The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Finishing Details

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At last we’ve seen the end of landscapers and paving contractors for a few days (or even weeks). The back walkway is looking gorgeous and now that the driveway is done, the exterior of our little home is a bit dressier and has that “finished” look. I know Nat would love to tear up the front and back yards and lay some fresh weedless sod and really make the place look “done”, but alas, the money pot has been drained somewhat and will take a long time to get filled up again. We’re hoping the solar panel money will help if we have a good sunny summer.

One last reno is for Mike and his pals to come back and fix the little sinking part of the front walkway. The pools of water after each rain have taken their time in draining away and with that long cold, snowy winter this past year the ground has sunk in parts and risen in others. A good portion of the walkway is pretty much perfect but somehow Mother Nature found some weak spots and decided to have some fun. From what Nat and I hear, she’s had her fun in quite a few walkways and driveways around our little village, keeping the paving and landscaping boys pretty much busy for the summer. So, we’ll wait until Mike returns whenever he can to get the last of the exterior jobs done.

After talking about our To Do List now having several items crossed off, Nat mentioned that “I guess next time it’s the kitchen”. Oh God, how I wish, but we both realize that may take a lot of our solar money and even I’m skeptical about the whole thing. Every time I think we get close to even discussing a new kitchen, something else with a bigger priority rears its ugly head and the kitchen gets put on the back burner again!! I’ve had my hopes dashed too many times and now I’lll believe it when I actually see our ugly kitchen cabinets being torn or ripped from the walls!! Never fear, however, my new kitchen design is still dancing in my head waiting to be set free!!

Father’s Day for Nat was very quiet and I felt so bad for him. Susan and the family are driving to New York City for several days so Bridget can go to see a famous Korean singer she’s into, so naturally she was busy running hither and yon getting things done and taking the girls to wherever they needed to go. Laura had to take Lucas to baseball championship games all weekend, so they wouldn’t be stopping by. However, Lucas had some games in Chippawa on Sunday afternoon, so Nat headed down that way so he could at least spend a little time with one of his daughters. The rest of the afternoon saw the two of us sitting on the patio and enjoying the finch that have returned this summer in droves.

In order to maintain a “critter-free” yard, Nat had to leave one bird feeder empty. This was the feeder that the cardinals, sparrows, red-winged blackbirds and the like would visit but made a healthy mess below leaving all kinds of scraps for the chipmunks, squirrels and blackbirds. I’m sure we’ve had a few visitors during the night, too, but what we don’t see won’t bother us, unless they do damage. Leaving this bird feeder empty has kept away a huge majority of those critters and made our lives a lot easier. Only the finch have been coming around in larger numbers than previous years and it’s been a real delight. I also must admit that at least one (possibly, two) chipmunks have decided to maintain their little tunnel homes in our back garden, but at least they travel elsewhere for food, which keeps their numbers down in our yard.

With the summer months now upon us, I’m hoping we’ll get to see family – mine and his – more often. Sometimes Nat and I feel very isolated. Being just the two of us and retired, it’s easier for us to drive the 35 or 40 minutes to see family. Nat’s daughters maintain they’re very busy and sometimes we realize driving out this way can be a little time consuming. A bit selfish on their parts, and we fail to see how even a short visit can do harm to their schedules, but they have their priorities which are very, very different from ours’. As much as I feel sad for Nat not seeing his daughters as often as he’d like, I believe he’s convinced himself that’s the way it’s going to be. His sister, Jenny, has family constantly around – day-in and day-out – and I can see the jealousy in Nat’s eyes whenever they talk. Except for some renovations, scattered doctor appointments and Nat’s golf, there really isn’t any other trouble we can get into. Most of our days now are taken up with doing the odd chore in the morning and then “sitting’ a spell” on the patio and watching birds flitter about. Kind of sad, but at least our blood pressures remain low – and that’s a really good thing!!

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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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