Monday, February 06, 2006

Adventures with Our Friend Myrtle

Our friend Myrtle celebrated her 100th Birthday on February 1. She's the last of her 13 brothers and sisters. She got special birthday wishes from the Governor of Kansas and the President of the United States.

Myrtle lives where My First Wife works—in an assisted living community. All the residents, the staff, and several outside guests attended. Some neices, nephews and a cousin came. Even her banker showed up! It was a semi-noisy affair and a lot of fun.

Myrtle has a fantastic and accurate memory. She's energetic, spry, ornery, happy, healthy, alert, full of fun—well, she's just a kick in the pants. She uses a walker—with Beanie Babies tied to the front of it. She says her secret to a long life "…is a good, hearty laugh every day!"

I'll always keep two special memories of Myrtle. A couple of years ago, My First Wife and I took her and our two grandsons (ages 6 and 8) to lunch so the boys could meet and talk with someone like Myrtle. It was a great couple of hours for all of us. Everyone had a good time. The boys peppered her with question after question. Here's just a few.

"Did you ride in covered wagons?" "Did you have to milk cows and stuff?" "Didn't you ever have a computer?" "If you didn't have TV, what did you do?" "What kind of games did you play?" "Do you remember the first movie you ever saw?"

Myrt happily regaled us with highlights of her life. She almost always said, "That was back when I was 16," or "That was back during the war," or something like that. She answered their last question with a slow, thoughtful "That was back when I was…when I was…back when I was 95!"

The other day, she pretty much ended her birthday party by saying, "You know, when I was born the Dead Sea was only sick!"

She's a fine piece of work. We all should pray for a life as grand as Myrt's.

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