Linda’s son Lloyd (left), Linda (middle), and Lloyd’s wife Jan (right) posing with Linda’s scroll from the Government of Alberta in celebration of her 100 birthday. Submitted.

Linda’s son Lloyd (left), Linda (middle), and Lloyd’s wife Jan (right) posing with Linda’s scroll from the Government of Alberta in celebration of her 100 birthday. Submitted.

A birthday pandemic

Wetaskiwin woman celebrates 100th birthday during COVID-19.

COVID-19 isn’t the first major world event that Linda Schmidt has lived through. Schmidt was born in Poland in 1920, just two years after the end of World War I. Her family immigrated to Canada, settling in Wetaskiwin when she was just eight-years-old.

Schmidt met her husband and raised her family in Wetaskiwin. “This is my homeland,” she says fondly.

Schmidt isn’t very bothered by the novel coronavirus. After living through the radical world changes brought on by events such as WWII, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and 9/11, Schmidt has adopted a “come what may” attitude.

“The world goes around and around,” Schmidt says.

On Mar. 20 Schmidt turned 100, but her birthday celebrations had to be put on hold because of the pandemic. She isn’t worried about having a big party to make up for her milestone birthday being very quiet this year.

“I just take it the way it comes and I’m thankful,” she says.

On the back of Schmidt’s pink couch is a signed banner from all her friends in Luther Manor Retirement home. Each person has signed their name and room number to help Schmidt associate their name to the floor they live on.

“They are all my good friends,” she says.

Her friends are all very impressed with her physicality at her age. While her friends require walkers to help them get around, Schmidt needs no help. She goes for her walks down the hall daily, to visit her friends and to watch the bobble heads dance in the sun on the first floor from her second floor view.

Schmidt laughs as she says, “I have to wonder sometimes at 100-years-old how I’m still around.”

Regardless of postponed birthday celebrations and a worldwide pandemic, Schmidt will still take her daily walks and is content to let events play out the way the will.

“I’m satisfied with the way it goes,” she says.

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Linda Schmidt going for a walk down the hall. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

Linda Schmidt going for a walk down the hall. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

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