The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

The Calm Before The Storm?

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After a somewhat busy Thanksgiving weekend, the past seven days have been kind of boring. We’ve managed to wile away the hours somehow and for the life of me I couldn’t begin to tell you what we did most days. I do know that Nat has been raking leaves as if he was in the “Twilight Zone” – for every leaf he raked another one fell behind him!! I swear the gigantic oak tree that is the cause of this agony is growing back a leaf for every one it sheds!!! It reminds me of that one particular story where Burgess Meredith, an avid book reader, was the only survivor after an atom bomb attack. At the end of the story he was perched on a mountain load of books but his glasses were broke!!!! Angry, frustrated and irritated he sat on that mound of books with his chin in his hands feeling completely helpless – and that’s about how I picture Nat raking those never-ending leaves. Not quite a perfect analogy – but I know what I mean!!!

So needless to say we’ve had bags and bags and bags of leaves sitting at the end of our drive on a weekly basis for pick-up. For once in his life I’m sure Nat is anxious to see any kind of snow fall right about now. This never-ending job will last awhile yet, as a good majority of the trees around our lot haven’t even thought about falling yet!!

The balance of each day has been filled by doing small errands, any excuse to get out of the house, along with the usual housekeeping chores. By Friday we went further afield and gave our former neighbours and friends from St. Catharines a visit. As usual, it was great fun and good laughs. Come Sunday we decided to take another drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake and it turned out to be such a perfect, perfect Fall day we were ever so glad we went. The parkway was a photographer’s dream – every tree dressed in its Fall finery, lining the Niagara River shoreline and strewn all about the lawns of those big, huge, expensive manor houses and estates that Nat and I can only dream about. Even looking across the river at Buffalo you could see nothing but tall skyscrapers peaking out above the Fall foliage.

The little town was busy with tourists, as usual, even though many more than we had expected. We managed to meander in, around and inbetween everyone after finding a parking spot a couple blocks down from the main street. Despite the fact that we pay a little extra, we still stop in at the Scottish Loft for our biscuits and chocolate. I can never get enough of that Cadbury imported chocolate. It just tastes richer and purer than its American counterpart. Plus this seems to be one of the few shops around that still sells Nat’s favourite biscuits – McVities – so we try and stock up whenever we find them. So after our final stop to check out some possible gift ideas, we headed back home feeling a little more refreshed and invigorated.

The lull before the storm has begun. We’re now in the throws of waiting for the next big event – Christmas. We’ve already had a request for our Christmas lists from the kids so they can work things into their budgets. This is something we now struggle with every year – there’s nothing that we really want or need that either child could afford to give us. It has now come down to doodads, thing-a-ma-jigs and whatnots for the house. All those items that only you know what you need, couldn’t begin to explain to any outsider what they were or where to find them, along with bigger ticket items that only you could pick out. Hopefully we’ll start the renovations on the bathroom and there’s no way in hell I’m putting a toilet, sink and tub surround on a Christmas list. It’s not exactly what every woman wants, especially me!!! We’ve also been on the lookout for new side tables for the bedroom, along with new drapes for the living room. So what we end up putting on our lists will be a surprise to all of us – and our brains for even thinking of anything!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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