The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Ruby Red Blood

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The month of June, to date, has been an emotional roller coaster, but this past week has gone ever so smoothly, thanks to my two sisters. Since our shopping trip I’ve been feeling damn good about myself. Nat and I have settled back into our loving routine of relaxing, running some errands, doing some chores and trying new shows on Netflix.

Only one panicky day so far – Monday. I had my usual tri-monthly blood work and was heading back to the car when I felt moisture all around my elbow and blouse. Damn! I was bleeding profusely from the inside elbow of my left arm. My bandaid was soaked in blood, my white capris had blood spots showing all down my left leg and my black and white blouse was sporting blood droplets as well on my left sleeve and side. I had also gotten “Ruby” a bit bloody along the inside driver’s seat as I was trying to get settled in to drive home. I began to panic a little, couldn’t find any kleenex in the car and it was obvious that I had to go back inside the Lab to get cleaned up. As I returned inside, the one patient waiting for her tests looked at me in shock – probably wondering what in hell she was getting into having her blood test at this particular lab. I grabbed some kleenex from the desk, wiped the blood from my arm as best I could and when the nurse called for this lady to come back, she called out “I think you should take this lady first!”

I was led back to the testing room, cleaned up and rebandaged – double duty this time. I had completely forgotten that I was taking Plavix – a major blood thinner, and I should have stayed still a little longer before going for the car. Once I returned home, relieved the look on Nat’s horrified face, I ran my clothes through a cold water wash and all was fine again. Whew!!! Everything came out in the wash!!

Now Nat and I have one more week to ourselves and then our social calendar kicks in. We have a couple of graduations and a couple of birthdays all within one week. The first invite is Zach’s 16th birthday on Sunday, Monday morning we’re off to Hamilton for my annual check-up, Wednesday evening will be Karly’s birthday get-together (plus meeting her new beau), and Thursday evening is Bridget’s (& Lucas’) graduation in Niagara Falls. I realize that’s not really a mega-busy agenda to most young people, but for us olden golden oldies, it’s a lot. We’ll also be saying bon voyage to Felicia on Thursday, as she’s leaving for Italy and Greece the following Sunday for a couple of weeks. She’s been very fortunate in getting invited to Greece to visit a friend and I, for one, am glad she’s taking this opportunity to travel now. After she graduates McMaster School of Nursing she’ll be busy job hunting and won’t get a lot of chances to travel. I’m very envious she’s travelling and we’re not. Nat and I haven’t been on a long holiday for several years now.

I must also confess to Nat and I being nosy neighbours this past month. The new people that moved in across the street are from Thunder Bay and we’ve been intrigued to their unusual habits of redoing the place. About the second day of their move, I packed up some home-made cookies, a booklet on what to see and do in Fort Erie and my card. I meandered across the road, introduced myself and welcomed them to our little village. They introduced themselves as “Helen and Richard”, remarked that they were going to redo the entire house and were, in fact, putting up a bed frame. I advised them we knew of a really good contractor and landscaper if they needed one and to just call us for any help.

Each day Richard would travel down the road with his large trailer and return home with what seemed like more household stuff. It was becoming obvious that they had a storage unit somewhere and had to have been living in a hotel until their deal closed. As the weeks wore on, it became quite clear that Richard and Helen were mega do-it-yourselfers. It also became clear that there was no particular method in which they were proceeding with the renovations. One day we noticed they had been shopping for ladders, lighting fixtures, doors, and more; then we saw carpets and drywall being removed, we saw trailer loads of items going to the dump. Suddenly a new mattress was delivered for downstairs. It seemed like they were switching from room to room as they tore down and replaced items within the house. One day they went out to the mailbox to retrieve their mail and within minutes Richard had installed a new mailbox, all at the same time. The new front door went up almost the first day they moved in, and the new patio doors were installed a couple of days after the new hot tub was delivered. Helen began gardening and trimming a few bushes in front as Richard installed the new door. Then suddenly new exterior light fixtures were put up alongside the door. A week or so later, they installed a new light fixture above the garage door. It seemed like everyday was also a shopping day. Inbetween bouts of working inside and out, the two of them hopped in the car and returned a few hours later with a truck load of more renovating materials – wall board, new patio doors, interior fixtures and accessories. I must admit the two of them are putting Nat and I to shame for their work ethics. In fact, they’re putting the whole neighbourhood to shame. It was just yesterday that their new appliances arrived – fridge, stove and microwave; then this morning Nat watched as Richard hauled the old appliances and put them in the back of his pick-up all by himself. I swear to God this man has super powers!

Speaking of pick-ups, the two arrived in town with Helen driving their small black car and towing a small trailer, while Richard drove a gold coloured Dodge Ram pick-up and towing the larger trailer. No sooner had a week or so passed when they returned home driving a new white Silverado pick-up. Nat and I are now wondering what these two are going to do once all of this work is finished. These “no stopping us” pair have been working non-stop everyday for a solid 2-1/2 weeks. We’re getting tired just spying on them. I will admit, however, that the view I had of the living room from inside the door looked a bit dated but Nat and I honestly thought they would settle in and then tackle one room at a time. So far from what we’ve seen they’ve been fluttering from room to room, and maybe that’s how they do things in the North Country!! They really seem like nice people and we do really wish them well and hope to get to know them whenever they can settle down and stay home for a day.

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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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