Seniors Situation Room Dawn Ford – April Showers Bring May Flowers MAY 2, 2017



CORNWALL ONTARIO – They say April showers bring May flowers. Seems to be true already. The little sprigs of budding plants and flowers are coming up through the winter-weary earth. One bush I touched had little pods that looked like pussy willows but were in fact tiny buds with little shoots of folded leaves peeking out. A friend told me she is watching her garden because she sees tiny sprouts peeking through the ground and knows that they are her tulips. I saw some clusters of tiny brown cones on a cedar tree which I had never noticed before. And all around us now is that incredible shade of light green on grass and budding tree leaves. Awe and wonder.

From the old family album: a 1940 photo of my late brother Richard ‘Sonny’ Herrington with fellow cadets. Sonny was 16 years old in this picture. By process of elimination, not RCAF cadets or Navy Sea Cadets, so I am assuming Army Cadets. On the back it says : Photos Ltd., Hawkesbury, Ont. Enlargements : Wood Moulding with Glass and Back 45 cents each. ? Type Mount 25 cents.

From left to right back row: Richard ‘ Sonny’ Herrington, Stuart Smith, Joseph Smith.

Front row: Leo Brisson and Euclide Saucier.

Wonderful picture.

The newsletter from Child Haven International is always a joy to read. This latest one is no exception. Pages and pages of smiling happy children and staff playing, making and painting things, stories of what some children hope to have as a career when they grow up and many interesting articles.

One article says that over the years it has been noted that in their nine overseas Homes there is no obesity of the children. They are thinking that it is due to simple but nourishing food and the fact that the children exercise a lot with calisthenics in the A.M. and lots of playing, running and walking during the day.

Perhaps because of less junk food, less sugar and a healthy vegetarian food the children have fewer cavities? Also, in competition with village children, they tend to achieve both academically and in athletics, taking the top academic and athletic places in the classroom.

Here is a wonderful paragraph about love and I quote: “There is a cushion of love. Several years ago there was a tsunami that devastated fishing villages not too far for our Kaliyampoondi Home. Twenty orphan children came to Kaliyampoondi. For several days they were listless and slept on a big sand-pile intended for cement work, which they found comforting and home-like. In Canada the practice would be to send in a team of crisis counsellors. We couldn’t do that over there. Gradually they watched the other children in the Home, who had all come from their own traumatic experiences, who were running and laughing much of the time. Soon they began to mingle with the other children and the healing process began. The is healing in the Home’s loving family atmosphere.”

Child Haven International, a registered charity, operates ten projects in four different countries: Tibet in China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. They also sponsor children for education that are not living in one of their homes. CHI was founded by Dr. Nat Shah and Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino in 1985 to help destitute children and women in need.

For more information on Child Haven International, go to or phone Fred at 613-527-2829 in Maxville or email : or call Elaine MacDonald in Cornwall at 613-938-7763.

The CHI newsletter always closes with a quote from Rabindranath Tagore:

‘Let me light my light , says the star and never debate if it will dispel the dark.’

How is this for total relaxation? Looks like Tiger, I know but it is Mouchon, the cat I had before Tiger. They were both of the Maine Coone cat variety which means stripes and lots and lots of fur. My porch faced East and Mouchon loved to be out there, sprawled on her back on the table asleep, obvious of anything around her. The porch got the morning sun only, so it was always very comfortable in the afternoon and evening regardless of the hot temperature. This photo is early spring because the old leaves are still visible on the pool winter water bags. Mouchon was either sounds asleep on the table or on the floor looking through the screen at the birds at the bird feeder or squirrels running around the yard. Since the porch was fully screened -in she was safe and so were the birds and squirrels.

Tiger often sleeps just like this on his back, paws in the air, sometimes covering his face with his front paws or sticks them up to one side. So cute, relaxed and content. Big Baby.

I was wondering why, in the 50’s, the girls sometimes wore their cardigan sweaters backwards with the buttons on the back?? Can’t think of one good reason today why we did that. We wore our gored skirts with the crinolines too. Must have been hot?

We had to starch the crinolines or soak then in a sugar solutions to stiffen them. Lots of fun..and work. Our mothers must have been glad to see that fad peter out. I guess it all tied in with wearing bobby socks and saddle shoes. We had fancy laces too for the saddle shoes, often plaid or colours. Elvis sang about his ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ but I can’t remember ever seeing any. We did have white Bucks and had a chalk-like powder to clean them.

One day in the early 60’s, some of my classmates in nurses training and I were sitting on the front porch of the Cornwall General Hospital Nurses Residence. We noticed that the girls going by on their way to St. Lawrence High School were wearing nylons and shoes and carrying purses. Purses? Heavens,!! We only wore nylons and shoes when we had to for dress up. Suddenly we were aware that the saddle shoes and bobby socks on the teen aged girls were gone. I guess we had been so busy with our new life in training that we hadn’t noticed before. Fads come and go.

The Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District will be hosting their Annual Cornwall Walk for Alzheimer’s 2017 inside the Benson Center, 800 Seventh Street West in Cornwall on Saturday, May 6th form 9:45 AM to 12pm. According to the information that Roman MacDonald, Campaign and Volunteer Coordinator, kindly sent me, this indoor event will ensure that the weather will not deter people from participating in poor weather conditions. They are encouraging friends, family and colleagues to make a team. There is no minimum money contribution or laps a person must walk. Also this year the Society is adopting a “Wall of Memories”. They invite Walkers to bring a photo of a loved one or they can also write their names on the Wall. At the end of the day. there will be a commemoration of the people that we all walk for this year. They are asking us to get together and Make Memories Matter!!

For more information, call the Alzheimer society at 613-932-4914 (1-888-222-1445) or go to: or

Here are some cute signs sent to me from a friend which weren’t proof read very well:

1) Toilet Out of Order. Please Use Floor Below.

2) In a London department store: Bargain Basement Upstairs.

3) After Tea Break Staff Should Empty the Teapot and Stand Upside Down.

4) Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken.

5)) Outside a second hand store: We Exchange Anything – Bicycles, Washing Machines, ETC. Why Not Bring Your Wife Along and Get a Wonderful Bargain?

6)Spotted in a safari park: Elephants Please Stay In Your Car.

7) Seen during a conference: For Anyone Who Has Children And Doesn’t Know It, There Is A Day Care On The First Floor.

8) Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead.

9) Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

10) Kids Make Nutritious Snacks.

Have a good week, Dawn

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  1. Dawn we had so much rain that the rain soaked right through the brick of my apartment building and my rug near the wall is soaked and I have a heater trying to dry in in my bedroom. I thought that I had an accident this morning LOL LOL and said “did I do that”? like the little nerd on Family Matters. There is a gas leak in downtown Ottawa and the traffic is backed up where I live.

  2. Dawn I remember the sweaters being buttoned on backwards and that was in the 50’s era and some of the 60’s as well. I remember those hoop skirts as well and worn by my much older sisters and there was a family of two girls of my age who wore that on special occasions as well. Give my best to Tiger. I love animals they are wonderful.

  3. Dawn I am going to bring you back memory lane. You have a picture of your brother with cadets. Do you remember the cadets at CCVS back in your day? When I first went to CCVS back in 1965 it was their last year for cadets. I thought that I would shake your memory of the good days of Cornwall unlike today. Young people today know nothing of the good times at all. I am 66 and remember those day

  4. Dawn I sure do remember the bobby sock years and remember the sadal shoes. OMG I am remembering Cornwall’s better years every time you post. I wish to God that I could turn back time and that is my honest to God feeling. I can’t stand today’s society at all. Ottawa is so full of drugs and I saw it myself last week in a park here in Ottawa – a main park here in the city.

  5. I wonder what building that is in the background.

  6. Jules: Yes, it was a great time to be growing up in Cornwall in the 50’s era. Being in the Cadets at CCVS was part of the fun.

  7. Dawn you and I remember much better times and things are no longer the same anymore. Society has gone to hell these days. When you grew up as well as myself none of this nonsense went on at all like what is happening today. We had a good society back then and I wish that I could turn back time and I would do it in an instant. You are an excellent lady Dawn and I mean that fully.

  8. Jules: Thank you. I have the feeling that you are a very nice lady yourself.

  9. Thank you Dawn you are a really nice lady and that is the truth. I keep everyone here on their toes that is for sure. I got my carpet bone dry after that rain with an electric heater and only had it on for a little while during the day and this happened 13 years ago when we first came here what a shock. Even the ceiling leaked back then and the damage shows in my apartment.

  10. Thanks for another good story about Child Haven.

  11. Dawn you would remember the days when we would be able to play outside day or night and no danger or very little of it unlike today. Here in Ottawa I could never let my kids out alone not even for a minute. Things have worsen to the core nowadays and I still worry even at their ages. We would go to parks and my kids would be in physical activities and crafts and the libraries as well here in Ot

  12. Dawn I just ran into my landlord downstairs and asked me if I had rain come into my apartment and I told him yes and where it was and how big. He told me that he got in touch with a company to fix the brick again but has to be nice weather. The Rideau River has overflowed as well and Gatineau needs boats to get around. The situation is bad. We are supposed to get up to 70 mm of rain.

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