Tuesday, March 8, 2016

90+ and Counting

In honor of International Women’s Day I present two great ladies, role models for all of us.
Mom and Helene, 2011.
Dallas was not originally on our travel agenda. Hub and I previously visited the city, hub for business and me visiting relatives, but our drive from New Mexico to Arkansas passed through the city, so we stopped to call on a relative and friends.

Our Dallas cottage
An airbnb find served as our Dallas accommodations, a charming 100 year old bungalow in an established Dallas neighborhood. The tree-shaded streets concealed small, vintage cottages, some in great shape and others, although inhabited, neglected. Newer dwellings replaced original ones that succumbed in recent years to the prevailing desire for bigger houses and state-of-the-art amenities.

A visit to a relative – not really a relative, but the relationship is too convoluted to explain, mainly because I do not know exactly what the relationship is – highlighted our Dallas sojourn.

Helene is 98 years young. She and my Mom have been friends for decades. Four years ago Mom and I visited Helene, and I wrote about that visit here. Related somehow by marriage, Mom and Helene formed a close friendship decades ago. Helene and her hub, Mom and Dad shared many travel adventures, Las Vegas one of the places they enjoyed a number of times over the years.

Helene’s home for the past six years has been a senior apartment complex offering an independent lifestyle. Her sanctuary comprises a spacious two-bedroom apartment with a balcony, kitchen with large refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, ample counter space and storage. She still cooks regularly. 

An amateur photographer and constant traveler, Helene square danced and tap danced until 90, and remains physically active. She uses a cane because so many people have fallen around her facility the staff insists she use one, but she adamantly asserts she does not need it. She remains mentally sharp – just like Mom, 91 this past January, who also lives in a senior apartment house on the East coast. Mom, a retired elementary school librarian, maintains a full schedule attending meetings, book club get-togethers, visits to ill friends, cultural events and more. Only bad weather and/or cancelled activities keeps her home.

No one knows why some of us live for decades lucky enough to avoid health and/or mental issues that incapacitate permanently. Helene and Mom weathered physical problems over the years, but both recovered enough to maintain an independent lifestyle.

Role models for all of us.

Ninety and counting and still going strong.
Me and Helene


  1. So glad you got to stop in Dallas and visit relatives and friends... like Helene. And I also don't know why some get to this ripe old age of 98 without health or mental issues. My MIL was 98 also and just passed away this past Dec. She did have some health issues at the end, but her mind was definitely still sharp.

    1. So sorry to hear about your MIL, but sounds like she enjoyed a full life until close to the end. She was blessed.

  2. What a wonderful post, and it's perfect for International Women's Day! I love that picture of you, too. A rare treat. :-)

  3. It is always good to hear stories of those fortunate individuals who thrive into a long life. Wish I knew the secret!

    1. Gives us hope we may follow in their healthy footsteps.

  4. Awesome. I love these old gals! They lived through it all.Thanks for sharing her.

  5. My father almost made it: 89. And one of my BFFs is 86 and counting. i hope I can make it to a healthy 90...I can't even imagine what life would be like then. But I know one thing: it'll sure be different.