The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

No Surprises Here – But A Lot Of Pride

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With the humid days of summer hovering over our heads, Nat and I have pretty much stayed close to home. We both admit to feeling a bit liftless, a bit tired and somewhat brain dead. Now I equate these feelings for Nat to be a side-effect from the slow-release pain killers he takes for his back. They’ve been helping him immensely despite the tiredness now and again. My excuse is just plain laziness. The humidity every summer gets me down and I can sit in my recliner all day and play games on my iPad if it wasn’t for my husband who needs food and drink every now and again. Yes, he can help himself, but I like to keep him company once in awhile!

One day we finally had had enough and decided to hit the new Outlet Mall of Niagara and look for track pants and tops for Nat so he could lounge around the house in casual comfort without having to resort to his bath robe. This way he would at least look dressed while we were being lazy. We got lucky and found some nice track pants at Adidas even though the “outlet” price to me, seemed somewhat suspiciously high. Our survey of every sports store seemed to ring true – they were all expensive. However, Nat was happy with the size and look so we bit the bullet. We also had a nice day walking about the various stores and enjoying the breeze that blew through the shaded tunnel areas.

It also came as a surprise to me that the following Saturday, when Nat was up and out of the house to play Golf by 6:00 AM, I, too, arose earlier than usual – 7:00 AM. Egad, it was a  total shocker that I was wide awake at that time of night. But I somehow took advantage and began my usual Saturday routine – exercise and laundry. My exercises were done by 8:15 while the first load of laundry was splish-splashing around in the washer. As Nat walked in the door around 10:00 AM, I greeted him with a big smile and announced I was done for the day!! The laundry was folded and put away, my body fat had been jiggled around for 45 minutes and I was just finishing a few financial postings on the computer. What were we going to do the rest of the day??? I guess we should both take advantage and rest up in the recliners. After all, we had both risen with the setting moon.

Another excitement in our lives came with a telephone call from Susan. Her oldest, Felicia, was going skydiving with a friend on Tuesday night. Nat managed to get some mixed, disinformation about where and what time. He understood the event was to take place at Niagara District Airport, be there for 5:00, jump around 6:00 pm. The two of us thought we would surprise our gutsy granddaughter by driving out to the airport to watch the whole affair, but we learned a lessen in surprises. We arrived at Niagara District Airport, in Niagara-on-the-Lake for 5:00 but no one was around except a few lads from the St. Catharines Flying Club. We waited and waited but no one was showing up. Nat decided to ask the Flying Club lads where the skydiving took place, with which they replied “Not here!” It was then suggested that perhaps the Niagara Central Airport around Welland/Wainfleet might be the place as they do, in fact, have skydiving there. We immediately texted Susan and what to our dismay, the family was there and Felicia was now in the air and getting ready to jump – all by 5:30 pm. We were gobsmacked – we missed the whole affair. Disappointed and a bit mad at ourselves and Susan for the mix-up, we drove home and withdrew to (guess what) our recliners.

Susan and family came over on the holiday Monday for lunch (pizza and wings). We soon learned from Susan and Felicia where the miscommunication came from and at least she purchased the video of her jump so we could watch at a later date. Felicia also filled us in on her adventures in Italy and Greece, while showing videos and pictures of the fabulous architecture, scenery and people. The girls sounded like they had a really great time, enjoyed the food and despite Felicia’s swollen foot from spider bites managed to do a lot of site-seeing. Meanwhile, her little sister, Bridget,  had also returned from a week in Dominica through a school program. She, too,  had a wonderful time as the group helped to build houses, learned about the local culture, took care of some children and snuck in a few sunbathing stints on the sandy beaches. It was obvious her experiences had an impact on her as she told us of the poverty and need for housing, health and social assistance. Papa Nat and I were both beaming with pride – for both of our grandkids. They both had some of life’s lessons that would remain with them for years to come.

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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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