Sunday, November 01, 2009

101 and Counting

Here we are in Chicago for yet another birthday of Aunt Zelda, my husband’s feisty aunt who turned 101 today.

She has a reputation for being snarky and opinionated and willing to label fat as FAT, etc.  She has offended quite a few people during her lifetime, but today she seemed rather mellow and on good behavior.

Not much has changed in the last year, except the further degeneration of her eyesight.  But she still manages to walk around with a walker, somehow making out shapes if not faces.  Her hearing may have gone downhill a bit too, but her mind is still quite intact. 

As we sat there eating cake, we talked about all the ways we had ever heard of to ward off Alzheimer’s and to thereby preserve our minds in the condition of Zelda’s.  Someone said only highly educated people got it, sometimes in their 60’s.  I could see my husband visibly grimace.  Someone else recommended eating currants.  Someone else had heard blueberries.  Another person promoted doing puzzles.  I said I had recently heard the key was exercise.  Whoever knows why some are spared and others lose the function of their minds?

Zelda asked several times during the course of the day why we thought God had let her live so long.  She of course was hoping to hear us say that it was so she could continue to dish out her homespun psychology to everyone, even those who hadn’t asked for it.

She has amazing stamina.  I was the one taking a mid-afternoon nap, whereas Zelda continued to hold court on the 9th floor of the Self-help Home all afternoon.  

Her first reaction to our gift of a mint green soft bathrobe from Costco was “Take it back.   I don’t need any more presents.”  But then she admitted to no longer having a bathrobe and was willing to keep it if we didn’t call it a gift.  Go figure!

I’m glad we came since she has very little family in this world.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we were back again next year for the 102nd.


Blogger lacochran said...

Not a gift? Is it a loan, then? :) She sounds delightfully quirky.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous lr said...

Wow, Zelda's remarkable! How amazing that it's been a year since her 100th birthday. I'm glad to hear the year and the birthday were successful.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

I think it is a combination of good luck and good genes.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Zelda sounds a lot like my 101 year old friend, Lora who said at her 100th birthday that she planned to live to be at least 106 and if she was still having fun, she'd stay longer! She just might!

5:57 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Zelda looks great! Glad you got to spend time with her!

1:49 PM  
Blogger bozoette said...

Happy birthday to Zelda! By the way, whenever my mom asks why God's let her live so long, we tell her that only the good die young. Then she smacks us.

2:23 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

At what age do people, on average, again start saying everything on their mind, with no internal editor, right to people's faces, like an 8 year old? I used to think it was 80, but I know some folks (no names mentioned) who are doing that sooner.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Zelda! The bottom photo (of the three of you) is precious.


3:40 PM  
Blogger LiLu said...

Mmmmm. That bathrobe sounds delicious. How could she turn it down? It can be her robe for the court!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a great visit and a thoughtful gift. Happy birthday to Zelda.

8:56 PM  

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