The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Timing Was Everything

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As if on cue another bronchitis attack befell me the end of October (same time last year). This attack was going badly, my ribs were beginning to feel as if they’d been run over by a Mack truck, and every now and then (I have to admit) that I would pee my pants from coughing so hard. I couldn’t take much more, so Nat drove me to the clinic in Fort Erie, and the Doc prescribed what I had taken last year. Confident this was going to make the coughing stop, the headaches stop throbbing and the breathing easier, I took my medicine, but once finished the attacks continued. With an appointment set for my Nephrologist in St. Catharines the next week, I told him what was going on and by coincidence he was just coming off the same thing. He advised this attack was going to last a looooong time and thus prescribed a puffer that he said would open my airways to help make it breathe easier. As of this writing, I’m still coughing, only at less frequency and with less pressure. The Doc was right – it’s now going on 5 weeks!! Please God, don’t come back next year!!!!

Feeling somewhat better by mid-November, we went to Zoe’s 11th birthday party and had great fun. At one point I began listening into a conversation by Claudia, Darby and Thamazine regarding the Adopt-A-Famiy program. The two families had participated last year and had great fun Christmas shopping for a family in need. I had heard their story last Christmas, and as they were on the subject again, I invited myself to join in. I thought that with more people it would spread the expenses a bit more and open up some more shopping options. They all agreed and would send Nat and I the details of who the family would be once it was received.

Darby emailed us the details several weeks later and after a meeting to make certain decisions, we were all a go for our shopping trips. At last, I’ve been given a chance to go Christmas shopping. The past several years have been very disappointing for me, as each grandchild is now old enough and only wants money! What’s the fun in that? No paper to rip, no ribbons and bows to untie and no surprise look at whatever was in that box. Apparently, I’m outnumbered and have agreed with the majority – money it is. I could at least now shop, but with one drawback – I won’t see the looks on the two boys’ faces Christmas morning. Our family to shop for was a single mom with 2 boys – a 2 year old and a 10 year old. We were given a wish list from the Mom and now had good information in what direction to go for toys, clothes, etc. Two boys, we all agreed, were going to be a little tougher than girls, but we were all up for the challenge.

Nat and I began our shopping trip the very next day. Our local Zeller’s store was closing and the sales had begun, including the fixtures. We were able to find some great buys on clothes for the two boys, along with a gift for the Mother, and with that the rest of the group was informed of our purchases. We’d continue on once we knew what everyone else had bought and take it from there.

Not wanting to tell me that  Stoney Creek Furniture was having a 40% off sale on everything on the floor, Nat spilled the beans. This would be great if we could get that bed we’d seen previously at almost half price. It would save us a bundle – major bonus!! My heart said “go, go, go” but my head quietly whispered “it won’t be there.”  I’ve always said if you don’t satisfy your curiosity, you’ll regret it, and with that I convinced Nat to go the first day of the sale and at least see if our bed was still available. My head was right. We trotted over to where the bed was on display, and sure enough, it was the twin size, not the queen we had seen previously, plus the foot board was the one with two drawers, which we had decided against. On an off chance there was something else we’d like, we wondered around the store for a minute or two, in order to justify the drive but then headed for home shortly thereafter. I had made arrangements with Claudia the night before and we dropped off our Family gifts on our way home. She’d be able to add them to the pile and would be able to take stock of what everyone had purchased so far.

One disappointment and one good feeling – the bed and the Family gifts. I felt good about doing some Christmas shopping – it’s just the act itself and knowing you’re at least making someone happy. Nat and I settled back to wait a few days before decorating the front yard. With one really nice day, Nat grabbed the opportunity and put up Santa’s sleigh, a reindeer and some Christmas trees, making our little front yard somewhat festive. I was catching up on some paper work (bills, etc. – oh yeah!!) when an ink cartridge dried up. I soon discovered that our printer was on the fritz (it had been showing an error message for some time, but at least it was still printing until the one cartridge dried up). Nat and I fiddled with it, poked it, prodded it and turned it upside down in order to release the paper jam the ‘error message” was telling us. All to no avail, and it had come down calling Epson to see what our options were. Timing and luck were on our side, as the printer was still under warranty – by a couple of weeks – so Epson said they would send us a new printer and we would have to return the old one within 7 days of receipt of the new one. Naturally, we had a couple of problems in communication and even though we dialled a (905) phone number, we were getting the United States. After receiving bad instructions with the first call and only finding out once we took the printer down to the FedEx store, we returned home and made another call. With timing back on our side, we received an operator who knew more of what she was talking about, even though we had again called the United States. She had to jump through a couple of hoops but we were soon told the printer was on its way via Purolator with the proper instructions on our to return the broken printer. The new one was received 2 days later and the old one was sent back the very next day without a hitch. Whew!!!

We’ve now settled back into a bit more of our usual routine and this weekend have finished decorating our new “little” Christmas Tree, along with some living room sparkles and garland. We decided that as we won’t be having any visitors to our little home this Christmas, that we’d buy a small table-top tree that we could easily decorate and still look festive. When all is said and done I think we’re both happy with how things worked out and we’re now ho ho ho and jolly!!

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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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