Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Counting to 100

Two days ago I met an interesting woman at a basket-making workshop. Admittedly, any adult who signs up for a basket-making workshop these days is automatically interesting, but this particular woman stood out for her radiant glow. Her name was Darlene, and she told me about herself as we waited for the session  to begin.

Darlene is 76 years old and has been married for 56 of them. She started making baskets 30 years ago, finding the activity to be soothing and "like meditation."

She has 7 children, 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, and all of them live within 1 hour of her and receive her baskets as Christmas gifts. She has been a vegetarian since she was about 12, and a vegan for the last 5 years. She eats no sweets or breads of any kind, although she had some ice cream about 3 years ago at a birthday party.

Next month Darlene and a friend of hers, also 76, are taking a 10-mile canoe trip down the 65-mile long Allagash River that will include 4 miles of whitewater. Last year they both hiked 34 miles up a mountain in Alaska, I forget which one.

Darlene has weighed 132 pounds all her adult life. She walks 3 miles, 4 days a week and has for the last 20 years. She takes no medications, does not wear glasses, has only original body parts and most amazing, all her original 32 teeth. She says the first thing on her bucket list is living to be 100, "at the very least."


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