch.

OVERJOYED, as always, to be home. My friend had misunderstood my request and hadn’t watered, so the garden had been four days in great heat with no water. But survived. I went right out again to the concert ending the Cabbagetown Festival, the big band I’d loved last week, playing to crowds on the street. They played God Save the King, and everyone stood up. 

Monday I went across town to spend the afternoon with Anna and the boys. We went to their favourite sushi restaurant that had had to shut down after a fire. This is on the wall. 

My friend Big Anna from Stratford arrived Sunday to stay for two nights, and on Monday night we attended a Zoom lecture together: the indefatigable, incredibly erudite Margaret McMillan talking about war. Stupendous, to sit in the living room and be inundated with her brilliant insights. 

Last night, a big dinner for one of my oldest friends, Jessica, her husband Geoffrey, and writer David McFarlane. It was a last night in Toronto for J and G, who are moving to Montreal. Cooked, cleaned, and gardened all day, but it was worth it – we had hors d’oeuvres in the pruned and swept garden, and the dinner was pretty damn good if I say so myself, with lots from the garden. 

So the ring is on my finger, two essays have found a home, there are leftovers in the fridge, and the garden thrives, for mid-September. Lucky and grateful. It’s definitely fall, though. 

Was at the Parliament Street library today, glad to see this grand event being publicized. 

Be there or be square. 

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4 Responses to “Two big yesses”

  1. Anonymous says:

    ??

    N-n

  2. beth says:

    Right back at ya, N-n.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful news about ring, acceptances, dinner with friends, lovely life in all its nuances and colour…
    Theresa

  4. beth says:

    It's good to be home, Theresa!

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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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