The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

A Sobering Day

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Of late, the days have been long, the money non-existent and the mood around this house a “little testy”. With money being extremely tight, Nat and I have been trying to come up with creative ways to amuse ourselves. Most of the time that means we’re doing those chores around the house that needed doing but weren’t really that important. So with great abandon our little house is clean as a whistle and with the Spring thaw the yard is starting to shape up, too.

We’re now in that category where the “end of the month” means everything – our cheques are in!! Plus after a meeting of the minds with our investment guy, we’ve made a plan wherein the bathroom may, just may, start to get renovated. It’s in desperate need of being gutted and up-dated with everything from sink, toilet, tub, flooring and cabinetry, and we all know that those items can suck up money like a vacuum. It’s been well over twelve months since we’ve moved into this new old house and the bathroom has always been a major bone of contention.

On Saturday, after having our spirits lifted – the cheques were in! – we dusted ourselves off and decided to head into Hamilton to the new Lowes store. Having been there once and was somewhat impressed, Nat decided it was time I had a look around and we could both check out what they had via bathroom vanities and the like. The day was perfect weather-wise and the trip was nice. We made a good morning of it, got loads of ideas and had lunch on the way home. We were both impressed with the new store – neat, tidy, loaded with everything for your home, from tools and hardware to blenders and toasters, along with friendly staff.

Heading home we always like to take the “back roads” and, for us that means meandering down Highway No. 8 and catching up with No. 3 Highway via Victoria Avenue. Being Saturday the QEW gets a little hectic and we both like to avoid it at all costs, besides we enjoy the beautiful countryside that surrounds us. However, as we were approaching Port Colborne the signs started. A little sign here, a little sign there and then the larger signs as we drew closer to town. “Welcome Home to our Hero”, Cpl Tyler Crooks”, “Our Prayers are with Tyler and his family”. This brave man, who fought in a war Canada didn’t ask for, was coming home to be buried today and Nat and I soon had a sobering realization of how close  this was hitting.

We never knew the man nor his family, but suddenly as we slowly drove through that little hamlet you could feel the spirit of the townspeople all around. We love going to Port Colborne for our grandson’s baseball games and almost settled there – having only been outbid by another couple. Somehow we realized that this man’s life had an effect on everyone, including us as we were passing through and headed towards our own little hamlet. The staff at the drugstore, the librarian, the grocery clerks at our local supermarket, “Officer Bob” across the street and other neighbours have all come to know us – the newbies in town. We love it and wouldn’t trade it for all the world. The small town spirit is truly alive and well and to live it is to love it!! May you rest in peace, Tyler Crooks.

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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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