The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

So Now What Do We Do??

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The month of November was a non-event. The month of December was becoming one until receiving Tam’s Christmas gifts to wrap. I love to wrap parcels – and thus the aversion to “gift bags” (I won’t bore you with my opinion!). Every year that I wrap for this busy sister, I get a kick out of what Santa, Mom and Dad bought for their two children and have watched the gifts change over the years – from kids’ toys and clothes to young adult electronics, a surprise or two and clothes. It’s all been fun and at times a challenging exercise to the old brain in how to wrap ackward gifts. I rose to the occasion, I hope.

Once the parcels were wrapped – sometimes in stages depending on her shopping – I felt like we were  having a clandestine meet-up in some retail parking lot. On-lookers would watch as she opened the trunk of her car and Nat and I would hand over boxes of wrapped parcels trying to find enough space in the trunk and back seat. Once in awhile we’d meet somewhere else depending on time and convenience. Really, great fun!!

Speaking of “clandestine”, Nat and I have now finished watching MI-5 (or Spooks as it’s known in the U.K.) and what a finish it was!!! Again, no stone unturned with continued surprises, death of beloved characters and sorrow in your heart for those left behind. What will Nat and I do now that this series is over. Knowing the two of us it may take some time before we hit on another great show, but will continue searching. We’ve also finished watching Covert Affairs and I will admit that this series really picked up as each season finished and a new one began. I must admit this series matured very nicely and I now look forward to another season, once it gets picked-up on Netflix.

Christmas was quiet, as always, for Nat and myself. We kept somewhat busy leading up to the festive day – me wrapping parcels and Nat supervising the renovations of the downstairs bathroom. It’s nice to have that little grungy space cleaned up. We spent Christmas Eve with Laura, Susan and the grandkids. A quiet evening of conversation, pizza and wings. We also had a chance to get caught up with one granddaughter and her new apartment. It’s so nice to see her becoming independent but alas, another chapter in our lives is beginning – watching as each grandchild leaves the nest. I suppose it’s worse for their Mom and Dads.

Christmas dinner – another fabulous meal – was held at Claudia’s this year. I admit to jealousy and envy as to Claudia’s calm demeanor, organization and energy. I need to remind myself that she has a few years on me and there is nothin’ I can do about it. Just sit back and let the “young ‘uns” do it!! Nat and I also had a great time, again, sitting around the table after the meal and chit chatting away with the rest of my family. I also admit to cheating like crazy on my (sort of) diabetes diet – I went back for that second piece of cake – a chocolate piece after first having the white cake. Even snitched a few of Claudia’s chocolate cookies upstairs before the meal. My addiction to chocolate certainly doesn’t take long to kick back in. I can still taste those cakes now.

As Nat and I don’t exchange gifts it was really nice to at least receive a couple of thank-you gifts from Tam, Michele and even Gail (I’m converting some old video tapes) along with an extra surprise from Claudia. I have to be really honest and miss gift giving so much, but I’ll abide by the wishes of certain family members!! Tam gave us a dinner card for Stradawest, which Nat and I are anxious to try. Michele gave us a beautiful box of Cadbury Chocolate Biscuits and Gail gave me one of her Red Maple Designs hand-beaded necklaces. Claudia’s little extra surprise was a box of those fabulous cupcakes from a bakery in Oakville, Ontario – white cake smothered mile high in white frosting and dripping in coconut. MY GOD they’re sooooo good. I’ve had to freeze them in order to take one out now and again to make them last.

Nat and I relaxed and enjoyed Boxing Day with our usual aplomb – sitting in our recliners, working on crosswords, iPad games and the odd snooze. Could our lives get more exciting!!!! Having said that I probably won’t post between now and January 1st, so here’s hoping Nat and I and our families will have a happy and great 2015!!!

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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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