The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Hot Day, Cold Food And Great Fun

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With the weather these past few days being a little “iffy”, Nat and I awoke Sunday morning not too sure what to expect. We were hosting about 16 family members that afternoon and the morning was looking as if it could possibly drop a few showers on our heads. However, as the day wore on the sun came out and dried up the dewy-soaked lawn. It soon became apparent that the ensuing afternoon was going to be humid. No complaints, though, as it could have gone the other way!! We soldiered on, setting up a few lawn chairs, the patio table and umbrella, along with getting certain food items ready. I had cooked a turkey the day before while Nat was playing golf and then had him carve up the pieces for the get-together, while I made a pasta salad. Other family members were going to contribute dishes which helped immensely and the dining room table was soon ready and waiting for the goodies to arrive.

Bonnie was first on the scene and we had a nice quiet visit before the rest arrived. It wasn’t long thereafter for the table to be full of good food from family contributors – turkey, ham, rolls and homemade bread, pasta and potato salads, devilled eggs, and even Daryl’s special salad that’s always a hit wherever he goes. The little party was in honour of our cousins, Terry and Wendy, from “across the pond” (that’s England, for those that are too young to know that little phrase!), and the whole afternoon was filled with chitter chatter and laughter covering every topic we could think of. Because of the lack of shade in the back yard, we all huddled under the perimeter shrubs and trees that did provide some relief from the sun, and as the afternoon turned into early evening things were a bit more comfortable. We ended up indoors to enjoy coffee and dessert in more comfortable surroundings. Everyone had to fend for themselves in finding seating, and Nat and I can only assume that they all found somewhere to rest and enjoy the finalities. Bonnie then soon gathered everyone around our fireplace and it was “group photo” time. As with all things in our family it took some doing to get everyone in place, in a good photographic order, but we soon stepped into line and the picture was snapped. Bonnie will have to “photoshop” in Tim (Liz’s loving companion), who took the initial picture but being the clever photographer that she is, I know she’ll get him worked into the whole scene somehow and we’ll all have a nice memory of the day.

As with all things good, they soon have to come to an end. Liz and Tim soon hopped on their motorcycles shortly after dessert so they could enjoy a good ride before the day ended, followed by the Irwin’s, Michele and Claudia so as to relieve Darby from babysitting Zach and Zoe. With that, the rest of the gang sat around the living room and talked until 10:30 or so. It was also nice getting Bonnie, Gail, Wendy and even Terry’s opinions on the new plagues Nat and I had purchased for each side of the fireplace. We were wondering how they looked through others’ eyes and it was soon evident that we were going into the Outlet Mall in Niagara Falls to purchase a couple more. From the feedback we received, our instincts were right but just fell short of a couple more plagues to fill a small void. Works for me – I’m always willing to spend a couple extra bucks to pretty up the place!!

With a short clean-up (leaving the rest ’til Monday morning), Nat and I watched a bit of the news and soon retired. Despite the fact that it was a great day, we were both zonked. We were pleased, however, that it had worked out for the two of us. A little prep work the day before and getting things organized, along with serving cold dishes and having contributors, we were both able to enjoy our company and the afternoon.

Monday morning saw us both puttering around cleaning up what was left. Once finished, I put a load of laundry in – my dish towels were depleted – and Nat washed the van before the humidity reached too high a temperature to bear. The afternoon saw us both sitting on the back patio working the crossword, reading and enjoying a drink. While sitting out, we soon heard the sounds of a buzz saw coming from the little bridge that crosses the stream. Bless his heart, our newer neighbour was in the throws of cutting down the part tree that fell onto the bridge and the other tree that was about to. Nat and I both walked over to finally introduce ourselves and thank him for his efforts. Nick, Julie and their two-year old son all seem really nice and it looks like we lucked out again in the “neighbour” department. Each and every one of our neighbours are wonderful, friendly and quiet. Another reason why small communities offer so much more!!

When things quieted down, Nat and returned to the deck and soon spotted another Iris growing at the bottom of the garden. This one was in a different spot than the one that sprung up last summer, and it also had a couple of buds on it. I grabbed my camera, which was dusted off but never used for Sunday’s get-together, and snapped away. There was one great and funny surprise once I had finished and was about to add my pictures to my iMac. As soon as I opened up iPhoto, I cracked right up with laughter. My very funny and dry-humoured brother-in-law, Daryl, had taken his picture with the iSight camera on the computer. There he was in all his glory, wearing his straw hat and sprouting his infamous smile!! So, it’s with no regrets and I hope without offending Daryl, that I’m including his picture, along with a couple Iris pics. Thanks, Daryl!! You can make me laugh anytime!!!

What To My Surprise!!

A Beautiful Surprise

A Bloom to Behold

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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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