The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Ohhhh!! So Close!!

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My dumb luck – the day that Nat’s gone and I’ve got television all to myself – there’s nothing on! Well, nothing that peaks my interest. So as Tom and Nat were nestled in their seats at the ACC Centre cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs in their 2-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning, I’m at home nestled in my easy chair surfing television stations looking for something to keep my brain occupied from the fact that I’m home alone for the first time in this little house, in this little village, far from any family. After tearing myself away from the office getting caught up on some work, I wandered into the kitchen to see what I could wrestle up for supper. Knowing that I had the van sitting in the garage and could probably go anywhere I wanted to, I decided it was just too miserable out (rained all day) to leave the comfort of my home and fixed myself some homemade french fries, a chicken sandwich and sat in front of the television to watch the news. As I settled in for the night, I was starting to hear every little bang, creek, slam, bonk and squeak this house could make and beginning to think I was becoming a nervous Nellie. My channel surfing wasn’t successful and so I decided to watch some shows I had recorded and knowing that Nat would never be interested in the same, this was the perfect time to view them.

I’m sure everyone will agree that when you’re home alone and you have close access to a refrigerator and a remote control, the night could be filled with all kinds of goodies. You sit, you watch a little, you wander to the fridge and grab a chocolate bar or popsicle, you sit some more, you wander back to the fridge, you sit some more and so on. Suddenly you’re feeling like a yo-yo and keep telling yourself this whole process isn’t really good for you, but you figure what the hell and continue on. Afterall, you’re home alone, there’s no one around to give you that look as if to say “do you really think you need that?” and you go for it. He’s got his night and I’ve got mine!!

I peeked into the hockey game in between my recorded shows and next thing you know the score was 3-2 in favour of the Leafs. I’m now thinking this could be a close game and I was certain the two boys were enjoying the festivities. It wasn’t soon after that when I returned to the game to watch the final minutes, when Tampa Bay tied the game with less than a minute to go. Ohhhhhh, so close!!! The game was now going into overtime and I knew Nat and Tom would be at the edge of their seats – well, at least Nat would be as he’s a major fan and is praying hard that his team can pull one out of the hat. It’s been awhile and like all true Leaf fans, they’re on bended knee praying this is going to be their year. A new young team, a great coach and manager and a lot of promise in the beginning. Well, this wasn’t going to be the night. Tampa Bay scored the winning goal in overtime and you could see the look of disappointment in the team as they left the ice and headed for the dressing room.

I continued on with my evening once the game was finished and tried as hard as I could to stay awake while watching the evening news. Nat would probably walk in the door close to midnight or shortly thereafter, but I couldn’t make it. I meandered into the bedroom and (my usual night time habit) turned on the iPad to play a game of solitaire before my head hit the pillow. Nat walked in the door just as I was about to turn out the lights shortly thereafter. He was a bit tired – it had been a long day – and he’d share the details with me in the morning. You could still see the smile in his eyes – he had a great time despite the loss.

This morning Nat was still a bit tired, but you could tell he had a wonderful afternoon and evening. Tom had taken him to the Harbourfront restaurant for supper and then they walked over to the ACC shortly afterward. They were a bit early for the opening at 6:00 pm and while waiting for the doors to open he could see where the broadcasting was done by Nick Kiprios and his fellow reporters for TSN. Nat said he also spotted his favourite broadcaster, Joe Bowen, and could now envision the set-up for half-time. It had somehow become real for him to actually see these guys and the whole television set-up. The two boys enjoyed their time together and Nat remarked he’d gotten to know his son-in-law a bit better, which is what I was kind of hoping for. With their active lives, Tom, Susan and their two girls aren’t seen by us very often, so this was one of those days where it was quality time between the two men, with a good hockey game as their bond.

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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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