Somehow, they fooled Leeanne White.
She was going up to what she calls “the government lunch” in Ompah, the monthly Rural Frontenac Community Services Diners lunch at the newly renovated hall, and she said she “just happened to say to my friend that it was coming up on my birthday, and the next thing you know when I got to Ompah they had a cake out and Catherine Tysick was asking all these questions of me, like how much family I had and what work did I do and so on. I would like to thank the people who put it on. They got me,” she said when contacted over the phone earlier this week.
She is not entirely surprised that has lived such a long life. “My grandmother lived to be 102,” she said.
Last week, Leeanne moved past that milestone when she celebrated her 103rd birthday.
She hasn’t changed a lot on the three and half years since she was interviewed by the Frontenac News for a feature and video on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Frontenac County.
Except for one thing. She no longer drives, and that is something she is not very happy about. In fact she pretty frosted about it.
“They just don’t want me to drive any more. I was just too slow on the draw for my doctor. But I tell you I’ve driven ever since I was 12 or 14 years old and I never had an accident in all that time, even drove mail for 38 years, but not any more. They just didn’t have anything better to do so they took it out on me,” she said.
She does get rides to places from neighbours and relatives but finds it frustrating having to depend on other people to get places, so she said that she stays home most of the time.
But she doesn’t idle away the hours too much. She still bakes all her own bread, gets her own meals, knits all the time, and keeps the house together. Any who helps her out and isn’t willing to take money for it ends up going home with new socks and mitts.
She said she doesn’t make fires in her woodstove too often anymore, “except when the hydro goes out or family comes to visit because they are in and out so much when they are here, that it gets cold and we need a fire.”
This past Christmas she made the dinner for 18, just like she normally does, even though she has problems with her knee. “I’m still doing okay,” she said, “and I have Catherine [RFCS Director of Adult Services Catherine Tysick] checking up on me.”
By keeping busy she avoids being lonely, but said misses all the people she used to know in the Fernleigh area, where she has been living since 1932.
“There were a lot of people here, but there isn’t anyone left,” she said.
A feature and a video on Lee White is posted at Frontenacnews.ca