Doris Brown’s family greeted her with love and a lawn full of cards as they celebrated her 90th birthday outside her home July 31.

Five generations of the Brown family visited and honoured their matriarch, providing gifts and a large display of decorations. The family is wellintegrated in the community, with people from all the generations living within one mile of each other.

Brown said she was a little nervous seeing her family set it all up, but it was nice to have them around.

“Some days, it seems like a long time and other times, it seems like a relatively short time, this 90 years,” she said. “But it’s nice to see the little ones coming along and we know that life goes on that way.”

The family has been in Haliburton since 1957, according to Paul Brown, Doris’s son. Her late husband, Homer Brown, worked as an operator at the local railway station until it closed. The Browns raised a number of generations, with eight children, 25 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

“It’s not every day that you’re 90, so we thought we better hold a celebration,” Paul Brown said. “To us, who are a close-knit family, it’s very important that we celebrate this day.”

The family was somewhat limited to gather due to COVID. But they felt secure for a smaller outdoor event given all the members living in the lowinfection Haliburton area, Brown said. Doris Brown said she could not recall living through anything quite like this pandemic, though added polio was a serious disease that took some of her classmates in her childhood.

“No antidote for it, that’s for sure, but of course just about eradicated now which is wonderful,” she said. “As far as this (COVID) goes, they haven’t got the answers yet it seems. But they’re working on it, so they likely will.” Paul Brown said his mother is a very strong-willed person. “That likely gives her the energy to keep going. She has an unbelievable mind,” he said. “She loves a good argument.”

The elder Brown said life used to be a lot simpler and the newer generations have a lot more to deal with. But she added faith remains important.

“God’s still in control and he is always waiting for us to recognize that he is in control and he will bring us through if we look his way,” she said. “I’m thankful for family and friends and Haliburton. Haliburton’s a lovely place.”

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