July 19 --  Season of Rain

Despite the forecast, we had a great record of outdoor events last week and I hope that continues. Most of our groups were able to gather and we enjoyed a visit from Rene Schoemaker  for Stories From the Seaway even though storms were threatened until the day before so the lesson we are taking forward is to wait and see what the sky looks like when it’s time to leave basically!

Fortunately, the parking lot is close so if rain interrupts our activities it’s just a hop skip and a jump to get under cover.


I have 4 copies of “A Violent End” by Maggie Wheeler for those wanting to pick one up. Our planned book club date is the 28th of July so you still have lots of time to read it.



The town has placed two large picnic tables on the back lawn and there is room for your chairs in the shade. This week our plans include:


Monday – ukulele at 1pm


Tuesday – walk from Walker House at 9

Craft and chat – 1pm this week, bring  your own project; I have nothing planned) ***I’m looking for some good sized pinecones for a craft later this month if anyone has some in their stash***


Wednesday -10am- Hoops and Hooks traditional rug hooking

1pm – Zoom drawing lessons with Sharon (I’ll include the link again below if you’d like to try something new)

1pm on the lawn – wood carvers


Thursday – 10am meet at the beach; bring a chair and a noodle and enjoy the river! (I will be AWOL, but there will surely be familiar faces and the sun should be shining this week)

-1pm plein air painting with Jackie


Fridays -9am walking from the amphitheatre (I will be AWOL this week)

-10am – knitting and crochet on the lawn


Our walking club has received another virtual postcard along Rte 66 that I’ve included – we are making great progress and I’ll have another for you soon at this pace.


You've made it to Springfield, Susan, capital of Illinois and sixth most populated town in the state. Like Chicago, Springfield's early history is intertwined with the fortunes of travelling fur trappers and traders. By the time a young Abraham Lincoln moved here in 1837, Springfield was an established town.

Lincoln met his wife, Mary, in Springfield, and practised law there for 24 years, also taking a healthy interest in politics - a good pursuit for a future president. He was elected to office in November 1860, although was singularly unpopular in slave states; in fact, he only won two of 996 counties in the South that year.

A two-term president, Lincoln can also be credited with founding Thanksgiving as a national holiday in America. Before, it had been a small holiday in New England, but he fixed it as the final Thursday in November; something we can be certain retail employers don't thank him for today, with Black Friday falling the following day.

Although buried in Springfield, Lincoln is perhaps best known for being murdered in a theatre. John Wilkes Booth, his assassin, was a well-known actor and a vocal racist; Lincoln promoting equal voting rights for freed slaves didn't go down well, and when watching Our American Cousin in Ford's Theatre in April 1865, he was shot in the back of the head at point blank range. African-Americans, whose rights Lincoln championed, openly wept at their president's death.

July 6 - Rain or Shine

Well the weather sure doesn’t look promising for this week so we may be relying on our Zoom back up plan for a few of our events. We did have our first in-person ukulele practise at 1pm today in the gazebo and that was a lot of fun (and very different from our Zoom lessons with Kayla) don’t forget that we are more than happy to have other players join in; I have our songbooks printed to share and we would love to learn new ones.


Reminder that (weather permitting) our summer schedule is going to look like this:

Monday: 1pm ukulele on the lawn


Tuesday: 9am walk from Walker House

-1pm social and craft meet on the lawn


Wednesday: 10am (2nd and last) Prescott Hoops and Hooks traditional rug hooking

-1pm Zoom drawing lessons with Sharon Stein with some plein-air painting with Jackie on the lawn (July on the 15th and 29th)

-1pm wood carvers on the lawn


Thursday: 10am meet me at the beach (starting on the 15th)


Friday: 9am walk from the amphitheatre

10am: knitting and crochet on the lawn


Saturday: beginning on July 10th will see the return of the Bunka Babes in the morning - see Judy for details.


Please bring your own chair and snacks and the washroom will be open here following current Covid protocols. If you come on a day when I need to be absent, the washrooms are open and cleaned at the beach and will soon be at the splash pad as well. We have lots of shade and level ground and there is usually a pleasant breeze off the water.


Special events this month include a presentation about social isolation on Wednesday and our first in-person Stories from the Seaway on Friday afternoon at 1:30 with Rene Schoemaker. If we get rained out, then this will take place on the 30th. I’ll have a sweet treat for everyone and Rene will be sharing the history of the Dutch immigration to this area after WW2.



I can send out the Zoom links for those of you who might be new to joining our virtual rain dates and the details to register for Wednesday’s session are here:



The Truth Behind Social Isolation

Wednesday, July 7th at 10am

Have you experienced feelings of loneliness? Have you experienced a life transition that has made you physically or socially alone? The truth is that social isolation is very common in our community, and especially for seniors. We will look at the topic of social isolation - risk factors, impacts, and practical ways to prevent recognize, and address it.


This session is presented in partnership with Summerville Family Health Team and Peel Senior Link as part of the Healthy Aging Webinar Series.


To register, please click this link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-truth-behind-social-isolation-tickets-148919031833




Susan Vallom

Walker House Program Director


June 25 -- New Beginnings and Fond Endings


We are so close to being finished the reconstruction here that I can taste it! Well, almost…we still don’t have appliances, so there is no actual cooking going on here yet.


Our hearts were full of gratitude this morning as a very full house shared our final Faith Lift with Tracey. She has been a partner with me in Seniors Centre Without Walls since the very beginning of our lockdown last winter. For the first few months while we tried to figure out what was going on, our phone-in sessions were a game changer for all of us and I ran multiple virtual programs each day. Having partners to deliver some of them was such a help for me and gave our members a new voice to listen to which was also enjoyable for them, I’m sure ;)  Tracey; you were a bright light in a dark time and you will be missed.


We still have one  Monday Morning Mindfulness with Una  on the 28th at 10:30 before we hang up our phones for a summer break; I wonder where she will take us?


Tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 is our final virtual Stories From the Seaway, as well, with Peggy presenting the history of Brockville’s parks which promises to have some lovely photos. I shared a link to the Brockville Museum’s virtual offerings on our Facebook page so if you haven’t found us yet, take a look. We will for sure be seeing Peggy later this summer when she is able to resume her historical walking tours.


All those who borrowed “Falling From Grace”, if you could please return it to the house I will return them all to the library. We had a lively discussion this week although a few missed out. I would NEVER point fingers though (especially since I needed a phone call from Karen to say that they were waiting for me to show up on Zoom!)  I discovered that many of our group either hadn’t read Maggie Wheeler yet, or it had been years since we did, so our book for this month will be her debut novel,” A Violent End”.  We will aim to meet under the trees at 10 on the 28th of July and Zoom as a back-up if it rains.


Lastly, a bit of fun if you like; We meet on Tuesday morning at 9am for our walk along the river and if you’d like to be a part of a virtual Canada Day from Walker House, please come here dressed in your finest red and white.


Here, at last is our schedule of weekly activities for July. Note that next Thursday and Friday we will be closed and then most of our in-person events will run after that.


Tuesdays: walk at 9am from Walker House. Bring your dog, your Nordic poles, your stroller or your walker – just bring yourself for the company and fresh air.

1pm: meet at Walker House for crafts under the trees. We often have an organised activity which you can participate in or not. (6th stamped birthday and thank you cards, 20th a “Christmas in July” gift, 27th a pinecone birdfeeder)


Wednesdays:  10am Hoops and Hooks traditional rug-hooking (2nd and last Wed)

1pm: Art Studio Time and drawing lessons over Zoom

1pm: Wood Carving outside

28th - 10am Book Club, “A Violent End” by Maggie Wheeler.


Thursdays: 10am (beginning the 15th) meet me at the beach for a splash and a visit.


Fridays: 9am: walk from the amphitheatre

10am: knitting/crochet

1:30: on the 9th (rain-date 30th) “Stories from the Seaway” live with Rene Schoemaker. Join us for tulip cupcakes and learn about the Dutch immigration to the area after the war.


Saturdays: Bunka Babes TBD


******Please note: our washroom will be open for members during all outdoor events with the following health protocols: Only one person at a time in the building and masks must be worn indoors. Please bring your own lawn chairs and snacks and respect current guidelines. ****


June 19 -- We're Going Outside!

Welcome to our last full week of virtual programs before we start heading outdoors!

It’s a big one, so I’ll go one day at a time and include links where needed; you may want to pour another cup of coffee ;)



1pm is the final session brought to us by the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health and University Hospital titled Avoid Frailty: How Activity Can Reduce Risk presented by Dr. John Puxty, chair of the division of Geriatric Medicine at Queen’s University.

Follow this Zoom link to join: https://mailchi.mp/16f6c070cf5c/invitation-avoid-frailty-how-activity-can-reduce-risk



9am walk from Walker House and

1pm Crafters and Coffee Group chat using Zoom





-10am Book Club meets to discuss “Falling From Grace” using the same link as above for the coffee chat.

-At 11am, please join the Older Adult Centres' Association of Ontario (OACAO) as we host a Virtual Town Hall with Hon. Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. I have attached the flyer for this Virtual Town Hall in honour of Senior’s Month. 

The event will include a Question and Answer Period with Ministry officials. Feel welcome to submit questions in advance to be considered for the Q & A period. 

 Questions must be submitted by June 21st at 4:00 pm using the registration form.

Please register in advance at: https://oacao.wildapricot.org/event-4370671

or call 1-866-835-7693 or email Lina at coordinator@oacao.org 

Registration will close on June 23rd at 10:00 am.

1pm: Art Studio and Drawing Lessons with Sharon:

Join Zoom meeting



10:30 call in to Seniors Centre Without Walls for our farewell Faith Lift with Rev Tracey. She has been with us over the phone since Walker House had to close its doors and we have been uplifted by her caring and compassionate voice and will miss it. Dial in to 1-866-279-1594 and use passcode 595056


9am walking from the amphitheatre

10am knitting and crochet

Join Zoom Meeting


1:30: our final virtual Stories From the Seaway for the summer. Peggy is bringing us the stories behind the parks in Brockville. Don’t worry! We will be visiting Peggy live for historic walks later this summer and I will have guests coming to us live in our yard in July. 

Join Zoom Meeting


I’ve shared how much I enjoyed volunteering at the pop-up vaccination clinic at the Leo Boivin Community Centre and we have three coming up that are looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please call our new manager of community services, Samantha Joudoin-Miller, at 613-925-2812 ext.6230 for details.


June 17 -- Potty Alert


First off, I would like to share the good news that we have been approved to open the washroom here for members who would like to meet on the back lawn and take advantage of the loosening restrictions as the summer progresses. I’m looking forward to hearing from you if your group would like to discuss how I can help facilitate an “al fresco” event for you.


Moving forward, I would like to continue our walking club on Tuesday and Friday mornings and I am thinking I’ll host a drop-in on Tuesday afternoons here and on Thursday mornings at 10 over at the beach for a swim and chat most likely starting on the last week of June.


Our ukulele players can begin again on Monday afternoons at 1 beginning on the 28th, so keep practising!  I’ll have some extra songbooks printed and we welcome any players that would like to join us. We are enthusiastic beginners, so don’t be intimidated.


I’ve already heard from the wood carvers and they will be starting this week on Wednesday afternoons at 1. I have beginner blanks and we have knives to borrow, so newcomers are welcome there, too. The added bonus of working outside is that the shavings don’t need to be vacuumed ;)


Once I have heard from our regular groups to see what their plans and needs are,  I will prepare a schedule for July and share it with everyone. I am so looking forward to our move outdoors and I hope you are too! All those who meet weekly over Zoom, rest assured that those links will still be open on rainy days.


We still have a few virtual special events in June including a Stories From the Seaway this Friday at 1:30 covering the history and development of the waterfront in Brockville. Peggy has asked if those of us who participated in the DIY Heritage Skills Boxes would complete a survey for her and I will link it below. I still have two from the 1950’s up for grabs and Peggy has a few of each box available at $20 each if you’d like to share them with a friend.

June 11 -- Hot New Walks


Given the abrupt arrival of summer weather, we are moving our walking club time to 9am beginning with this Friday’s walk. Our meet up points are staying the same: Tuesday mornings at Walker House and Friday mornings at the amphitheatre.

The two Stories From the Seaway are going to take place on back to back Fridays to accommodate Peggy’s schedule on the 18th and 25th of June so this week will be free after our walk and the knitters Zoom meet.  The public washrooms at the beach are open and being cleaned regularly so please feel free to meet in the park for your events as long as you are following the current health protocols and I will always have Zoom for a back-up on rainy days.



What’s up next week?

Monday Morning Mindfulness with Una on the 14th at 10:30

I’ll have the 50’s DIY Activity Boxes here from Monday so please reach out if you’d like one and we will take a peek on Tuesday afternoon at our Craft and Coffee Zoom.

Thursday the 17th we have been invited by one of the sponsors of the Older Adult Centres Association of Ontario to participate in a free Zoom session about strength training as we age. Just follow the link at the end of this email to register.

I’ve already mentioned Stories From the Seaway at 1:30 on Friday; this week Peggy will be sharing the history of Brockville’s waterfront.


How to Strength Train As You Age

Thursday, June 17th at 11:00 am Eastern Time. 



Should you lift weights? Does it sound scary? Do you want to start strength training, but feel intimidated, do not want to get too bulky and have no idea where to start? Our Fitness Director recommends adding strength training to your routine. Strength training is vital in avoiding injuries and maintaining functional strength as you age. Beginning at about age 30, men and women lose muscle mass at about the rate of 10 percent per decade until about 50, when that loss accelerates to 15 percent per decade. Overtime, the loss of muscle mass can be severe, greatly affecting your quality of life. Don't wait until it's too late, we can help! In this seminar, you will be given an introduction to strength training and why it is so important as you age. You will also be given tips on how to strength train as you age as well as a basic strength training program for beginners.



Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.



June 4 -- Maggie Wheeler visits

Another week almost gone but that makes it a great time to look ahead to the weekend and to another fun week. Coming up we have our regular schedule of Zoom events:

Tuesdays: 1pm our Craft and Coffee groups come together for a chat.

Wednesdays: 10am on the second and last weeks we have Hoops and Hooks which makes this week a winner!

1pm: Art Studio Time and Drawing Classes with Sharon Stein

Fridays at 10: our knitters and crochet(ers?) get together. Believe it or not, Marnie is able to help you fix a problem even over Zoom – I’ve watched it happen!

Our plans include Stories From the Seaway as well, but I am waiting for confirmation from Peggy that the 11th and 25th are good for her.


On Seniors Centre Without Walls this week we have our Faith Lift with Rev Tracey at 10:30 on Thursday and a very special evening with author Maggie Wheeler on Thursday evening at 7pm. There is still room to register and I will be sending the link out to those who have registered on Wednesday morning.

Thank goodness for the rain; we sure needed it! I especially love when it rains on a Thursday because that’s my day to water the sharing garden here so Mother Nature let me off the hook today ;)

I attended a meeting with the Eastern Region of the Older Adult Centres Association of Ontario this morning and we are all discussing safe opening strategies for the fall and I am also looking at increasing our outdoor activities by the end of June as the province allows. I’ll be updating regularly as things change and hope to see you all very soon.



MosaiCanada 150 Topiary Exhibit

Here is the chair from our chair workshop, with members Rosemary and Steven enjoying their creations.