Our 25th Wedding Anniversary (For What It’s Worth)

Having suffered the slings and arrows of 25 years of marriage, Nat and I decided to celebrate by taking four days off with a mini-trip to Stratford. Having been there several years ago, we had a pretty nice time despite my choice of plays to see – Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Being the first Shakespearean play Nat has ever seen he was at a loss. Having booked the play myself, at the time I felt it was one of Shakespeare’s easier plays to understand. I was wrong.

This trip I booked a Noel Coward play, Private Lives which I knew was a good comedy. So we packed our bag and decided to leave Monday morning for that 4 hour drive via the back roads and farmland, which Nat loves.

Monday morning arrived. Nat packed the car, along with my Walker for safety and convenience, as I finished off with that “last minute” stuff. The tone for our little trip was soon to be set as I lost a bottom tooth. One of two teeth that my bottom dentures attach to. My tongue was now being scratched by steal hooks and could get caught in the gaping hole where that little tooth once sat. There was nothing I could do. I would have to endure the next four days trying to eat meals I was so looking forward to.

Once on the road, we took our first stop in Caledonia at Tim Horton’s for a quick bite to eat. We were back on the road and endured numerous road works as we arrived in Shakespeare (just east of Stratford) early afternoon. The Shakespeare Inn has seen better days, but was clean, friendly and in a convenient and less expensive area than Stratford. Our room was smaller than we were use to and apparently stuck in the past. At first we were unable to connect to the internet with my iPad, had no bedside clock, no set-up for coffee or tea and wondered about the Satellite.

After unpacking we took a small drive into Stratford to refamiliarize ourselves with this quaint and theatrical city. We stopped and walked around the downtown core, stepped into one of our favourite stores, The Scottish Shop, where I had to buy a Scottish Thistle pendant and a Highland Cow pillow. As usual, it was difficult to restrain myself from buying more, as I knew I wanted to save what I had for my other favourite store.

As we needed a small cheap clock for the room, we took a quick look at the WalMart store on our way home. Not exactly the same set-up as our store in Ridgeway, we were taken aback when we were told they don’t sell clocks!!! I explained I could find all kinds of them at our store at home, but the clerk explained the store was down-sizing or re-organizing. We left disappointed.

After great research we were dumb-struck where to have our evening meal. As it happens, the owner of the Inn told us about an extremely popular restaurant in Millbank and showed us on the map exactly where it was. We decided this may be our best bet for the evening and plugged the info into the GPS. While on the road, we began to wonder if we were headed to No Man’s Land” It was further north than anticipated. We soon arrived at Anna Maes, a restaurant and bakery where home cooked meals and homemade breads and goodies were prepared by the Amish and the aroma was wonderful. We were escorted to a table and ordered a couple of sandwiches that came with French fries and enjoyed a small but tasty meal. It was obvious this place was well known for miles around by its size. We were tempted to buy something from the bakery, but knew it would be hard to enjoy during our trip or even save for home. We paid our bill and headed back to our little room. The joke was on us, however, as Nat took a piece of homemade pie back to the Inn to have for his evening snack, but arrived home and discovered we had no fork!!

Arriving back at the Inn, we approached the Owner again having told him of our dilemma. He soon went to fetch us a fork, and also informed us that we did have the internet for free and where Nat could get a cup of tea or coffee when wanted. A little nook hidden around a corner in the lobby! With that, we soon settled in and began to watch the Federal Election results.

Tuesday arrived after a half decent sleep. With a little more research, we drove down to a restaurant in Stratford, Demetre’s, a family restaurant with lovely atmosphere, for what turned out to be a great breakfast/brunch. Two eggs, bacon/sausage, etc., home fries and homemade toasted bread. Delicious, especially the toast!! Nat and I were impressed and would return for our evening meal before the play later that night.

Not having found a clock, we drove across the street to see if the Dollarama in the Festival Mall had one. We had wandered through this nice Mall previously and checked out a couple of stores. Winners was a much cleaner store than the WalMart, so we walked around while Nat, this time, found something he could use. Dollarama also had the perfect little bedside clock which we purchased and then headed over to the Avon Theatre in the downtown area where we could case the joint to find available parking, so Nat could get his bearings without any surprises. We then took a walk along the Avon River, but the wind had picked up and the weather was starting to turn, with rain in the forecast for later, we drove back to the Inn for some thinking time.

Once we arrived back at the Inn and while unpacking our clock, I realized we didn’t buy any batteries. The old brain was playing its tricks again. Nat decided he could pop back into Dollarama on our way to the theatre later and all would be right with the world.

We were dressed and ready for our evening at the theatre. Dressy casual, we felt good as we left for our night out. We drove back to Demetre’s where we both ordered a simple Chicken dinner. Simple but home cooked – Chicken, Baked Potato, Carrots. It was delicious and not over whelming like so many restaurants now – too much on the plate that Nat and I can’t finish. We enjoyed this meal with great abandon. Again, homemade bread for a starter. Bonus!!

We finished our meal exactly at the right time, as we drove across the street where Nat picked up a package of batteries, and then downtown to find a parking spot. Luck was on our side as we were able to park right around the corner from the Theatre and were only steps away. Our seats were in the balcony and as this old broad is still struggling with her balance, we took the elevator up, but had to finish by walking up some stairs to our front row seats. The view was perfect. The play was enjoyable and Nat had a great time watching the Set Decorators do their thing during intermission. He had done that exact job earlier in his life at Brock University Theatre. He was fascinated at the extra features the Decorators were able to make use of nowadays. Aww, memories!!

We arrived back at the Inn by 11:00 PM, and went straight to bed. Our 25th Anniversary evening had, at least, been enjoyable. Despite the extremely crappy mood I was in during that day, the play had seemed to lighten my spirits. I made so many screw-ups during the day with my memory, I knew I was driving Nat crazy, but he endured, as always, trying his damndest to help out as much as he could.

It was a “no brainer” that we would return to Demetre’s for our breakfast/brunch on Wednesday morning. Our plan would be to have our morning meal and return to the downtown core in the afternoon for some walking about. It was a given that I wanted to visit my other favourite Stratford store Indigena, with its Native art, sculptures, jewellery, clothing and blankets.

Maxine Noel is a former workmate of mine while living in Edmonton. It was apparent from our first meeting of her desire to return to her Native routes. This woman opened my world. She taught me to downhill ski, and we both loved our adventures while skiing in Jasper and Banff. She has a great sense of humanity, humour and love. She (and her first husband) returned to Cochrane, Ontario. She then headed south and within time soon began to draw attention to her beautiful paintings while living in Stratford. She has become such a success she’s been awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of her paintings and her support of the missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. I purchased a painting of her’s while in Stratford the last time, and I had to see what else she has done. She’s now expanded to doing T-shirts, wallets and small prints, so I purchased a T-shirt “Not Forgotten” in memory of those missing and murdered indigenous women. I’ll cherish it forever and I’ll carry my memories of Maxine with me whenever I wear the shirt.

The rest of our afternoon was spent quietly walking around the shops while rehashing our mini-getaway and discussing the trip home tomorrow.

With the balance of Wednesday ahead of us, we returned to the Inn, packed away the purchases I made, and decided to go for supper. Where else, might you ask??? Well, Demetre’s would be my reply. Another nice meal – Nat the Perch and me the 6 oz. steak. Not my best choice with one bottom tooth missing, but I endured. Guess what I have to do when we get home??

Thursday morning arrived. We had mainly packed the evening prior, so we drove back down to Demetre’s for breakfast, returned to the Inn, finished the last minute packing and started our journey home.

As with all trips Nat and I take, we had our little foibles regarding the GPS and managed to take a couple of wrong turns, but were soon put back on track and arrived home by early afternoon and to a dire message we did not expect.

The message was from our friend, Floris. Her husband, Cecil, had taken a fall before we went on our trip, and after going through some rough times, medically, had passed away while we were gone. We could hardly understand her words through the tears that were swelling up, but managed to understand her words he’s gone”. I called her back as soon as I could and it was obvious she was still too upset to talk. Having been married for 67 years, this couple were devoted to each other, and had only been apart for one night during that entire time. After calming down for a second, I told her to email me when she was ready and let me know if there was going to be any memorial.

Nat and I attended Cecil’s memorial service this morning. Standing with her son, Floris was still struggling to go through the gestures of greeting their friends and family and it broke my heart to watch. This was a time when you still want to be alone and suffer in silence with your memories. A necessary evil to go through the motions of thanking friends for their thoughts and prayers, Floris stayed as strong as she could and when everyone gathered together in the Church’s dining room, we gave Floris a big hug and sadly had to say our goodbyes. Other life events had reared their heads that we had to attend to. I asked Floris to give me a call whenever she felt she could talk. We haven’t seen each other in quite some time and both wanted to get caught up with the news.

With such a loving 67 years of life together, it will take Floris a long time to recover from her loss. Nat and I think about her all of the time and am at least thankful that she lives with her youngest daughter who will give her the support and help she may want and need. Our friendship will always be there for Floris along with any support we can give, too.

Home For The Holidays

The week before Christmas was relatively quiet, We delivered the last of the Irwin gifts to their house on Saturday the 21st, had a wee visit, grabbed something to eat at Tim Hortons, and then headed over to our good friends and former neighbours for our usual pre-Christmas visit.

We don’t see our friends as often as we’d like so when we do, we try to make the best of it. Like me, Floris had a bit of a scare with a trip to the hospital via ambulance. She found it hard to breath in the night and discovered she had developed a chest or lung infection. After a night or two in hospital, she returned home and was getting better as each day progressed. The two of them were both in great spirits and we all had our usual laughs with gossip and stories, which we always enjoy.

Christmas Eve arrived all too quickly and we headed into Niagara Falls for what looks to be a traditional trip to Laura’s for her “Christmas Eve” Christmas with her two children, before they go to their Father’s to spend Christmas morning. We enjoyed pizza, wings, cookies and other treats along with Susan, Tom, Felicia and Bridget. We all headed for home around 7:00 pm so Laura, Karly and Lucas could get on with opening their gifts before their father arrived to pick them up. A good time was had by all and I soon discovered that the new cookies I had added to my repertoire (Empire Biscuits) was a great hit and now looks to be a regular.

Nat and I finished off our Christmas Eve by watching a couple of episodes on DVD of “Hustle” before I headed to bed while Nat stayed up to catch the news. I was exhausted and didn’t even play my usual game on the iPad!!

Christmas morning saw me waking up maybe a half hour earlier than usual, but I had a good gift to give Nat and I was anxious to see his reaction. I donned some comfy clothes, grabbed my gift and handed it to Nat as he sat in his recliner trying to finish off the previous day’s crossword puzzle – his way of killing time waiting for me to get out of bed. He was really pleased with the Bose Sound Dock Series II  I gave him so he can now play his iPod as it’s docked and listen to his music without any headphones. He loves his music so much and it seems like he doesn’t get a chance anymore since our mini stereo system gave up the ghost. It was a great little unit we had purchased from Sharper Image in Florida but once the CD part stopped opening and closing properly we felt it wasn’t worth repairing as we had gotten our use out of it. While we’re deciding what kind of music player to purchase in the future this little docking speaker will do in a pinch and besides, like anything “Bose“, it sounds fabulous.

My gift from Nat was Chanel No. 5 perfume which I love and am too bloody cheap to go out and buy for myself. I’ve always managed to get stocked up while travelling and going through Duty Free Shops, but we haven’t exactly travelled too far of late, so I ran out and really missed it, so I’m glad Nat remembered!!

With our little “opening” over, we soon got cleaned up and drove into Thorold to spend a couple of hours visiting with Susan, Tom, Felicia and Bridget to see how good Santa was to them. When we arrived it turns out they had just finished opening themselves and were in the process of prepping their traditional bacon on a bun, so we had a chance to join in and they were delicious as usual. I knew my diet and exercise were going on leave over the holidays so I thought what the hell, and had half of one!!

Nat and I were soon headed home for a couple of hours peace and quiet and by 3:00 packed up the gifts to my sisters, along with a tin of cookies for each and were headed back into St. Catharines to Tam and Daryl’s for a fabulous turkey dinner. This year Tam and Daryl ended up with two turkeys – one of which they cooked the usual way (after brining) and the other one was deep-fried in Daryl’s new Christmas gift – an electric turkey deep fryer. Both birds were absolutely delicious, along with the veggies and rolls and I surprised myself by not going back for seconds. Somehow I kind of knew that Claudia would bring one of her fabulous chocolate cakes and I wasn’t disappointed – she brought my favourite (chocolate cake with white frosting) and I really cheated by having two slices.

I had decided this year to give each sister a small and relatively inexpensive gift because I miss shopping for them, and there have been times that I’ve received a gift I didn’t know was coming, so I decided to do something myself. Nat and I had found some beautiful warm neck scarves at By The Lake in Niagara-on-the-Lake which I couldn’t resist. We’re all at the age now where a good warm scarf is always handy to have on these cold winter days and handy to have a second choice if you already have one.

During our visit I had a chance to see Zach and Zoe’s bedrooms, which I haven’t seen since they each moved to different rooms – Zach downstairs and Zoe in Zach’s former larger room. I was really surprised to see the great collection of sports – especially hockey – memorabilia collected by Zach. He’s done such a great job and is quickly running out of room to store it all. He’s even had to give up collecting hockey cards as his collection now is enormous, but I’m sure he’ll find that gem one day in the future that he won’t be able to resist.

Zoe’s room is a typical young girl’s – walls covered in posters and pictures of her favourite group (“One Direction“), along with other famous people, and her dresser loaded up with make-up items, jewellery and anything else she needs to make herself more beautiful. Too bad she thinks that way, as with any young girl, she’s already perfect just the way she is. I do understand, however, as I felt the same way at her age.

After such a delicious meal, groups of us sat around each of the small dining tables and talked amongst ourselves and then back and forth to each other. I really miss seeing every one of my sisters and really didn’t want to leave, but Tam was in the kitchen cleaning up, Gail’s eyes were fighting hard to stay open and I think Bonnie was ready for her bed too. Plus, Nat and I had the longest drive, so we left the festivities around 7:00 and arrived home to sit some more and watch DVDs to fill the rest of the evening before heading to bed ourselves. So, good night to all and to all a good night!!

Old Habits Never Die – They Just Come Back To Tease You

Between testing my blood sugar levels, keeping up my treadmill routine, keeping on my “mish-mash” of a diet and starting a new anti-rejection pill along with accompanying blood work, you can certainly understand why my brain has been very foggy these past couple of weeks. After the hectic days from my transplant (weekly trips to Hamilton, constant blood work, one rejection with hospital stay, etc.) Nat and I were soon able to settle down to a relatively quiet routine. It’s been even better since moving to Ridgeway. We’ve also been able to handle the few ups and downs that were put in our way. However, with the passage of time and getting older, this brain of mine has been faltering somewhat and the memory can get a bit hazy, so whatever is thrown my way now, I have to be very reticent and think twice before attempting anything, especially when it comes to my health. Things are getting better now that the diabetes has come under control and I’m quite convinced that I don’t have it, just the beginnings and enough to give me a hell of a scare. My blood sugar levels have been pretty much normal, if not close to, and I’ve been able to sneak in the odd piece of chocolate or french fry without dire consequences. I’m going to continue to keep track of my blood sugar levels until the diabetes nurse calls and she can advise the Doc at St. Joe’s in order to see where we go from there.

The new anti-rejection drug, Advagraf, is replacing the Prograf for various reasons and I’ll have to have blood work done weekly for 4 weeks to see how my body and new kidney are reacting to it. As long as I check our calendar daily I should be able to remember to take those trips to the Lab and the advantage to this replacement is only 2 pills in the morning and none in the evening.

The diet is still giving me pause for thought! Nat and I are both struggling to come up with creative ideas for meals. My food habits are appalling and my taste buds very discriminating, so we both scratch our heads when coming up with meals that are appealing to the two of us. Nat will eat anything and he takes advantage of that whenever we eat out. At home, is whole new ball of wax, as the choices are fewer and it’s a constant struggle not to fall back  into our old ways – especially with possible diabetes hanging over my head along with kicking the fat habit and that come hither look each time you look at a potato or see a chocolate bar ad on TV. I’m also at another standstill after losing a couple more pounds and it looks like starvation may be my only option to break that barrier. An admission of truth is now called for here. The past week has been the same old, same old, but after going to the Pen Centre this morning, we decided to have lunch at Tim Horton’s on the way home. Those double chocolate glazed donuts just popped right out of the display case, landed on Nat’s tray and fell right onto my side of the table. “Hmmm, good God, these are good”!, I mumbled to myself. For supper tonight, we both decided the diet has now been blown out of the water for today, so we settled on grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries!! I could hear those fries saying “Welcome back, my dear”, as I savoured every bite. I’m back on the wagon tomorrow – the treadmill is crying out and the old body is crying “Traitor, traitor, you blew it!!” My determination has set back in and I know I can jump this hurdle with perseverance.

Onto a better topic – shopping!! Nat and I drove into St. Catharines this morning. I found a white bed online at Sears Canada and I wanted Nat to check it out and see if this one would pass his inspection. He also wanted to check out bath robes, I wanted to check out table lamps and fitted sheets for that new bed if and when it lands in the bedroom. It turns out Sears has separated their online business from their store and catalogue business and naturally, the bed I liked was an online purchase. God, what were the odds!! Nat still had a chance, along with the salesman, to check the bed construction and had a few questions answered. We were going to go home and discuss our next step. The rest of our shopping trip was more successful – he found a great bath robe and we both found a nice table lamp (only at HomeSense ).

This past week (starting Thursday) found Nat (and with a little help from me) assembled the new gazebo/patio awning on the deck. Assembling the frame gave Nat a bit of trouble, but only when I attempted to put in my two cents, and once I left, the whole thing went up pretty easily. As the afternoon was getting hotter I encouraged him to leave it for the day and continue on Friday. He agreed and gave it up by 2:30 pm. Come Friday morning he was back at it and when it was time to put the cover on, I was able to give him some assistance as he climbed the ladder to reach the top of the frame. It took some fiddling after that in order to get the outside awning straight and then attach the netting, but the whole thing was completed by Friday afternoon. He just had to screw the framing to the deck and he’d finish that after our trip to St. Catharines. We’re both more than pleased with how the whole thing worked out and are certainly looking forward to sitting out and reading, working on crosswords, afternoon naps and especially our BBQs.

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How Much Rain Can Anyone Take?

Waking up this morning I was somewhat hopeful. Looking out the bedroom window everything looked dry – no rain. After getting dressed, Nat and I sat down for a little while before heading into Niagara Falls to visit Karly and Lucas. The two kids were going to be around so we could pop in to give them their belated Easter gifts.

Upon arrival we discovered the two kids had slept in. Who could blame them, a long weekend, no homework and time on their hands. The four of us sat down in the living room and had a great visit. They were pleased with their chocolate rabbit and iTunes cards and while Lucas continued to wake up we got caught up on what Karly has been doing lately. She enjoyed her job at the Veterinarian Hospital, but realized it wasn’t going to be quite as fulfilling as she had hoped. She’s now decided to continue with a veterinary education but branch out into a more challenging position. After her Grade 12 graduation in June, she’s going to repeat Grade 12 for one more year and then head up north to a college that will give her the courses she needs. Karly has always been a huge animal lover and now wants to pursue a career in saving and preserving wildlife of any size, shape or species. An admirable profession, I’d say!

Lucas by now was starting to show signs of life and after inquiring what his summer plans were, he replied “Still looking for a job”. “Any ideas as to what or with whom?”, we inquired. “Probably KFC”, he replied jokingly. Nat and I are pretty sure this young man has no idea of what he wants to do or where he wants to go. For now he’s loving his baseball games, his time off and his bed. This is one little saga we’ll have to sit and watch to unfold.

With our visit over and allowing the two kids to get back to their day off, we grabbed a bite to eat at Tim Horton’s, and continued home to vote early. This election has been tough for Nat and I, as we’ve struggled to decide which way to go. Who was going to be the lesser of three or four evils. As we had now finally made up our minds we decided to vote early and it would be done. Naturally, once we arrived at Tim Horton’s, the rain drops began. They continued on when we were finished, once we had voted and on the way home. Nat was disappointed, as he was hoping it would have stayed off long enough for him to get the lawn mowed. With the amount of rain we’ve had this past month the lawn has been having a great old time growing more and more.

The rain continued all afternoon and into the evening. We even understand it’s going to be on for the rest of the week and we’re now officially depressed. If nothing else it’s been an exacerbating month not being able to get out much. If we had been more clever, I suppose we should have tackled some of those indoor jobs that need doing. Not knowing at the time, however, that the whole month of April was going to be a wet one we sloughed off a bit and am now in a slump unable to muster up any ambition to do anything. Lacking sunshine and natural Vitamin C can eventually make anyone depressed. We’ll continue to keep the good thoughts and hope like hell the sun shines in May!!

By way of a P.S. – Nat and I watched The King’s Speech last night via our Apple TV. What a fabulous movie and certainly deserving of every Oscar award it received. The storyline was absolutely enlightening – little bits of background information not necessarily known to the general public – along with great cinema photography. I’m thinking this is one movie that I’d probably run out and buy to have in my collection. If you’re thinking about it, run, don’t walk, to your movie rental place and pick it up. It’s well worth the money and more!!

102 Pieces Doth A Shed Make

The rains came, the rains went, and once the skies cleared the heat had dissipated to a certain degree. At least now, a nice breeze was blowing. And so, Saturday saw the two of us up early – well, at least Nat, but I followed an hour later – to begin assembling the shed that’s been the bane of Nat’s existence. For more than several weeks now this project has been weighing on his shoulders and mind and he’s been ever so anxious to get it erected and done with. We both felt pretty sure that the actual panels of the shed could be erected fairly easy, and they were. The slow and grinding part was selecting the proper numbered panels for the left wall, right (window) wall, back wall and front wall with door. Each panel was numbered individually (and of course some panels were missing their numbers), but like tongue-in-groove flooring, we were able to discern which piece connected to the other. We were somewhat surprised how well each panel went into place, as with most some assembly required items, it’s never that easy. There’s always one piece that’s missing, disjointed or cut wrong. Keeping the good thoughts, we continued on until all four walls were up and the corner posts secured to prevent the whole damn thing from  falling down around us. The tedious work involved Nat climbing up and down the ladder in order to connect one panel to the next. With the shed being located in direct sunlight during the morning hours, we took our time and broke at 10 minute intervals. Towels in hand and water bottles at the ready, we cooled off under the patio umbrella, enjoyed the nice breezes that blew our way, reread the instruction manual and looked over at our handiwork thus far.

Knowing we earned a good break, we headed down the road to our usual haunts – Tim Horton’s and Wendy’s – for lunch. We also took a few extra minutes to pick up milk and the newspaper, headed home and continued on with the task at hand. We were so close to being done. At one point during the construction we noticed two hawks soaring around in the clear blue sky right above our heads. We looked at each other. Were they looking for fresh meat? Were we in their way and thus preventing the little critters that scurried around our backyard from getting snatched up in their talons? If that was the case, we were going to hang about for as long as it took for them to look for greener pastures. One of them had already done damage last year by swooping in and whisking away a baby cardinal and that was not going to happen again, if we could help it. After surveying all around our yard for close to five minutes, the hawks soon realized there was no food to be had and moved on. Thank goodness. The baby bunny that’s been bouncing around our yard in the evenings and feeding with the birds was at least safe for another day – or so we hoped!!

By mid-afternoon the four walls were up. The heat was beginning to build and now satisfied that everything would hold for the night, we stopped. The tough part was going to be Sunday morning – the roof beam. Nat poured over the instructions again and again to make sure everything was clear in his mind for the morning. We were now in for the night and despite the fact that TV viewing is pretty cruddy on Saturday nights, we enjoyed the cool air of the house, the peace and quiet of our surroundings and a bacon sandwich with chips for supper – easy, breezy!!!

Sunday morning came soon enough. Nat didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, and I’m thinking he was anticipating the task ahead – that roof beam. Before I could even down my morning meds, he was outside and had the roof beam assembly done. Without me yammering away at him and confusing things, he was able to follow instructions and get the beam assembled without too much hassle. He had a couple of concerns but wouldn’t know the results until the actual beam was sitting atop and joining the front and back wall panels. Once I arrived outside, still a bit tired from the previous day (more exercise than I’ve seen in several years) he was ready for my assistance in lifting the beam up to be inserted into each end wall unit. Naturally, the first try wasn’t successful. The rear wall had a narrower gap than required by the roof beam and being vinyl it was going to be a perplexing fix. Nat felt the individual wall panels weren’t sitting evenly and decided to take a few pieces out, readjust what he could and then re-assemble. Once done, the second try wasn’t successful – albeit 1/16th of an inch closer! Again, Nat made another attempt but this time shaving small pieces off each end of the caps to widen the gap just enough to accept the beam. Again, the third try wasn’t successful – albeit 3/16th of an inch closer! With utmost determination, and being so close, he continued to shave away a bit more. Another trek up the ladder, another holding of the roof beam by me until Nat could climb his ladder with his end of the beam and insert each end into the respective gaps. VOILA! We had success!! With one or two taps by his trusty mallet that damn beam was in!! At this point we were both exhausted. The sun was beaming down on us with each try, I kept banging my shins on the little step ladder with each try and the sweat was pouring off each of our faces faster than running tap water. After completion we ran for the cool of the patio umbrella, grabbed a cold drink and took a deep breath. Thank God, that was over!!

By the time the roof beam was inserted it was nearing lunch time. Nat took the time to cool down and called Jenny in England – his regular routine to check in on her every couple of weeks – while I started fixing our lunches. We were now certain the worst was over. The remaining roof panels should be inserted like their tongue-in-groove wall panel cousins with relative ease. Nat assured me he could continue on his own, for me to retreat to the cool air indoors and he would call if needed. He wasn’t too far off the mark. Most of the panels were put into place and screwed down for security, except for the last panel on each side of the roof. There’s always one, isn’t there?? The last panel on each side was going to be an extremely tight fit and as I held the shed walls to prevent them from tilting too far left or right, Nat pushed as hard as he could to get the panel into place. Putting his thinking cap on he ran for the WD40 and with one or two squirts the panel was in. Naturally as he continued on with the opposite side of the roof, the same thing happened, but this time this sucker was really tight. Nat had to unscrew the panels on either side in order to allow for some give and with that, the last panel was slipped into place. We had lift-off – the shed was complete, except for the door!!!! I could see in Nat’s blue eyes he was thrilled with the whole thing. At least now 99% of the worry would slip from his mind as he was in the home stretch. With the installation of the door, this shed would contain 102 pieces, excluding screws, and Nat’s heart and soul is in each and every one of them.

I’m now hoping this will be the end of my postings regarding the construction of the shed. Having said that, the door may be a bit of a problem, but at least the structure itself is up and Nat will soon have a place for his snow blower, lawn mower and bicycles, along with anything else he can find room for. After storing each and every one of those 102 pieces, he’ll have his garage back ready for the Van and his workshop. Now, I’m beginning to wonder what kind of project he’s going to get up to next!! We can only hope it will contain fewer pieces!!

Our Little Shed