Seniors Situation Room. By Dawn Ford – Covid & Fall Arrives

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 – There is a tree outside my window which has already a bunch of orangey yellow leaves on a couple of branches only, among all the green leaves. Is Fall far away?

I guess those days of camping are just about over for the summer. It has been a different kind of summer for so many with the COIVD 19 virus threat around constantly.

I am grateful to have so many wonderful memories of camping with the Trinity Anglican Girl Guide Company when I was a young lass. We had the opportunity in those years to go camping at a lot of different sites but always every summer, we camped at Charlottenburg Park, east of Cornwall. It was always a lot of fun especially when we all knew it would be back to school after Labour Day.

We camped one Labour Day weekend but the remnants of a hurricane had spoiled our outdoor camping and we spent most of the time in the bunk house. Still had a lot of fun, though and had our meals cooked on a stove instead of a campfire.

It wasn’t back to school for some of our guides though after that weekend. Some of us my age went on to enter the workforce or higher learning in universities and some of us went into nurses training. It was our last camping trip together.

Here is a photo sent to me from Frances Glass Irwin of Fran (RT) and me cooking over a campfire during one of our camping trips at Charlottenburg Park. It was always a lot of fun, even if we did have to use the

I especially liked Joshua Santos article in the Cornwall Standard Freeholder of August 25, 2020 titled:” Let’s talk COVID-19 and mental health”. It states that there has been a 44% increase in people worrying since the pandemic began and 41% increase in anxiety, with one in 10 Canadians saying that their mental health had worsened.

The article goes on to give some very sound advice of what we can do to cope and lessen the stress such as finding someone to talk things over with, calling someone to check and see how they are, etc.

It is a very informative , helpful and compassionate article.

If you feel overwhelmed at any time please remember that the Cornwall Community Hospital Addiction and Mental Health Crisis Line is available at no charge for you to talk with a counsellor at 1-866-996-0991 and also the Mental Health helpline is also available at no charge at 1-866-531-4055. It helps so much to speak with someone confidentially.


A friend sent me a copy of William John Patterson’s book on the history of the Trinity (Bishop Strachan Memorial) Church in Cornwall for the years 1784-1984. It was published in 1984 by Brown & Martin Ltd., Kingston, On.

There is a profile of the author who was really BGen. Patterson and his work history and volunteer activiites in the community which is really interesting. Amazing man.

The book has many articles on all the clergy who served as well as the parishioners who supported the church. There are photos of the church as it was reconstructed over the years , the rectory , halls and photos of the choirs in the 1950’s. There are also photos of The Parish Carpet Bowling Team of 1937, The Trinity Drama Club of 1915, the ladies who formed Trinity Church branch of the Women’s Auxillary of 1892. It is a fascinating and very interesting informative book.

The restoration of the Bishop’s House in St. Raphael’s ON is ongoing. What a wonderful job the non-profit group, the Glengarry Fencibles Trust, has done to bring this old historic building back to top condition since acquiring the house in 2016.

Recently they held a Virtual fund raising concert which is still available to see on You Tube. Go to their web site, to view the concert and for more information on the restoration process.

It is not finished yet but a lot of work has been done.

I love this recent photo sent to me from Brenda Baxter, the President of the Glengarry Fencibles Trust. Reminds me so much of how nice the area looked when Mount Carmel House Treatment Center was housed in the Bishop’s Palace from 1981 to 1996. I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work there for 14 years. People used to say that as soon as they got out of their cars they could feel a peaceful atmosphere with all the greenery and little chirps of the birds surrounding the stately building which was far from the highway noise. Some said that they felt a calm feeling.

Staff members and our residents felt it also . I remember one resident who would come to my office when I arrived in the morning to get a supply from me of black sunflower seeds. Despite the chilly weather he would take it to my two birdfeeders outside and fill them. He said that for twenty years of his drinking he had not known that a bird existed on the earth. Now he was so grateful to have a chance and hope for recovery in a wonderful peaceful place.

Brenda said that in the future, there will be event spaces that will compliment the Ruins: a few interpretive rooms in the 1808 section, a coffee/tea room facing the Ruins, washrooms (in the basement of the west wing), meeting/conferences spaces, hospitality before concerts in the ruins, elegant wedding receptions – though not overly large ones, small concert venues and practice rooms for musicians/creative spaces for artists. Sounds wonderful.

For more information on the ongoing restoration, activities or to make a donation visit their website at

This Tiger cat thinks he owns me. If it isn’t his front paw wrapped around my arm, it is his hind leg wrapped around my hand or laying on it in case I move. If I do move my arm or even wiggle a finger, he raises his head, gives me a look that would stop a train and pushes even harder on my arm, like, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, baby!! ” When I get up and leave him he has a look on his face just like a tiny abandoned kitten. He pokes me in the chin often…not too sure what that is all about other than to let me know he is still around, as if I don’t know it. What a cat.!! Little 17 year old sweetie, though.

A few fun lines from a friend:

Great truths Adults have learned:

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jello to a tree.

2) Wrinkles don’t hurt.

3) Families are like fudge…..mostly sweet. With a few nuts.

4) Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.

5) Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging inside.

6) Aging is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

7) And the Four Stages of Life are :a) You believe in Santa Claus.

b) You don’t believe in Santa Claus.

c) You are Santa Claus.

d) You look like Santa Claus.

Have a good week and stay safe, Dawn

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