The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

One Saturday To The Next

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Saturday the 11th arrived. It was bed assembly time. I knew this was going to be a job more for Nat than myself. My lifting abilities are practically down to picking up change from the streets, and even though that’s been a successful endeavour, I was of no use to Nat for picking up a headboard, a footboard or the rails. As a result he set up a system of opening the boxes in the garage and carting in one piece at a time and I was at least able to sort through the mirage of thing-a-ma-jigs (varying sizes of screws, caps, pins, L-wrenches and so on). I put each of the pieces in small glass dishes so he could grab what he needed when ready.

He worked away on his own until he needed some assistance in lifting, holding and keeping some piece in place until he would get it supported. I was more than glad to at least help in any way I could. I could tell he was getting a bit frustrated at times. Good ole Ikea and their “drawing” instructions, which can drive any man mad. There were arrows going hither and yon showing where some screw went, along with an close-up insert which still didn’t tell you if it was a short screw or a long screw!! Thank God, Nat has some building sense and was able to work things out, but it wasn’t without a few silent curse words!!! Going back and forth to the instructions for part numbers didn’t exactly help in assembly time, either.

In the end it took Nat at least 3 – 4 hours to get the bed fully assembled but man, did it look good! Even he couldn’t believe the difference in the bedroom already, and without the nightstands yet to come. Speaking of nightstands, as Nat still had some daylight left, he decided to go ahead and assemble one of them. This task took less time, and only with a couple silent curse words. Being a “box”, Nat had a bit of an advantage, as he’s built cabinetry in the past, only just not in the Swedish style!!

As he completed one nightstand and it was getting on in the day, I convinced him to build-up the second one on Sunday. He could sit back, relax for the rest of the day and begin tomorrow with a clearer head. He went along with my suggestion and come Sunday morning the second nightstand was up and ready for use before noon. We both took a step back and admired his handy work. The bedroom set was now complete and looked really good. I couldn’t thank him enough for his hard work, which was so appreciated only because during this entire process I sat at the computer, puttered around the house and started to get ready for the impending garage sale next week.

Saturday the 18th arrived. I was ready. During the entire week, every time I went downstairs (whether to exercise or bring something up from the freezer), I brought some item(s) upstairs with me, placed them in the dining room where I could clean them off, price them and get them packed into boxes. Nat only had to carry up a couple of larger boxes that I couldn’t manage, along with a couple pieces of small furniture. Everything was done and ready by Friday night. As Nat was in a golf tournament on Saturday, we carried everything out to the garage Friday night, so I could do the set-up in the morning.

Nat was off to his tournament by 5:45 AM, waking me before he left, so I could get dressed and set things up. I soon realized it really was early – I awoke to dimly lit skies, a cool breeze and only the sound of one or two trucks on their way to wherever!. The cool night breezes were beginning to dissipate as I zipped up my light jacket to begin the day. Suddenly I felt isolated. Nat was gone and I was left to do a bit of heavy lifting around 6:30 AM. We have a large square piece of chip-board that’s placed over two saw horses. It took me several tries getting this heavy board lifted over the saw horses, trying different variations, but I somehow managed to get the job done. The sale was posted to start at 8:00 AM, but, of course, as I was setting up, a few dealers dropped by but left in disappointment, as I had nothing that would interest them. I did manage to sell two rattan end tables right off the bat. The buyer only cut the price down by $10.00, which was more than fair for what I had priced them at.

A couple of sisters had indicated they were coming by with some stuff of their own to sell and I was really looking forward to the company. It can be a long lonely day on my own, especially when it gets a little busy and I can get flustered and forgetful. Knowing me, if left to my own devices and trying to deal with more than two people at once, I’d get flustered and probably short-change myself. However, as luck would have it, Thamazine and Michele soon  showed up, began unloading kids’ toys, books and a few household items. Kids’ stuff is always a crowd pleaser and I was tickled pink they both came, as I don’t see these two any more except at family occasions. Within another hour or so, Gail and Bonna showed up. Bonna had a few high-end items to sell and Gail was along for the ride this time.

All five of us were extremely surprised how busy we were from 9:00 on. With a bit of a lull close to lunch time we had a chance to sit and talk before the after-lunch crowd drove by. As there really wasn’t much left to sell, at least from my end, I slowly began packing items up. I sorted them for the Thrift Shop, Diabetes, Habitat for Humanity and trash. The customers slowly began dying out and as we were now packed up, Thamazine and Michele headed home. Tam had a hubby and 2 kids at home waiting for here. Then Gail, Bonna and I sat on the patio under our new gazebo and had a small lunch. Gail munched away on her left-over Kentucky Fried Chicken (Yummmm), while I made a couple of toasted ham sandwiches for Bonna and myself (still, quite yummy). As we were eating, Nat had arrived home from his game with a smile on his face. As he joined us, Gail asked “Well, did you win any money?” “Yes”, replied Nat. Wasn’t sure yet how much, but at least he won something, plus he had a decent game which has eluded him so far this season. I was really glad he had a good day.

As the afternoon wore on, Gail and Bonna soon said their good-byes. If we sat outside any longer I think Gail would have drifted off to a good sleep. She became so comfy I almost felt bad she had to go home. I hope they had a good time, as I did, and again, I was so pleased for their company. At one point, I had a short time alone with Gail and Bonna where I was able to get a couple of things off my chest, which made me feel so much better. It makes a huge difference yammering at your sisters, as they’re not judgemental, sometimes understand where I’m coming from and can offer womanly advice, along with a good hug. Makes all the difference in the world. I love dear hubby, but he’s not a woman and can sometimes be too close to the matter. I save him for other yammers!!!

Nat and I soon retired to the living room, trying to decide what to do about supper, while I began to count up my loot from the sale. Not too bad for what I had – just over $200.00. I chucked the change into the Change Jar and banked the bills. All-in-all between Nat and myself it was a win-win kind of 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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