APRIL 2011

April 1, 2011

 “OLD BONES”

God Saw you hungry & created McDonalds, Wendy’s, and Dairy Queen.

He saw you thirsty & created Coke, Juice, Coffee and Water.

 GOD saw you in the dark & created Light.

GOD saw you without a good looking, adorable, FRIEND

So He created ALMAGE Rosemount/St. Michel Satellite   

Hope you’re having a Terrific Day! 

 

Unfortunately due to inclement weather our center was closed on February 28 and again on March 7th.  Consequently our meeting with Giovanna (Joanne) Colasurdo, Manager and Dorothy Gleason, Volunteer Coordinator had to be rescheduled.

We were happy to welcome them to our group on to March 14th.  The meeting was both pleasant and informative.  Everyone came away from the meeting with a feeling of reassurance that the future looks bright for the CCS-Almage St. Michel, Rosemount Satellite.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Giovanna and Dorothy for their kind consideration. 

 

Under the Weather

Pat had surgery on her foot on the 16th of this month and is reported to be recovering slowly.  Pat, we wish you a fast return to happy dancing feet. 

            We also understand that Pat and Bea will be away on vacation.  We wish you a very happy and            enjoyable vacation. Return to us safely.

 

Cheryl was hospitalized on March 24th in Maisonneuve, Rosemount Hospital on the Coronary Care Unit. 

Cheryl, your “Old Bones” friends send you our prayers along with warm thoughts and good wishes for a fast recovery.

 

Frank suffered cold symptoms twice this month.  We need you strong and healthy Frank.  Be well!

And I will be away from the group for the next five or six weeks.  I will miss each and every one of you, my friends. 

Welcome Home

Our good friends Helena and Nasir arrived home safely from Florida.    Welcome home.  We missed you!

It was very nice communicating with you via the “webcam” and seeing you in light summery clothes while we here in Montreal, were all bundled up against the cold! (Smile)   We’re glad you are back.

Dining Out

I am happy to report despite poor weather there was a large turn-out on the 21st for our dinner at Beaubien Deli.  The food was first-rate; prices great, the service was more than fast and the company – the very best.

A special thank you Ted, for arranging the tables for us.

Similarities

THE BUZZARD:

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

THE BAT:

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place.  If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

THE BUMBLEBEE:

A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out.  It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom.  It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

PEOPLE:

In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up!  That’s the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem!  Just look up.

Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, but faith looks up!

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and trust in our Creator who loves us.

                                                                                                                        Submitted by Barbara

 

QUIZ

In the middle of the table is a round food tray with five kinds of fruits on it.

They are:

A.        Apple

B.         Banana

C.        Strawberry

D.        Peach

E.         Orange

Which fruit will you choose?

Please think VERY carefully and don’t rush into it. 

This is great, I was astounded!   Your choice reveals a lot about you!

Test results:  

If you have chosen:
A.        Apple: That means you are a person who loves to eat apples

B.         Banana: That means you are a person who loves to eat bananas

C.        Strawberry: That means you are a person who loves to eat strawberries

D.        Peach: That means you are a person who loves to eat peaches

E.         Orange: That means you are a person who loves to eat oranges

Also I bet that right now you would like to find me and Kick my ASS! Well, you won’t find me…because I am still hunting down   The ASS who sent this to me… Have a Purrrr-fect Day!

Submitted by Barbara

The Time is Now
 
If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
the sweet and tender feelings
which from true affection flow.
Love me now while I am living,
Do not wait until I’m gone
And then have it chiseled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me,
Please tell me now,
If you wait until I am sleeping,
Never to awaken,
There will be death between us,
And I won’t hear you then.
So, if you love me, even a little bit,
let me know it while I am living
so I can treasure it
Author unknown

 Submitted by Cheryl

SPIRITUAL

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

A message every adult should read because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,

I looked at you and wanted to say, ‘Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.’

I am sending this to all of the people I know who do so much for others,   but think that no one ever sees.

Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, and friend) influences the life of a child.

 Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.                                Submitted by Barbara

I thought about the 30 year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a Blackberry that played music, took videos, pictures and communicated with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and two great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way.

I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space. That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it’s red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Chapter talking to my wife as everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. Seems I have to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud. 

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, “Re-calc-ul-ating”.

You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then when I would make a right turn instead, it was not good.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

 To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven’t figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden “Paper or Plastic?” every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them in with me. Now I toss it back to them.

When they ask me, “Paper or Plastic?”  I just say, “Doesn’t matter to me. I am bi-sacksual.”

Then it’s their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, No, but I do toot a lot.”                              Submitted by Barbara

 

 

QUOTE:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
–Lao Tzu

Stay Young My Friend   

We all need to read this one over and over until it becomes a part of who we are!

1  Try everything twice. On one woman’s tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:

“Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!”

2.  Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)

3. Keep learning:

Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever…

Never let the brain get idle.  ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. The tears happen:

Endure, grieve, and move on. The only one, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Live while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love:

Whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health:

If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips.

Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. I love you, my special friend.

Remember! Lost time can never be found. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

 

quotes

 

Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water!  –Eleanor Roosevelt

Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.  –Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. ~Mother Teresa

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.  ~Ayn Rand

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. ~Wayne Dyer  

LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

In a busy Parisian cafe, a tourist is sitting alone, enjoying a crème caramel. Another tourist approaches:

May I sit here? 

No problem….
Thank you, very nice…

Are you on vacation?
Yes, I arrived yesterday…  
What country are you from?
Norway. You?
From Quebec.

Quebec? I don’t know Quebec.
Quebec… near the Atlantic, next to Ontario, the Great Lakes.
No, I don’t know these places.
Never mind then, I’m from Canada.
Ah! Canada! Canada I know! So why you tell me you come from Quebec?
Because, my first country is Quebec!
Oh, you were born in Quebec and immigrated to Canada.
No, no, I was born in Quebec and I stayed in Quebec.
Oh, then your father is from Canada?
No, no, my father, my mother, my wife, my dog, everybody, they come from Quebec….
So why you say Canada?
For Christ sake, because you say you don’t know where is Quebec!
OK, but if you say you not know Norway, I not say that my country is Japan.
Shit! Canada isn’t Japan. Canada, it’s my country.
Oh, your country not Quebec anymore?
My country is Quebec. But my country, it can be Canada too, if the person speak to not know where is Quebec, Tabarnak!

I don’t understand…

Look, it’s simple: I come from the Province of Québec, in the country of Canada.
Ok! But I didn’t ask you what province you’re from, I ask you what country. Me, I come from Lofoten region in Norway, but I answer you Norway when you ask me what country I come from.
I know, I’m not stupid, Calisse! But me, when they ask me what country I come from, I answer Quebec. Even if it’s the name of my province. For me, it’s my country.

Oh, now I understand… You are a separatist; you want your Quebec province to be your country.
Are you crazy, Hostie? I don’t want to know nothing from that shit!

I do not understand anything anymore.

I tell you before, it’s simple! You ask me what country I come from, I answered Quebec because Quebec is my country, but I don’t really want it to be my country, it would be too much trouble. I just want to say it. So, why don’t you just let me say it?

I’m all mixed up. You have passport from what country: Quebec or Canada?

CANADA, Hostie!

So why you not tell me Canada right away?

Because it don’t feel right. For me, Canada is Anne Murray, the Calgary Stampede, the Mounted Police, SARS, it’s not my home all that. Home, it’s La Famille Plouffe, Seraphin Poudrier, La P’tite Vie, Felix Leclerc, La Poune, Les Canadiens de Montreal, Les Bougons… Do you understand???

Less and less…

Listen, forget all that. Ask me another question.

Ok, what town you come from?

Mmm…, I don’t know anymore…
You not know what town you come from?
Yes, yes, I know what town I come from, but my town it merged with another town, but soon it is going to demerge from the town that was supposed to be my town…

Oh that very complicated! When you write your address, what do you write?

I don’t know anymore. Before, I used to write Hull, but Hull changed to Gatineau, but they tell us to wait 3 years before stopping to write Hull to not mix up the mailman. But now, the Liberals they pass a law that make it ok for Gatineau to be Hull again, but I don’t know if we have to  wait  3 years to be able to write Hull, or when the 3 years are passed, if  we have to write Gatineau for 3 years, and after we write Hull. Unless, of course, the PQ come back in power and we remerge with Gatineau, then we’ll have to write Gatineau for 3 years.

I’ll leave now; I my head hurts…

It’s so simple Tabarnak: My town is Hull, my country is Quebec. But if you prefer, my town is Gatineau and my country is Canada.

OK, I think I understand!

It’s about time. Anyway, it was fun talking to you, if you come around where I live; maybe you come and see me…

OK, but where? Hull in Quebec or Gatineau in Canada?

You’re a pain in the ass. Forget the whole thing
 
That, my friends, is the portrait of Quebec!                                                        Submitted by Ted and Barbara

Children Writing About the Ocean

1)  This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles.   (Kelly, age 6)

2)  Oysters’ balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

3)  If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island.  If you don’t have ocean all round you, you are incontinent.   (age 7)

4)  Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson She’s not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5)  A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head. (Billy, age 8)       

6)  My uncle goes out in his boat with two other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs.  (Millie, age 6) 

7)  When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn’t blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come.  My brother said they would have been better off eating beans.  (William, age 7) 

8)  Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant?   Like, really?   (Helen, age 6) 

9)  I’m not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is a always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can’t think what to write. (Amy, age 6)

10)  Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting.  Electric eels can give you a shock.  They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves in to chargers.  (Christopher, age 7)  

11)  When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small.  (Kevin, age 6)

12)  On vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast.  She says she won’t do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass.  (Julie, age 7)

13)   The ocean is made up of water and fish.  Why the fish don’t drown     I don’t know.  (Bobby, age 6)  

14)  My dad was a sailor on the ocean.  He knows all about the ocean.  What he doesn’t know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom.  (James, age 7)

 

Brains

An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman were reading a newspaper article about which nationalities’ brains were for sale for transplant purposes. An Irishman’s or a Scotsman’s brain could be bought for £500 but an Englishman’s brain cost £10,000. That proves,’ said The Englishman, ‘that Englishmen are much cleverer than Irishmen or Scotsmen.’

‘No it doesn’t,’ said The Irishman, ‘it just means that an Englishman’s brain has never been used.’

Submitted by Barbara

Confessions

The priest was waiting on Saturday afternoon for his usual parade of people coming to confession. In comes a man so drunk, he is stumbling down the aisle, bouncing from pew to pew. Finally he finds the confessional, goes in, and shuts the door.

The priest goes in his side and waits. Nothing happens. He clears his throat so the fellow might know he is there and ready. No reaction. Finally, he starts losing his patience and bangs sharply on the wall three times.

The drunk fellow in the confessional says, “It’s no use knockin’…There’s no paper in here either!”

 

A little boy went up to his father and asked: “Dad, where did my intelligence come from?”

The father replied. “Well, son, you must have got it from your mother, cause I still have mine.”

Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully,” the divorce Court Judge said, “and I’ve decided to give your wife $775 a week,”
“That’s very fair, your honor,” the husband said. “And every now and then I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.”

 

A doctor examining a woman, who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, took the husband aside and said, “I don’t like the looks of your wife at all.”

“Me neither doc,” said the husband.  “But she’s a great cook and really good with the kids.”

 

An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40years.

The Wizard says, “Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you.”

The old man says without hesitation, “I now pronounce you man and wife.”

 

 

Moe: “My wife got me to believe in religion.”

Joe: “Really?”
Moe: “Yeah. Until I married her I didn’t believe in Hell.”

 

 

Two guys were discussing popular family trends on sex, marriage, and family values.

Stu said, “I didn’t sleep with my wife before we got married, did you?”

Leroy replied, “I’m not sure, what was her maiden name?”         `                                               Submitted by Barbara

 

While shopping for vacation clothes, my husband and I passed a display of bathing suits. It had been at least ten years and twenty pounds since I had even considered buying a bathing suit, so sought my husband’s advice.

“What do you think?” I asked. “Should I get a bikini or an all-in-one?”

“Better get a bikini,” he replied. “You’d never get it all in one.”
He’s still in intensive care.                                                                Submitted by Barbara

Job Interview

While being interviewed for a job, the personnel manager said to the Maguire brothers:

‘We’re going to give you a written examination: Ten questions. Whoever gets most right we’ll hire.’

Papers were produced and the boys set to work answering the general knowledge questions. When the time was up the personnel manager collected and marked the papers.

‘Well,’ said he, ‘you’ve both got nine out of ten, but I’m giving Mick the job.’

‘Why’s that?’ asked Pat.

‘Well,’ said the manager, ‘you both got the same question wrong but he had

‘I don’t know this’ and you had ‘neither do I! 

 

 

Exercise for people over 50.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.

Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.  (I’m at this level.)   

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.                Submitted by Ted

 

On the sixth day God turned to the Archangel Gabriel and said,

“Today I am going to create a land called Canada. It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty. It shall have tall majestic mountains full of mountain goats and eagles, beautiful sparkling lakes bountiful with bass and trout, forests full of elk and moose, high cliffs over-looking sandy beaches with an abundance of sea life, and rivers stocked with salmon.”

God continued, “I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper, I shall call these inhabitants Canadians, and they shall be known as the friendliest people on the earth.”

“But Lord,” asked Gabriel, “don’t you think you are being too generous to these Canadians??”

“Not really,” replied God. “Just wait and see the winters I am going to give them!           John F

 

 

A man is recovering from surgery when the Surgical Nurse appears and asks him how he is feeling.

 “I’m O. K. But I didn’t like the four-letter-words the doctor used in surgery,” he answered.

“What did he say,” asked the nurse.

“Oops!”

Wine does not make you FAT it makes you LEAN .(Against tables, chairs, floors, walls) Submitted by Barbara

Marriage or Relationship with a Significant Other

If you want someone who will eat whatever you put in front of him and never say it’s not quite as good as his mother’s then adopt a dog.

If you want someone always willing to go out, at any hour for as long and wherever you want then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who will never touch the remote, doesn’t care about football, and can sit next to you as you watch romantic movies then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who is content to get on your bed just to warm your feet and whom you can push off if he snores. Then adopt a dog!

If you want someone who never criticizes what you do, doesn’t care if you are pretty or ugly, fat or thin, young or old, who acts as if every word you say is especially worthy of listening to, and loves you unconditionally, perpetually then adopt a dog.

BUT, on the other hand, if you want someone who will never come when you call, ignores you totally when you come home, leaves hair all over the place, walks all over you, runs around all night and only comes home to eat and sleep, and acts as if your entire existence is solely to ensure his happiness then adopt a cat!

You thought I was gonna say marry a man, didn’t you?  You have a GREAT Day!         Submitted by Ted

 

 

Sitting together on a train travelling through the Canadian Rockies were a fellow from Newfoundland, a fellow from Quebec, a little old lady and a young blonde girl with large breasts.

The train goes into a dark tunnel and a few seconds later, there is the sound of a loud slap. When the train emerges from the tunnel, the fellow from Quebec has a bright red hand print on his cheek. No one speaks.

The little old lady thinks: The fellow from Quebec must have groped the blond in the dark and she slapped his cheek.

The blond girl thinks: That fellow from Quebec must have tried to grope me in the dark, but missed and fondled the old lady and she slapped his cheek.

The fellow from Quebec thinks: That Newfie must have groped the blond in the dark. She tried to slap him but missed and got me instead.     The Newfoundlander thinks: I can’t wait for another tunnel so I can smack that arseshole from Quebec again.                        Submitted by Barbara

Two Mexican detectives were investigating the murder of Juan Gonzalez.

“How was he killed?” asked one detective.

“With a golf gun,” the other detective replied.” A golf gun!  What is a golf gun?”

I don’t know. But it sure made a hole in Juan.”                                                   Submitted by Barbara

O x y m o r o n s

1.  Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2.  Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

3.  If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

4.  If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

5.  Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6.   Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?

7.  Why does “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?

8.   Why do “tug” boats push their barges?

9.   Why do we sing “Take me out to the ball game” when we are already there?

10.  Why are they called “stands” when they are made for sitting?

11.   Why is it called “after dark” when it really is “after light”?

12.   Doesn’t “expecting the unexpected” make the unexpected expected?

13.  Why are a “wise man” and a “wise guy” opposite?

14.  Why do “overlook” and “oversee” mean opposite things?

15.  Why is “phonics” not spelled the way it sounds?

16.  If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?

17.  If the entire world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

18.   If   love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

19.   Why do you press harder on the buttons of a remote control when you know the batteries are dead?

20   Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase?

21.   How come abbreviated is such a long word?

22.  Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

23.   Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

HISTORY

Humble cedar has Great Longevity by Bronwyn Chester Gazette

When it comes to trees, we tend to equate size with age.  Throughout the island of Montreal, that axiom has a ring – sometimes hundreds of rings – of truth.  One of the oldest trees, for instance, does happen to be the enormous Cote St. Luc bur oak I wrote about in December.  On the other hand, the tree with the greatest longevity is none other than the humble cedar which probably grows in a hedge near you.

It’s easy to forget that, given the space, cedars will grow into tall, conical trees.  Often the trunk divides early or there may be several trunks, growing first at odd angles, then straightening, giving this conifer a variety of structures beneath the bright green, filigreed foliage.

Walking north to my Mile End office, it’s always a pleasure to pass by the gardens with cedars because they are usually full of birds.  Peek quietly into the hedge and you may find a conference of sparrows.  In the winter, the tree provides shelter, food (seeds in the scones) and warmth; the oil in the wood retains the sun’s heat and creates a small microclimate.  So, hedges planted close to houses act not only as windbreaks, but as insulation.

Unlike its famed giant of a cousin, the western red cedar (Thuja plicanta, thuya geant) our cedar rarely grows beyond 15 meters and specimens that size are few and far between and largely concentrated in such West Island nature reserves as L’ Anse a L’Orme and on Ille Bizard.

Long ago, when the island’s numerous creeks flowed freely, there would have been plenty of water loving cedars, hundreds of years old.  In the 19th century, however, the rot and insect resistant cedar was the wood of choice for log houses and fencing; Think of the snake fences still seen in the countryside.  Today, cedars in the Gatineau and Lower St. Lawrence are cut to make the cedar shingles that typify maritime houses.

Trees that escaped the axe are a long way from human settlement.  Quebec’s oldest tree, for instance is a two meter high, 1,000 year old cedar growing on Duparguet Island in Abitibi.  Germinated before the first crusade, the tree was already a good age when in 1536, Jacques Cartier’s men were saved from scurvy, thanks to the infusion of cedar leaves offered by Domagaya, son of the Iroquois chief Donnacona.  Cartier brought seeds of the then christened Arborvitae (tree of life) back to Paris, where it became the first North American tree in Europe.                                                                                                                     Submitted by Frank

Observations Department

Don’t worry about avoiding temptation.   As you grow older, it will avoid you. – Winston Churchill

Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.

– Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere. – Billy Crystal

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, ‘Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.’

–   Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)                                                                     Submitted by Barbra

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