The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Ma Bell Is Gone, But The Community Spirit Lives On

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This whole week has been relatively quiet. We attempted to go to one of Lucas’ baseball games on Tuesday, but Nat had been sick that morning. We made an attempt to drive to the game but upon arrival we knew we had to turn around and go home.  We’d make a second attempt for his game on Thursday.

Nat’s thumb is still giving him grief. He’s been to his family doctor who advises that his trigger finger (thumb) needs a bit of exercise now and again, and he’ll re-assess it in a couple of weeks to see if surgery is actually required. Here’s hoping not!!

Wednesday morning arrived and so to did the rains. Nat’s usual game was rained out and the poor guy was lost the rest of the day. Too wet for outside, too boring in. As my usual Wednesday afternoon is spent in the office, Nat said to continue on, and so I did, but with pangs of guilt as he sat in the living room pondering his thoughts. Somehow we made it through the day and Nat enjoyed watching the Stanley Cup finals between Chicago and Philadelphia that evening. Despite the Toronto Maple Leafs not being in the game, he was glad to see the Chicago Black Hawks win. He’s never been a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers – something about Bobby Clark that he’s never liked.

After Nat returned from his Doctor’s appointment Thursday morning, we wandered around Rosehill Auctions in the P.M. We both had to get out and do something. The week’s been long and a bit boring. Once we returned home I grabbed my book and Nat his newspaper and we enjoyed the afternoon breeze on the back patio. I guess boring ain’t so bad after all.

Friday morning saw our Cogeco technician arrive. We finally took the plunge and converted to a cable phone. Ma Bell is now a thing of the past in our house. We’ve got cable TV, cable phone, cable internet service and have also cancelled our Bell Mobility (Cell phone) account. We couldn’t justify the cost of a cell phone that was only getting used a few times a year, so we gave it up. We also knew we could save a few bucks every month converting to a cable phone and the decision was made. Plus a bonus feature – Cogeco would increase our internet high speed – so couldn’t complain about that, could I??

Saturday morning we were off to Niagara Falls for groceries and the heat was intense. We knew we were in for a scorcher and made our plans accordingly. With the hockey over and the usual Saturday night TV not to our liking we decided to rent a movie. We’ve been keeping an eye out for Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges as a country singer, and each time we looked in our little video rental shop it wasn’t available. Today we decided to drop by on our way home from the Falls but the shop was closed. Hmmm – kind of strange as we knew he opened by 11:00 AM. So we went home and decided to give him a call. After putting away our groceries I gave the shop a call but no answer. Nat then decided to drive down to the shop thinking enough time had elapsed and he’d be open. Nope! Nat returned home and we were both puzzled. With that, Nat decided to head outdoors to water the plants before Mother Nature made them think they were in the dessert (the heat was now getting unbearable), and as he was putting on his working shoes, the phone rang. It was our little movie rental guy down the street. He had seen from his Call Display that we had called and he said he saw the Van drive up to the shop. He had been out back helping to unload a truck and thought he’d give us a call to see what we wanted. Sure enough, he had the movie we wanted and would hold it until Nat could return. Nat grabbed his keys and wallet and headed back down the road. We’ve only been to this young man’s shop a few times and it was awfully nice that he had the courtesy to call us back. His shop is small, his movie supply limited, but we always manage to find something to watch and fulfil some pretty quiet evenings. He’s always amenable, friendly and helpful and will try his best to find what you’re looking for. This is what I call community spirit and is one of the reasons why Nat and I love living in Ridgeway. You’d never get that kind of service in the big city – too busy, too pre-occupied and couldn’t care less as there’s always another customer behind you.

On another subject – I’ve been in the process of having my Blog published. Having had great success with Mom and Dad’s love letters a couple of years back, I knew having my Blog printed would be a cinch. Mom and Dad’s love letters took over a year to do – scanning in each letter, designing the cover, uploading the whole works to Lulu.com and then going through the editing process. It was time consuming and yet extremely satisfying. I had accomplished something I thought would never be possible, along with completing a project that will hopefully become a (Rouse) family heirloom for generations to come. The expressions on the faces of each sister that Christmas was more satisfying than I could have imagined. I now felt that having my Blog published would give me the opportunity to reread them only in book form which would make it a bit easier than on a computer screen. I’m also hoping that long after I’m gone my grandchildren will enjoy reading them and have a smile or a laugh. Nat and I hardly get to see Karly, Lucas, Felicia and Bridget because of their social activities, sporting events and other family activities and we both miss seeing them. Now that I’m in my ‘later’ years I have regrets about not talking to my parents or grandparents and hearing stories about their lives. While growing up I’d hear a story or two, but like all teenagers I had other things to do and so missed out on a lot of family history. Some stories have been handed down as remembered by my sisters and brother, but I’m sure we all missed a lot more than we realize. There are certain things in life that are unavoidable besides “Death and Taxes” – and that’s growing old and maturing. When each of us gets to that mature stage in life, we all begin to remember the past, tell stories, and worst of all, say to our kids or grandkids “when I was your age …”. My parents did it, my friends’ parents did it and I’m sure the parents’ next door will do it, if not now then later.

As I stated above, publishing my Blog is turning out to be a cinch. I’ve kept copies of each posting on my computer so it’s only a matter of uploading a year’s worth, picking out a pre-designed cover and boom – I’m done. The first year of 2007 has been completed and arrived in the mail this week. I was tickled to death – to be a little egotistical about it – and immediately began to breeze through a few entries. Even Nat enjoyed reading an entry or two and being reminded of certain events while living in St. Catharines. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s my personal journal and I’m glad I did it. I’m now in the process of completing 2008 and 2009.

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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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