Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Cornwall Community Christmas 2015!



I had the opportunity to be a volunteer for a few hours at the Cornwall Community Christmas dinner at the Agora Center on Christmas day. What a party!!! Smiling faces on everyone: volunteers and guests. There was music, prizes and great food and… great company!!

I can’t imagine how Darlene Walsh and Bernadette Blakeley ever managed to get that dinner organized and have it look so good. Every time I saw Darlene or Bernadette, they were smiling and calm which was amazing with all the work they had to do.

There were donations of money, decorations, food, prizes, volunteers and musicians volunteering their time also, all from the Cornwall community; some of them from churches, assemblies and parishes.

When I first arrived about 10 am with another volunteer, Pat Shaver, everyone was very busy setting tables, decorating around the room and preparing the food in the kitchen. Some of the volunteers had been there since 8am.

dW 1Soon, I was doing a bit of work in the kitchen with a host of volunteers. They were busy getting the turkeys out of the ovens, mashing potatoes, etc. I got the job of mixing the cranberries..( I know..menial work but somebody had to do it!! Pat was busy slicing turkey. Besides some women in the kitchen, there were lots of men, working hard. It was a good thing because some of the huge pots and roasting pans were very heavy. Anyway, they do say that men are great chefs also and, in this case, it was true. I don’t know who cooked what but the turkey and all the food including mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and carrots were all delicious. The dessert table had scrumptious pies and cakes but with my food allergies, I could just look and wish.

They had expected to serve about 200 but it was closer to 280, according to Darlene. Everyone seemed happy to be there enjoying the music, delicious food and being with friendly people.

At one point, I was helping another volunteer, Judy, with the lift which was available for people who couldn’t do the stairs. It was a great spot because we ended up greeting a lot of the incoming people. They all seemed happy to be attending the dinner. They often said “Merry Christmas” and all were very friendly. One man told me that his two relatives lived in other cities and he was alone. He said that he was glad to have the dinner to come to and be able to enjoy the festivities.

Transportation was available by some volunteers for those without any means of getting there. Unfortunately for some disabled people, there was no Handi-transit running that day and some people in wheelchairs, etc. were probably unable to attend. Let’s hope for next year’s dinner.

The music was wonderful . Every once in a while a little child or some adults would get up and start dancing to the music. Fun to watch them.

A big Kudos to Darlene Walsh and Bernadette Blakeley and all the incredible volunteers for making Christmas a lot merrier for some of our citizens in our community.

photo maybe??

I thought that ‘you-know-who- Tiger Baby’ was sound asleep when I decided to start doing a bit of Christmas wrapping on the dining room table one day. I dropped something, stooped down to pick it up and as I was standing up I heard crackling sounds. Tiger was in the middle of the wrapping paper, pawing it to make it crackle more. I had not heard him jump up on the table. Sneaky cat!! Before I could get him, he spied a pen and was pushing it around the table. He loves pens to play with. I don’t let him play with them if I can help it because he might poke his eye but if he can get one, away he goes, like it is a big mouse or something. He pushed it off the table. Wrapping paper and all went flying. And off he went also. The pen rolled under the couch and I had to then move the couch to get it and put it away. What a face on the pouty pussy cat when I took the pen away from him. So he leaped on the wrapping paper which was still on the floor and almost scooted the length of the room on it. Needless to say, that was the end of the wrapping paper which was almost in shreds. What a little pest!! Cute little pest, though. What would I do for fun without him, eh??

And here he is:

DF aI received this wonderful photo from my old school friend Frances Glass-Irwin , now living in Woodstock, On. In it, she and I are in the middle of the CCVS marching band. She is playing the baritone and I, my beloved French horn. I think the girl in the foreground is the late Judy Bush-Bobka playing the trombone. Looks like Fred Wardle beside her playing the trombone also. I remember ‘Suitcase’ Simpson (Ron) was on drums. Good old days gone by. Thanks Fran, for the nice memories.

DF 2The fall Child Haven International newsletter has arrived and as usual, has wonderful stories of children and staff. CHI shelters, feeds, educates and lovingly takes care of destitute children in India, Nepal, Tibet in China, and Bangladesh. Not all the children are orphans. Some have been placed because a parent or relative could not care for them or other problems prevented them from looking after the child.

One of the stories tells about a little boy whose mother left him. He was living in a train station and being fed by some of the female workers. Police eventually took him to the CHI home in Kaliyampoondi, Tamil Nadu, India. Now little Nirmal is being cared for by Child Haven. His picture is in the newsletter and he is smiling and looks happy, now in grade two. Go to or email: or call 1-613-527-2829 for more information on this wonderful organization.

Here are wonderful pictures from the newsletter. One little guy is a would-be-inventor and the pictures shows his latest invention:

DF 3The Child Haven International newsletter always closes with this wonderful quote: ‘Let me light my lamp, says the star, and never debate if it will dispel the dark’. Rabindranath Tagore.

Happy Happy Birthday to my younger sister Evelyn. Great lady and sister. Still looking good!!

Here are more of the ‘Home Schooling’ jokes a friend sent to me:

1) My mother taught me the science of Osmosis. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

2)My mother taught me about the Weather. “Your room looks like a tornado went through it.”

3) My mother taught me about Hypocrisy. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate.”

4)My father taught me Humour. “When the lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

5)My mother taught me about Foresight. “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you are in an accident.”

And the one I heard so often :

6) My mother taught me about my Roots.”Shut the door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

Have a good week, Dawn

1 Comment

  1. I always read your stories and often the memories put a smile on my face and get me going for another day.

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