The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

No Communication – Literally And Physically!!!

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After many days of back and forth emails and telephone calls, the news of my dear sister-in-law, Jenny, is much better. This poor woman has now been in hospital for over 9 weeks, enduring ups and downs that would make anyone go crazy. The long original diagnosis of a broken pelvis has been confirmed. With MRI after MRI, CAT scan and God knows what else, the hospital has now transferred her to Palliative care where they specialize in pain management. To say the least, Jenny has been in major pain ever since originally being admitted. Even after being tested for a possible cancerous tumour, the pain remained (which, in my opinion, is very unusual for a lot of cancers). It is now hoped that she’ll be able to go home once the pain is being managed within a week or so. Nat and I are so relieved we have no words. Total frustration on our part and that of her family in trying to get her the medical attention she needed originally. Whatever this particular hospital was playing at we’ll never know. In the opinion of all family members, it’s been total incompetence and lack of communication, with a daughter-in-law having to read the riot act in order to get any results. Hopefully now, everything is under control and Jenny is now on her journey home. Nat has also been calling his older sister on a somewhat regular basis to keep her spirits up and she’s been enjoying each one.

Speaking of getting things done, our landscaper finally arrived and finished off the repairs to the front walkway. He had to raise one corner under the office window in order to keep the water draining away from the house and not pooling in that area. He’s done a fabulous job and have had no water puddling at all, and we’ve had plenty of rain so far to test the drainage. We’ve also had our new driveway completed as Mike finished it off with a patio stone border and doing a great job. Now the total exterior of the house is looking “finished” with a bit more style.

Sidewalk to Back of House

Sidewalk to Back of House

Back Walkway

Back Walkway

Front Walkway

Front Walkway

Driveway Border

Driveway Border

The last project to complete will be the new eaves troughs in front to replace what appears to be older ones that are now a bit ragged. Hopefully this will be completed before the snow flies.

With this gorgeous weather upon us, Nat and I have been able to eat our lunches and suppers on the patio and it’s been wonderful. Some of the humid summer days have kept me indoors and it’s so refreshing to sit outside and enjoy a beautiful breezes when they blow by.

Speaking of summer days, Nat and I have found television to be utterly boring and insulting to our senior intelligence. There are a few shows we really enjoy watching, but we’ve now signed up for Netflix in order to ease the pain in between those shows. So far we’ve enjoyed a few movies and a few television series from cable channels we don’t receive, and that’s been a real treat. We always, always enjoy a good story or murder mystery and a couple of these shows have satisfied that itch. Not sure what will happen during the winter months when Nat’s beloved hockey starts up again, along with any new Network shows, but we’ll deal with that when the time comes. We might decide to cancel the monthly subscription for that period??

More bad news from the home front. Received an email from Gail about our Uncle Bill (our father’s baby brother) who had taken a stroke and was in critical condition. Our brother, Clair, who lives close by had a chance to visit with him despite the lack of response and knew in his heart of hearts that our beloved Uncle wouldn’t last the week. Uncle Bill did, in fact, pass away on Wednesday. Naturally, all of us “Rouse” girls and Clair were deeply upset. Uncle Bill always took the time and effort to call each and everyone of his nieces and nephew on their birthday or anniversary ever since our parents had passed away in 1981. Each one of us also have our individual memories of spending time and having great laughs with Uncle Bill, which we’ll all cherish. Sadly, because of timing and travel problems, we were unable to attend a memorial service and we know that dear brother, Clair, would represent us well. A wicker basket of colourful fresh flowers was also sent on behalf of us all. The last of the “Rouse” brothers and their one sister and their spouses have left this earth and will all be remembered and lovingly talked about by each one of us.

As Nat and I have found ourselves sitting around the house a bit more lately, we drove into St. Catharines to visit with my sister, Claudia. That girl always has a great story to tell, and we had a great visit. The Irwin and Pierson families are off for Las Vegas to celebrate Daryl’s 50th birthday and I’m sure each one of them will have more great stories to tell upon their return. Here’s hoping Daryl has a “lucky” winning streak on that special day!!

Since the week has been quite eventful so far, last night was no exception. As Nat and I were watching television the cable decides to go out around 8:45 pm. With everything Nat and I do, we naturally thought something was wrong at our end, but with further investigation we discovered that the Internet and phone lines were out too. We knew something was really amiss when our main landline was even down. This was particularly eerie as we had no communication whatsoever to the outside world. All of our services are with Cogeco and we felt stranded. In utter puzzlement we sat there debating what was going on – Nat gave his scenarios and I gave mine. Being the first time our entire network was down threw us for a loop. What in hell do we do now?? I picked up my iPad and Nat decided to turn on his iPod and so we sat there listening to some old and golden goodies reminiscing like any good senior couple would do. All this time the TV remained on with a portion of the cable guide showing, along with a message that service was not available. Every now and again the damn thing would flicker giving us some weird sense of hope, but to no avail. Me, being Me, I had to satisfy myself as to what was going on. There were no major thunderstorms in the area, we hadn’t heard any fire alarms or sirens and from what we could tell, Ridgeway was having a warm, calm and uneventful evening. So it was I grabbed the cell phone (the service provider being Rogers) and called Cogeco’s 1-800 number. My satisfaction was confirmed when a recording came on for the area advising that over 750 customers in the Ridgeway, Dominion Road and northern parts were without any Cogeco service whatsoever and naturally, they were working on the same and to be patient. It’s now 11:30 PM and I left Nat to continue listening to a few more tunes while I retired to my bed. Nat gave up shortly thereafter.

When I awoke this morning Nat informed me that the cable, internet and phone services had been out the entire night. Nothing returned until 8:00 AM. I suppose if you’re going to lose your entire connection to the outside world it might as well be during the night when hopefully you’re in LA LA land. In days before cell phones, this would have been quite a conundrum. God Bless technology with every good thing and bad thing it may bring!!

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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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