The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

The Time Is Getting Nigh

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Can hardly believe that it’s only a few weeks away before our trip to Britain and Scotland. Personally I’m very excited as I love the countryside, I love the food, I love the people, I love the long and winding roads, and did I mention I love the food! So it goes without saying that I’ve had to update my wardrobe just a tad. Only need a few things to spruce up what’s already in the closet, along with a few doodads for other stuff – iPad adapter for our digital cameras, spare SD cards, etc.

Bonnie and I took a trip to Mapleview Mall in Burlington on Monday and had a great time, as usual. We each managed to find a few bargains because of the summer sales and I’m pleased with what I found to hopefully make me look a little more spruced as I meander through the English and Scottish countryside taking pictures of sheep, highland cows, emerald green countryside and seaside landscapes. Yes, I’ll take a few pictures of family that we’ve not seen in a long time – especially the little ones that have all grown up and matured since we were there last. Really can’t wait to see those guys!! I’ve still got fond memories of “Young Michael” tagging alongside his Granddad as they headed to the pub while the rest of us went for groceries.

The tickets have now arrived and I’m slowly getting organized. Aside from a name mistake in our tickets, everything else has been going pretty smoothly. Even the ticket mistake only took a day to rectify so we were pleased about that. The fiddly stuff will come when we have to cancel newspapers, mail, arrange for the lawn to be cut, get haircuts, update family as to where we’ll be and so on. Not sure if everyone will actually care, but it’s always safe to let them know where we can be reached in case of emergencies. I’m a little particular about that, as I hate leaving anyone in the dark.

Speaking of dark, Nat and I were a little worried this past Wednesday with the weather that was about to befall us. It seems like the whole Province of Ontario was under Tornado watch or warning, including our little corner of the world. As we both sat and watched the weather channel for constant updates, it became apparent at one point that we’d be in for some pretty heavy stuff. We looked at one another and around 10:30 PM we started taking things downstairs and were getting prepared to stay the night on the sofa bed. We packed up the computer monitor, the external back-up drive, some boxes of photos that weren’t backed up yet, personal toiletries, bedding and pillows and, naturally, our emergency kit (thanks to Darby’s advice). We managed to make a nice little nest for ourselves and found a side table and lamp for Nat’s side of the bed, and we felt like we were in pretty good shape and could withstand what may come. We headed back upstairs and continued to watch the news and we were soon in the thick of things. The lightning was striking, spewing out bolts of electricity and lighting up the skies like we’ve never seen before. The thunder was roaring soon thereafter sounding like a drummer playing his drum set that was bigger than the earth itself. I soon began to think of our friends in St. Catharines, the wife of which has just as much fear of lightning and thunder as we do. We could feel her pain and anguish.

We continued to watch the weather and news keeping up-to-date as best we could. Getting closer to 12:30 AM things began to settle down, but the thunder and lightning continued. Nat and I looked at each other again and knowing that we really, really wanted to sleep in our actual bed tonight, decided to return to upstairs what we had taken down. We only brought up the necessities and would leave the rest for the morning. By this time we were both exhausted – the tension, the trotting up and down stairs and the anxiety was getting to us. I had to turn in, but Nat decided to watch a little more television just to put his mind to ease.

When we awoke Thursday morning we were still exhausted but relieved that we had missed the worst. We finished what we had started previously that night and returned to upstairs the rest of what we had taken down to save from destruction. As I had a doctor’s appointment later that day, we decided to relax in the morning, have lunch and then head into St. Catharines and be thankful for what we had missed.

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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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