The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Good Riddance to 2016

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From the very day that Glenn Frey died in January, I somehow suspected that 2016 was going to be different somehow – and I wasn’t far off. It turned out to be a crappy year all around. From entertainment news – unexpected deaths – to U.S. and world politics – this year just kept getting worse. Even our personal lives had some twist and turns we never expected nor wanted.

Hubby and I came out unscathed, despite the bad news about his sister in England having a rough time of it. She fell, ended up in hospital with a broken hip, had surgery for that and then took a small heart attack. More surgery – stents – and is still in hospital as I’m writing this. She’s 82 years old, never been in a hospital for this long, is extremely excasperated, frustrated and just bloody well wants to go home to her own bed. My heart goes out to her – I’ve been there – and the longer you dwell on things, the worse it gets. Your mind, however, won’t give you peace and somehow you can never see the end of the road. I’m thinking about her everyday, as is hubby.

Our major hurdle this year was completing the new kitchen. One of the few good things. We’re extremely pleased with the way it worked out. We have more space,  am more organized and I can’t believe how well the baking area is working. At last, less time and energy walking around, going to and fro from one cupboard to another and back to the pantry, now everything is in one of two places – the pantry and the baking drawer. Beautiful.

Naturally, some good things have consequences – we’re still paying for the kitchen but have no regrets.

The last half of the year has been more routine – Doctor appointments, special anniversaries and dinners, some craft shows, baking and some shopping. Nat was able to play golf 3 times a week, and sometimes more. Still very frustrated with his game, but it’s a great chance for him and his golfing buddy to get out for some “guy time”.

We both struggled with colds this Fall. Nat had his earlier on, then I caught it, and it’s taken me over 2 weeks to shake it. With my bad immune system, it takes me longer to shake anything in my chest and having to sleep with my head somewhat raised has been very tiresome. My sinuses were the worst and I’m just now getting caught up on the sleep I did miss.

As Nat and I have a lot of idle days when the snow falls, I try to get some baking done, but with the cold I’ve had, I was in no mood to turn any oven on, so I fell behind. I volunteered again to wrap Thamazine’s Christmas gifts and, as usual, had fun. As her kids are getting bigger, the presents are getting fewer and sometimes larger. So the task went a lot easier this year.  As another favour to fill my idle days I took on sister Gail’s recipes. She had a bag full of magazine clippings, hand-written notes and newspaper articles of recipes from breads to veggies, that she’s collected over the years. I had a great time sorting them all out, typing quite a few of them and then assembling together in a couple of binders. She should now be well organized and ready to try everything she’s ever saved. Hope most of them turn out to be winners for her.

It looks like we’ll be having our usual Christmas this year. Going to Laura’s for Christmas Eve for Nat’s side and to see the grandkids open our gifts to them. After the guests have left, she’ll have her little Christmas with her two children before they have to leave for other family events. We’ll be heading to Gail’s for her Christmas Eve after leaving Laura’s for more food and excitement.

Our Christmas morning will be spent at Susan’s with her family,  hopefully to watch her two girls open some of their presents and spend the morning with them before heading back home to make the mashed potatoes for Claudia’s Christmas supper. It feels like a lot of road time for us and if the weather is co-operative, we’re usually pretty good. When the snow flies and the wind blows is when we worry about road conditions and in the back of our minds would love to spend the time at home. We’d miss the whole season if we did that, so we make the sacrifice. We’re still very grateful for what we’ve got.

2017 is going to start out with a bit more activity on our part. My cataract surgery is set for March and I have the pre-op bit in January. Have to take eye drops 4 times a day for two weeks before the Optometrist’s. Just what I’ve always looked forward to – watery eyes. I have a huge aversion to anyone coming near my eyes, but for the sake of seeing more clearly, I’ll go through this crappy ordeal!

I’m not superstitious, but now and again I have a “sense” that somehow things are going to be good, whether for the week ahead or for special events. It’s been a bit of a trend that the years ending in an even number – ie 2014, 2016 – are sometimes crappy and the odd ending years are pretty decent. So here’s to 2017 – an odd ending year. We all have to believe in good things sometimes.

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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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