The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

If We Plant Them, They Will Grow

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Sunday afternoon was spent at the Irwins’. One of our nephews, Tyler, has landed a job at Disney World for a year, starting in June, and the family wanted to give him a bit of a send off, along with a small gift for his last year at Queen’s University. With the extra bonus of relatives from Britain being in town and attending the festivities, we were kept busy with good food and various chit chat and laughs.

With the sun still hiding deep below the horizon Monday morn, I spent the night in the bathroom throwing up and being sick. Nothing against the great meal I had Sunday afternoon, I can only blame it on the fact that roast beef is no longer my friend. Having had a great roast beef dinner at another establishment and having experienced the same reaction, the conclusion has now been confirmed. Damn!!!! Being one of six daughters of a good Canadian farm lad, roast beef and mashed potatoes was a staple Sunday dinner at our house. But with time passing on, this old body has been unable to maintain it’s old habits! After marrying the love of my life and, after my transplant, my eating habits have also changed – hopefully for the better. Fish, chicken and the odd pork tenderloin accompanied by some tasty stir-fried veggies, the odd roasted, mashed or fried potato, have become the norm. Extremely tasty and my stomach stays calm.

With the sun finally breaking through Monday morning Nat began distributing 4 yards of garden soil that had just been delivered, around the three garden areas of our house. Wanting to get the gardens done before proceeding with the new shed, he knew this tiresome chore had to be done before we could even buy the perennials we wanted. As for me, I was exhausted after a sleepless night and spent most of the day drifting in and out of sleep. No ambition but loads of guilt as I watched Nat wander by the windows now and again toting a wheelbarrow full of dirt! Afterwards the poor man was extremely hot (the most humid day of the year) and exhausted. Finally done, he downed a bottle of ice-cold water, took a shower and joined me as we snoozed together. Needless to say, our supper that night was boiled egg and toast. Too tired to be bothered with anything else.

Up with the birds Tuesday morning for my bi-monthly blood work and then off we went to the garden centre. Both feeling a bit better after that exhausting Monday, we knew we had to pick up some perennials sooner rather than later. Off to Stevensville Garden Centre we went with a fairly good idea of what we were shopping for. Nat pretty much knew in his mind what he wanted – plants that he’s dealt with before and were tried and true, along with being easy to care for and yet still decorative. We managed to find four good plants for the garden plot along the back fence and once home, Nat managed to get them planted fairly quick. The new soil would give the newbies a better chance than the clay soil that lay even further below and the fence with it’s hanging planters and decorative shrubs was now looking a bit more spruced up. We then both settled down under the umbrella on the back patio and gave some more thought as to what we’d buy for the front garden. Nat had a specific plant in mind and not being able to find it earlier that morning, we decided to take another day and look around other garden centres. That evening we both drove into Niagara Falls to watch Lucas play ball. Nat had attended one of his games last week while I stayed home and out of the extreme humidity. I was anxious to see Lucas play as neither Nat nor I see the kids very often. Their busy lives keep them active with their friends and school and whenever we do get a chance to see them we want to take it.

Wednesday morning saw us checking out a couple more garden centres, but not really finding what we wanted. We now had a fairly good idea of how to tackle the front garden and what perennials would look nice with what was already there. Still no luck we’d give it yet another day. Inbetween all of this gardening Nat’s been having troubles with his left thumb. Tender and sore whenever he moved it certain ways, along with springing back once he tried to bend it (a bit weird we both admitted), he knew it would have to be looked at. He’d try the little clinic down in Fort Erie in the morning to see if there was, in fact, something else going on besides just a possible bruising after shovelling all of that dirt Monday morning.

Down the road Nat went early Thursday to have his thumb checked out at the clinic, but alas, the clinic was closed for the day. Sorry, said the note on the door, so he drove home and would give it another try Friday morning. With the rest of the day being quiet we took the opportunity to relax and get caught up on other chores. The afternoon then saw us heading down to yet another garden centre and with much better luck, found exactly what we were looking for. After some discussion as to which variety to choose from, we headed home with 3 Spirea and 4 Hostas in hand. Nat then managed to get everything planted, sore thumb and all, but at least that task is now done. Our little gardens are now complete and hopefully healthy and colourful. He now admits that the time is drawing nigh that the shed laying in pieces in the garage will soon have to be assembled! This poor man is working his heart out to get this little new home of ours landscaped and organized. His hard work isn’t for nothing, as our little house is quickly becoming our beautiful castle!

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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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