Thursday, October 29, 2009


As we contemplate a trip to Chicago this weekend to celebrate my husband’s Aunt Zelda’s 101st birthday, I wondered how many people in the US are over 100 years old.  I made a guess of 1,000 that turned out to be way off.  I was basing this on the fact that I don’t think I have ever even met anyone over 100.  I guess all those numbers I once held in my head when I worked at the Census Bureau have slipped away.

This source says there are now over 96,000 centenarians in the US.  And the number continues to grow as people live longer.

I’m looking at my own body and thinking I would have to live another 40 years in it to reach that age.  I’m afraid I might need a few more bionic parts to make it.

I’m not even sure I would want to live that long.  Especially not if the people I care most about don’t make it with me.

So we’ll see how Zelda is faring as she continues to exist in the Self-Help Home in Chicago.  As much as she complained about leaving her efficiency apartment a few years ago, being around all those other people has been really good for her.  She now has an audience for her home-spun psychology, which she has been dishing out for years.

She is as cantankerous as ever.  Her first response when we said we were coming was “Why would you want to spend all that money?”  Some things never change, even after 100.


Blogger LiLu said...


I love it.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

There is a sense of isolation that comes with living so long, I suspect -- I'm glad Zelda seems so spry!

11:24 AM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I hope I live that long. I'm going to need to because it's going to take that long to finish paying for my house! That's wonderful that Aunt Zelda is still doing so well.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LiLu -- Don't you think this name is befitting for a person who was told as a child that they really had not wanted another girl?

Steve, Cyndy -- Zelda's mind is incredibly intact for a person of her age. She never runs out of stories and believe me, 101 years gives her a lot of material.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

Living to 100 would fine if I was in decent shape. I wouldn't want to just be alive though.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

My friend Lora in VT will be 102 in April! She still drives, albeit not far from home, but she can get herself to the grocery store and the doctor if need be. She does not need glasses, plants and harvests a large garden every year, grows and preserves her own berries and just bought herself an electric typewriter so she can type her letters instead of handwriting them. She had a computer and used it until a year ago but could only get dial-up where she was and that was just too slow for her!

10:00 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I can't imagine living that long, but given my family history, I very well might be there. Scary thought.

8:51 PM  

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