The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Like Two Peas In A Pod

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With dear older sister, Gail, and her daughter, Beth, in Britain for the next 17 days, I couldn’t resist downloading Skype with the hopes of getting a chance to talk to them and our cousin they were visiting in Warminster. I knew that the two of them were going to try and Skype my other sister, Bonna, having set her up before leaving, so she’d be ready to go when they called. With my usual mucking about and surfing the web (there’s a long forgotten phrase!) I noticed that Beth was online. This was my chance and I took it. We had already agreed to set up a call around 5:00 PM (CDN) or 10:00 PM (UK) on Tuesday but it was only 2:30 (7:30 UK) and I thought “What the hell”, I’ll get them before they all nod off – except for Beth, everyone is older than me and God knows how long they’ll last this evening.

I dialed Beth’s number and it rang and rang and rang. Okay, I thought, someone at the other end either doesn’t know what to do, were too involved to pick up or they couldn’t hear the call coming in. I sat back and waited a few minutes – suddenly she went offline and then suddenly came back online a few minutes later. I decided to give it another shot and what to my surprise I hear this quiet “Hello” at the other end. It was Gail. As she didn’t have her video up, I couldn’t see her, but she could see me. Then suddenly she appeared, with eye glasses perched low on the nose and looking down at the screen (instead of the camera) we had lift-off. We had just gotten set-up when suddenly there was dead air. I knew immediately what she had done – she had pressed the red receiver icon on Skype and hung-up. I rang her back and with a couple of laughs I told her not to touch the red receiver icon until we said our good-byes.

Wendy and Gail were sitting on the big red comfy sofa in Wendy and Terry’s living room. It was apparent they’d been talking, playing with Beth’s new iPad and checking things out. This was Gail’s first chance using an iPad and I’m thinking she’s going to like it because of it’s ease of use (but that’s another story!). The two ladies had rosy red cheeks and were looking a little tired. It was apparent they had a busy couple of days and were having a blast.

One of Gail’s missions on her trip was to check out the house our Mother’s Mother (Nanny) lived in before her marriage. Doing extensive research before leaving she had managed to discover that the Owner of the Bed and Breakfast they would be staying at just happened to know the people living in that house and arranged to have Gail and Beth visit and see the home personally. I was so pleased for Gail, as this truly is her life’s mission at the moment and I know it’s giving her great pleasure in discovering her family’s past. Terry and his three ladies drove down to Devon and the village where my Nanny lived. As we were talking it was obvious Gail had a fabulous time and would give us all the details when they returned. She said she finally learned our (relatively unknown) Grandfather’s mother’s maiden name. Our family has no information on our Nanny’s husband and his family and this was a major coup for Gail. I’m anxious to see how further she can go loaded with what she’s found.

Their next adventure was to Cheddar, England, to browse around the shops, try some fabulous cheeses and generally see the sites. Gail said she’d been down the caves with Beth and it was just as well that Nat and I didn’t try it when we were there. Apparently it was damp – hmmmm!  I admired her tenacity and ambition for doing so as I knew it had to have been a long walk, lots of stairs and just plain dingy. They had also been to Wells Castle and again, I’m anxious to see her pictures of that trip.

I couldn’t help but smile quite a few times. As much as Gail tried, she had a hard time getting the iPad in such a position so I could see the two of them. There were times when I was looking at either Wendy alone, Gail alone or the middle of that big red comfy sofa. She did pretty good most of the times as I could at least see Wendy and half of Gail’s hair. Being her first Skype call and use of the iPad it takes some getting use to and knowing where to point the camera and where to look. No complaints, however, it was such a treat just to see dear Wendy again – Nat and I both miss her and her hubby and the good times they showed us when we were there. The two ladies looked a bit tired – they had been up until 1:00 AM the other night talking. I had asked where Beth was and Gail said  she was in bed, not feeling that well. I then asked where Terry was and Wendy said he was out. Don’t blame him – two women talking family, beading, cake decorating, shopping etc. – just the topic any good Englishman wants to discuss!! Gail and Wendy have kept in touch for years and have become like two peas in a pod. They’re like best friends and comrades-in-arms and it showed in their faces. I know Wendy’s going to miss Gail when she leaves.

By now we had managed to talk well over 10 minutes and had a laugh or two. Gail and Beth would be leaving Thursday for their train ride to Paris and then the south of France to visit a friend of Beth’s for a few days. I soon wished them a good trip, and maybe we could hook up again when they were in Paris. Byes all around. Skype call ended.

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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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