The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

The Excitement’s Now At A Fever Pitch

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This past Wednesday was Nat’s last golf game, and despite the rainy day in Ridgeway it seemed Queenston escaped with just a drizzle. With a somewhat iffy game under his belt Nat’s “official” golf season is over. Much to his chagrin the year went too fast, but hopefully he and his golfing buddy will get in a few games before the snow flies. I’m hoping they will, too, as I get into my little routine of playing in the office – listening to podcasts, doing little projects and even watch a movie now and again. By mid-winter I start to miss those quiet afternoons – no offence to my dear, dear loving hubby!! I’m sure he’ll agree, as he too starts to miss getting outdoors, even if it’s working in the yard. So we’ll take it day-by-day and see how long it takes before we both go stir crazy!!

With the golf games now being few and far between, I decided to have Nat take on a project for the house. I’ve seen those square empty frames in stores and catalogues that you can hang on a wall and display candles, whatnots and knick knacks – otherwise more clutter to dust. I felt that I could save some money and have Nat build me a few so I drew out the sizes I wanted and showed my carpenter. He took on the task lovingly but soon discovered that he’d not been working in his workshop for a few years and things were getting a little rusty – not only his tools, but him too!! After purchasing the wood he felt was needed he set himself up to the task at hand and I didn’t see him for practically a whole day. Now and again he’d pop his head in the door and ask a couple of questions – is this really the size you wanted, is it okay if I assemble the frames this way, what colour do you want them painted, etc. Every now and again I’d hear the router whirling away, the sander buzzing and the shop vac trying to keep up with the dust and wood chips that I’m sure were now flying all around the garage. Once completed, but not yet painted, I was really pleased with the results. Despite the fact Nat was a bit rusty and had to remind himself of how to do a couple of things, he came through in spades. We decided to go with white for a colour as the frames will hang on the bedroom walls and we didn’t want to get into trying to match stain colours with our dressers. White would also compliment the pictures I had framed to go along with the whole arrangement. All five of Nat’s beautiful frames are now drying in the garage and I can’t wait to get them up and organized.

After the frames were done Nat soon found a few outdoor projects to do while the weather was perfect – washing the house of spiders and their webs, clearing away leaves and debris from the patio and just generally getting organized for the Fall and Winter. Being reminded that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I decided to get some baking done in order to be prepared. We had also decided to get groceries a day earlier than usual, so we headed into Niagara Falls for a change of pace. Now and again we like to shop at the Zehr’s in the Falls because of their larger selection and variety from our littler Valu-Mart here in Ridgeway. It was also nice to have a change of scenery and take our time, even though the list of items actually needed was small. “Actually” is the operative work there, as we all know that other little surprises just happen to fall into you basket!! Once home and groceries unpacked the rest of the afternoon was spent quietly – me working on next month’s budget and Nat reading on the patio.

By Sunday morning Nat and I were pretty much tired of hanging around the house. We both knew we had to do something or go somewhere outside of the house, so we decided to take a drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake and walk about the quaint shops, restaurants and bakeries. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Fall day and as we drove into Town it seems the rest of the world had the very same idea and at the very same time. The streets were lined with cars of every size, make and model, while every one of their passengers meandered up and down the sidewalks and in and out of every shop in Town. As the Gods seemed to be with us that day, a parking spot was found on the street and we were able to make our way along the streets joining the throngs of tourists, cameras and babies in hand, enjoying the sights and fabulous smells as you passed by each shop. After trying to squeeze our way through a couple of stores that I like to look at, we were soon discouraged by the number of people that could actually fit inside one of those small buildings and left the same way we entered. We made our way down to the hat shop where Nat had looked previously and was told to come back in the Fall for his beloved cap that he’s been searching for. One of the clerks had re-assured us that his size and colour would probably be in with the Fall inventory and she was right. After wading through more hordes of people trying on every hat in the place, hogging every available mirror and turning to their spouses and asking “So, whatta think?”, we soon found exactly what Nat was looking for. Naturally he was reluctant to spend the money right now, but  he’d been looking for so long, what he wanted was found and the weather was soon going to turn and he’d need that little cap on his noggin to keep warm. So without any more hesitation I veered his little body up to the counter and we checked out. Whew, it was starting to get a little warm in there – all that body heat, and all those men trying on the latest hats being warn by the latest and greatest rock stars and singers of the day. For once, it’s a nice trend to see men wearing hats again!

We finally headed back down to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop for my candy apple (another store a cat couldn’t move in) where I kind of butted in (they were taking their bloody time trying to decide!) as I knew exactly what I wanted and had money in hand. Taking a nice leisurely stroll back to the van, enjoying the perfect weather as much as possible, we then headed home along the escarpment to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. A nice way to end the week, albeit a very boring and quiet one, but then we don’t want the excitement to get to such a feverish pitch as we wouldn’t be able to handle it, and everyone knows that people our age can only handle one big thing a day.

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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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