Choosing a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol helped Trudy Waldie reach the age of 100, a birthday that was celebrated over several days, surrounded by family, friends and the residents of Upper Canada Lodge.
She says during her first pregnancy her doctor warned her to stay away from fatty foods and sugar, and although she likes her sweets, “I never over-indulged.”
Waldie’s daughter Louise Waldie is the only one of Trudy’s five children living in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and with her husband Andrew Porteus ensured her mother’s birthday was given the honour it deserved.
Trudy says she felt very fortunate to have most of her family, including 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren — number 15 on its way — with her to celebrate. They are spread out across Ontario and to Alberta, but made the trip to be with her for her birthday.
“It was quite a celebration. It was lovely to see all the family. I think I’m a very fortunate woman.”
The partying took place over five different events, each with its own birthday cake, ending with a dinner celebration at Betty’s Restaurant with about 60 family members and friends Saturday, followed by a party at Upper Canada Lodge with family and all the residents Sunday.
She enjoyed being the centre of attention, says Porteus, but found Saturday especially exhausting.
Trudy had lived on her own up until about six months ago, but a series of falls were worrisome, and family decided it was time for her to be where she had care and meals provided.
Now in a wheelchair, Trudy says it’s only temporary until she can get her strength back. She was very ill over Christmas, and is now having physiotherapy with a goal of being able to walk again.
She says she feels very grateful to have family coming to see her regularly, and since moving into Upper Canada Lodge has become good friends with Jean Cochrane, who used to write a gardening column for the Niagara Advance.
“I was never much for gardening,” says Trudy — she left that up to her husband Gordon — but she speaks with pride of the African violets she tended in her home every winter, which Gordon then would take to market.
Sitting in the bright common area of Upper Canada Lodge, sunshine streaming through the windows, she says she enjoys the regular interdenominational church services, the concerts, and chatting with her friend. Her room looks out on a garden which will be beautiful in the summer.
“I love it here,” she says.