Episode #37 - Reta Baechler is the first centenarian guest to join Erin Davis and Doug Robinson on the green bench-as she shares her many years of wisdom and wit with us. Aunt Reta as we know her is the Aunt to Ron Schlegel who you heard from in episode 7.
A Prestigious Club: The number of centenarians in Canada rose to 12, 822 as of July 1st, 2021.
Aunt Reta is the sister to Wilfred Schlegel who is the father of Ron Schlegel. Five siblings with 3 older brothers and one younger brother and one younger sister, grew up on the farm outside Tavistock, Ontario.
"Every Saturday morning we had to trim the wicks to make sure they would burn evenly." - Reta Baechler
A large German presence in Southwestern Ontario - Aunt Reta talks about growing together as a community, speaking Pennsylvanian German and learning English. Growing to know each other.
"I felt so good being at home and having my neighbours around me so there was never a barrier. We were all like one people." - Reta Baechler
Reta shares stories of her family connections with her father Wilfred and with her Grandmother.
Jump rope: Aunt Reta loved skipping when she was young. Her brothers made her jump ropes, and she fondly remembers receiving her very first store bought skipping rope. It had wooden handles, and she would skip her way to the barn to do chores, and then all the way home again.
What was the invention that made your life easier? Reta shares about the light switch being a fantastic invention with electricity. "I remember when we turned on the light tap for the first time. This is so incredible, all we have to do it push a button and the light will come on." - Reta Baechler
A tradition of always having an extra plate set at the dinner table for a guest to join. Reta remembers a plaque over the table that read “Christ is the head of this home, the unseen guest at every meal, the silent listener to every conversation.” Very important to her, and can picture it to this day. She says it is so important to have faith.
“Well, I woke up again in the same bed I went to sleep in last night. There must still be a plan and a purpose for me today.” - Reta Baechler
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift- that’s why we call it the present.” – Alice Morse Earle
BAECHLER, Reta Barbara, 100, of Stratford passed away peacefully with family by her side at Rotary Hospice Stratford Perth on Thursday, 27, 2022.
Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast on any network and share your thoughts on social media using the #ElderWisdom tag to help others find us.
The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation, or give and offer advice.
It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and in doing so, helps restore them to a place of reverence.
"The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders." -Ron Schlegel
This podcast is brought to you by Schlegel Villages, retirement & long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada.