By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
A resident of Castor’s Paintearth Lodge is having a very special birthday on Jan. 21st.
Dorothy Schnell, a 12-year resident of the lodge, will be turning 100 this year.
Due to the ongoing state of emergency in the province, there will be no opportunity for the community to share in the celebration with Schnell in person at this time.
There will be a ‘drive-by’ birthday party for her at noon on the 21st.
Anyone wishing to participate is asked to be at the Town of Castor office by 11:45 a.m.
Born south of Fleet, when she got older, she married a farmer and settled on a farm north of Castor, where she remained until 2000. In that time, she has seen many changes in the region.
“I’ve seen changes in the whole world,” said Schnell.
“I’ve seen the little towns drying up and blowing away practically, with people moving to bigger places. The biggest change is everything is closed down, the stores are closed up, and (small towns are) dying out.”
In the meantime, Schnell is happy living in the community.
“Just about everything (is good in Castor). You know everybody, and people are much more friendly (than elsewhere). It’s great,” said Schnell.
“I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Schnell moved to the farm in 1945, and remained there with her husband until 2000, after they couldn’t manage the farm any longer.
The couple lived in their own home in Castor until 2008, at which point they ended up in the Paintearth Lodge.
When asked how the morale was in the lodge, Schnell had this to say: “I think the morale is pretty good. We have a wonderful staff…they do everything they can to make things good for us.”
The staff at the lodge are always looking for fun and inventive ways to help entertain the seniors in their care. Frequently, they get entertainers in as well as putting together theme days.
Most recently the staff held a Hawaiian day.
“They have as many activities as they can,” said Schnell. “(They are) fun, and (they) break (up ) the day.”
To pass the time aside from Lodge-led activities, especially in light of the pandemic, Schnell enjoys passing her time reading.
“I can read all day long.”
Schnell says there is no secret living as long as she has, it’s just happened.
“I never really thought about getting old,” said Schnell. “I kept carrying on, and then I was old. “
Schnell’s husband passed away several years ago, however she has three children she keeps in touch with, two sons in Calgary, and a daughter in Winnipeg, with whom she keeps in touch with often.