The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

The Chipmunk Saga – One Year Later!

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For the past couple of weeks Nat and I have been staying close to home, except for one shopping trip, and it’s been very enjoyable. He’s been able to get a few things done around the house and garden and shorten his never-ending “To Do” list, and I baked some goodies on those cooler days. Peaceful, quiet and stress free.

Too good to be true, right!! ‘Cause they’rrrre baaaccckkk! Those pesky chipmunks, the relatives of which we relocated last summer! It started off calmly enough. Nat saw one show up under the bird feeder a few weeks back. I looked at him and asked “Well, what now?”  “I don’t know”, he replied. Hoping and praying that this little guy wouldn’t procreate any time soon, we were relatively (and naively) optimistic that it wasn’t going to be as bad as last year.

“Naively” being the operative word here!!  As with all things chipmunk, you see one and you assume it’s always the same one you see each time, right?? You’d be wrong in so many ways!! It was only a few days later that Nat spotted a second little guy gleefully prancing and playing under the bird feeder, along with the first guy – or so we think, it’s the first guy. Not to be undone, we soon spotted one, and then two more. Again,munching away at the bird seed left-overs that fell to the ground and scattered all around the lawn. I couldn’t help myself and had to ask Nat, “So! Have you thought any more about what you’re going to do?”  His reply came reluctantly, “I really don’t know. I hate this. I can’t go through what I went through last year trapping and relocating these little pests again!!” He continued, “There were 15 trips last year! You think you’re done and another one appears and you don’t know when it’s going to end”. I sympathized, after all it was Nat that  had to do the dirty work.

We’re now up to 4 that have been spotted. So one little guy has procreated pretty quick, or he’s called over his buddies to keep him company!! I do believe, however, that Nat is so close to screaming his head off at these little buggers, that he’ll give up and take ’em for a ride, especially after what’s happened. It all started innocently enough. Nat was doing his spring cleaning and getting things out of the shed one day last week. Shortly thereafter, he came walking back into the house with a scowl on his face. “I’ve found a bloody dead chipmunk”, he said. Trying to hold my (black humour) giggles back, “Oh, NO”, I replied. “Where was he?”, I queried. “In the damn shed in amongst things, and I almost stepped on ’em”, he said. I’m now thinking one down, ?? to go.

Things calmed down for a day or two. Continuing on with his “To Do” list, Nat wanted to do some more lawn work. He figured he’d get the lawn mowed before the rains came and as always, began to put on his outdoor working runners that sat just outside the back door that leads into the garage. One step too far!! As he began to put his foot in, he felt something! (You and I both know this isn’t good!!) Yep, a dead chipmunk!!!! Again, he comes back into the house with a look on his face that I’ve never seen before. “What’s the matter?”, I asked. “I found a dead chipmunk in my shoes”, he announced. Okay! I’m now trying to really hold my laughter back. I didn’t want to upset Nat, but this was just too funny. “Besides being disgusting, I don’t know what to do”. Knowing Nat the way I do, I followed him to the garage to have a look at his perplexing problem. He never really asks, he just drops a remark or two hoping I’ll take the hint and give him some help. He explained that he found the chipmunk curled up in the toe of his shoe and probably couldn’t get out fast enough. Maybe he didn’t hear the garage door closing, too comfy in the toe of that shoe, I’m thinking. Now he didn’t know what he was going to do with the shoes anymore. He swore he wasn’t ever going to wear them again, and suddenly begins to check his other boots and working shoes sitting alongside. Shaking the winter boots and turning them upside down hoping nothing will fall out, while I’m now biting my lips and giggling inside!  “It’s up to you, dear – do you want to continue to use them or not?, I asked. “NO”, he replied. “I can’t put my feet in those again!”  “Well, you’ll have to throw them out and get another pair to replace them.” As always, he hesitated. I could see his thoughts turning around in his head. He was probably thinking – It’s a shame to throw out a good pair of runners – it’s a shame to spend money on a new pair of runners – do I or don’t I – will this feeling ever go away – I won’t be able to clean them – what to do, what to do.

I had to ask him firmly, well, if you’re not going to wear them again, you’ll have to toss them out and get a new pair. You an get another cheap pair at WalMart like you’ve done before. I hear a quiet reply, “Okay”.

With the chipmunk scenario put aside for a day or two, Nat and I took a trip to see the new Target store in Burlington on Saturday. My nephew, Ty, just happened to land the manager’s job and we thought we’d drop in and do a little shopping and maybe say hello. As we walked inside the store, Ty was busy with one of his staff, so we held up our hands to wave, gave him a quick hello, and then began to shop. We meandered throughout the whole store, liking quite a few things and noticing that some things we couldn’t find around our area while there were other things, naturally, that we could. We happened upon a couple of nice nightstand lamps that we really liked. Our first choice was dismissed as the store only had one left and as we wanted a pair, we decided to go along with our second choice and were quite happy with our purchases. As we said our goodbyes and congrats to Tyler, we made our way home after having a bite to eat at our usual highway restaurant joint – The Gateway.

When Sunday morning arrived we both felt we’d just relax and enjoy the perfect weather. After lunch on the deck we decided to get our crosswords and reading material and make an afternoon of it. We lucked out, when our good friends, the Bartletts called and said they were dropping by around 2:00. We were looking forward to the company and our afternoon would be complete. And so it was, a nice get-together and catch-up on all the news from the big City.

Reality set back in on Monday. We ran a couple of errands in Fort Erie and after lunch Nat decided to tackle the steps that lead into the garage from the back door. He’s always wanted to straighten it out. The first owners had a wheelchair accessible ramp which the second owners tore down and replaced a bigger step than we wanted. Nat worked away tearing the old steps out which contained those big ‘ole bolts the previous owner had a passion for and it now looks like it’s going to be a 2 (or possibly 3) day job. I ended up in the office getting some more paper work done for the solar panels. We now have hydro approval and the new roof will be installed in July. We’re now getting anxious to have this job done and hoping, naturally, it’s going to be somewhat lucrative and help boost what little income we can gather.

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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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