The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

The Twigs, The Trees, The Neighbours & Me

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In anticipation of our forthcoming BBQ on Sunday to welcome visiting relatives from Britain, Nat and I have been cleaning up the back yard. He’s been cleaning up the border area around the stream and landscaping some of it to a degree. Makin’ it all pretty like!!! We also purchased some hanging baskets for along the fence. We had wave petunias hanging there last year, but decided on a change and, on the advice of a local garden centre, bought something a little different. Not being a gardener, the name escapes me, but they’re in full bloom and look quite decorative. Nat’s happy and that’s all I need to know!

After hanging our baskets, Nat took the time to feed the other plants and shrubs around the yard while I decided to cut back some over-hanging branches on the bridge. While doing so, I soon discovered that one of the trees alongside the little bridge had dropped a huge branch which now obstructed the passageway over the bridge. You could wiggle and jiggle this huge branch and as I was in the mood, I just kept cutting and trimming back as much as I could. With a lot of dead branches and other debris that blew around the area during that last storm, I was kept busy for quite some time. As I kept cutting I had to venture further across the bridge to our neighbour’s yard on the opposite side of the stream. I called over to Nat to have him check out the fallen branch, when he soon discovered another tree that had been snapped and partially severed in that last storm. This thing looked like it could go down with a thud at any given moment, landing across the little bridge and possibly onto our back yard. The size of the tree also looked like it could do some pretty good damage. We were both a little perplexed as to what to do. Not having met our new neighbours yet, despite the fact it’s been over a year now, we hesitated. I knew we had to say something as the tree was technically on their side and it was only fair to let them know what was going on. I also knew I’d have to get in touch with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority because the stream is within their jurisdiction – it’s apparently in their “screening area”, whatever the hell that means. From what I understand anyone wanting to change or infringe on that area has to consult with the NPCR and get their permission before proceeding.

We both wandered across to our neighbour’s and met the lady of the house. She seems really nice and was more than willing to let her husband know what was going on once he arrived home from work. She even thought maybe he could cut the thing down. That would be nice!! If we had to cut it down before it fell, we’d have no idea where to put all of that wood. We’d probably have to call our little tree cutter down the road and have him deal with it, which I suppose in the long run would be the easiest route. After that I tried to call the NPCA but the person I needed to speak to wasn’t available. So we’ll have to wait and see what he says. It would be really, really nice if the NPCA would cut it down, but I can only assume that they’re going to leave that little chore up to us and our neighbours.

Once I had done as much trimming as I could, and leaving a pretty good pile lying in the middle of the bridge, I enlisted Nat’s help to dump the wheelbarrow full of twigs, small tree branches and other debris. Naturally I had cut back more than I had anticipated, but at least now you could see across the bridge to the other side. It was also a great excuse to finally meet the new neighbours (well, the wife, at this point), their two dogs and 2-year old son whom I assume woke up when the dogs first noticed us in their yard and began to bark profusely!!

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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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