The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Seriously! That’s All You’ve Got?

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The dreary days of winter are slowly melting away. I swear Nat and I have watched every droplet of fallen snow disappear with each passing day!! On other days it feels as if we’re waiting for the sky to fall!! Nat’s degenerative disc has been so bad of late that even the prescribed pain killers don’t fully help. We’ve both become couch potatoes literally and physically. We’ll venture out for required groceries or an important errand, but that pretty much sums up our days. We sit, we stare, we talk, we eat – we sit again, we stare again, we eat again, we watch TV, we go to bed. The whole scenario begins again the next day, and so on. For the sake of my sanity, I’ll drive down to Niagara Square to get out for some (wait for it!) – quiet time!!!! I don’t know how Nat can do it – sit so long in one spot and just think about things. I’ve tried too, but begin to get very antsy. So, I’ll bake or do something just to move around. Even the old iPad Mini is getting a good workout as I’m playing every game I can.

After finally getting in to see his Doc, he was prescribed a morphine based pain killer and if he took 2 at a time, he became dopey, dizzy and nauseated. He returned to his Doctor again and was then prescribed an additional pain killer to go along with or accompany the first one. He’s now began a regime of taking the lesser of the two evils for as long as he can and then the more powerful one at night time. He’s also had an X-ray that doesn’t really reveal a whole lot more than we already knew, and has an MRI appointment in May. Don’t even get me started on how long it takes to get an MRI in Canada!!!!!!

On half decent days, Nat’s made brave efforts to manage certain chores around the house – clearing the heavy snow fall from the roof and Solar Panels, clear the pathways and driveway and even keeping the bird feeder full. The Cardinals this year have been extremely plentiful – over 12 on most given days will sit in the trees and flitter back and forth between their perches and the bird feeder. Big, bright red and puffy chests stand out against the snow-covered trees like a postcard. They’re gorgeous to watch. If Nat didn’t at least get these things done, we’d both be completely snowed-in for the winter, and he suffers for it in the evenings.

For want of something to do one day – and desperate to talk to anyone!!! – Nat and I drove down to the little record shop in Stevensville (“Nomad”) on a hunch that he might take a few of our old record albums we had left from the clear out a couple weeks back. As we walked in the door, we were both dumb-founded to see that this little shop was already bursting at the seams with records and, in fact, was informed by the owner that he’s going give away a lot for FREE this Spring. He plans to set them up in boxes, lay them along the curb side and ask people to help themselves. SO, naturally, he had no interest in our little bundle but, did in fact, told us we could join  him if we wanted. What we have isn’t worth the effort, so we’ll dump them with the rest of the electronics we can’t get rid of.

On another matter, this was the first full year for filing our HST/GST Remittance Form for the Solar Panels. The first one we filed was hardly worth the effort and, in fact, fell short of what was required. I was advised to carry-over the remainder to 2014 when I filed for the entire year. After a little bit of confusion – what’s not confusing about filing any returns to the Canada Revenue Agency – I managed to get things added up, the details filled in and even remitted the balance owing online. Remitting online is a huge convenience for us, with our Bank being further away than we’d like, especially in all this snow and ice we’ve received these past couple of months. The experience was a good brain teaser for me and hopefully I completed the form properly. I’m sure Canada Revenue will let me know in due course!!!!

In the mail one day, a letter addressed to just our house from the Ontario Ministry of Health. The letter was asking if we would participate in a medical survey when we received the call. With all of the problems, inconveniences and sometimes neglect, Nat and I have experienced, this was one opportunity I was going to leap at. When the call came a couple of weeks later, the whole process only took about 20 minutes, but was a tad disappointing. This survey only covered any events for the past year. What were the odds – any events or concerns we wanted to express had taken place prior to this past year. I swear the Ministry knew!!!! At least I had participated knowing full well that nothing will come of it, especially in the Fort Erie area where we tend to get forgotten about by any Government department or person. Like I said above, don’t get me started!!!!

Nat and I will continue to while away the hours and days until the sun begins to shine on a daily basis. At least then, we’ll be able to sit on the back deck and enjoy some fresh air. So yes, that’s all I’ve got!

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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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