Please indulge me. How often does someone get to wish their grandmother a happy 107th birthday?

(Here's a photo of my grandfather, who passed away at age 75 or so).

I'm curious -- how many Boing Boing readers have relatives 107 or older?

110 Responses to “Happy 107th birthday to my grandmother!”

  1. anthropomorphictoast says:

    Awww, that’s sweet. :)

  2. Lexica says:

    Many very happy returns to your grandmother!

  3. cha0tic says:

    Oh, go on then. I’ll indulge you Mark. You get to wish your Gran Happy 107th Birthday more often than I ever will.

    Reasons why I love the internet #n: “I get to send Birthday wishes to a 107 year old lady who’s seen some awesome changes in her lifetime and makes me wonder what I’ll see in mine.”

    Happy Birthday Mark’s Gran!

  4. ripplepoppy says:

    i have a great-aunt (sister to my great-granma) who is, i think, 108.

    oh my.

    i wonder if they’d reminisce about the same world events?
    Happy Birthday!
    <3

  5. JohnnyForeigner says:

    Congratulations to your Grandmother.

    My great grandfather lived to be 106. He died in 1982, though. It always used to amaze me that by the time the First World War began he was already too old to enlist. He was almost in his 60s when WW2 ended.

    When he turned 100 we all expected the traditional telegram from the Queen, since everyone tells you that’s what happens when you hit 100 here in the UK. But I guess the Queen, (Gawd bless ‘er) was too busy so we got one from one of her Ladies In Waiting (??). But then when his 105th came around he did actually get one from the girl herself.

  6. huntsu says:

    wow! Truly awesome.

  7. EncarnacionFlor says:

    @ Mr Frauenfelder’s Grandmother:
    A very happy birthday to you. May your wisdom inform all those that you meet, May you be graced with more time to impart that wisdom, and may you always be surrounded with Phileo- and Agapao-love.

  8. Kristin says:

    My great grandpa Jose Escamilla lived into his 107th year. He died in 2001 of a stroke. I was always amazed when I thought that he had lived in three centuries.

  9. flipa says:

    Happy birthday, Mark’s Grandmother!

    I think I’ll now call my grand-aunt and see if she wants to go for a walk or something.

    Noen, I don’t know you, but I am so sorry. I hope you’ve found, or will find, other people that you can call family – that deserve to be called your family.

  10. Pyros says:

    Well, that certainly is an achievement! The statistical probability of living to 100, I think I heard, is about 1 in 10,000. To live to 107 is extremely rare.

  11. EncarnacionFlor says:

    @ Noen:
    I am have sorrow, bitterness, and anger at your situation. I am hoping that your family reunites, and never again returns to where it is. Wish there was a way for me to influence this reunion.

  12. EncarnacionFlor says:

    @ License Farm but that’s not the question he asked
    He also did not ask of anyone had relatives that might have a chance at living to be 107, either.

  13. Freddie Freelance says:

    When we moved in we saw a man who was obviously in his 80s on the porch next door and asked him if he was our neighbor. “No,” he said, “I’m visiting my mother.” She’s 103.

    In the building behind us there’s also a 104 year old, but I live in a neighborhood that’s full of oldies and I’m not certain that she’s the oldest.

  14. Antinous says:

    Wow, now that I know that she gave you vodka shots, I can see why she’s 107! With that and the potato pancakes, maybe I need to rethink my low carb diet.

  15. Takuan says:

    A very happy birthday to her to from me. I just had a friend turn 90, she’s a walking example of life is as worth living as you make it.

  16. 5000! says:

    My great grandmother lived to 107. She used to talk about how strange it was to have gone from horse and buggy to the space shuttle during her lifetime.

  17. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday to your grandmother! My great grandma lived to 106 and my great uncle, one of her son’s lived to 105. Both of them were in really good shape up until the last couple of years. Great grandma was alive when Lincoln was president!

  18. chgoliz says:

    @91 – Congrats to you too, then, for having the great good fortune to be able to celebrate your 107-year-old grandma with your brother!

    My suggestion to you and Mark, and anyone else in this situation, is to get those recipes down on paper!! (Yes, I speak from experience.) Keep in mind that if she writes them down, they may not be accurate. I use my grandpa’s recipes lovingly, but I know to completely ignore what he has written. Watch them cook, and make your own notes. Keep their recipe cards though, so you can remember them every time you look at their writing when you’re making their best dishes.

    Enjoy your grandma as often as possible. She sounds like a real treasure.

  19. Euryale says:

    Aw, happy birthday to her! That’s awesome.

    I have no living grandparents–they all died in their 80s or younger–but my great-grandmother lived to be 103 and died when I was 10 or 11. Feisty old lady, too. She hated one of her nurses and once knocked her out with one punch. She was 100 then.

    …Nana was kind of a horrible person, actually.

    But she was my age (25) in 1915 or so and lived ’til 1993, lucid to the end, so that’s pretty nifty.

  20. cha0tic says:

    @ 43. I’m not sure cake would be a wise move, with all those candles it’d probably count as fire hazard :)

  21. jburris says:

    wow, happy birthday!
    i had a great grandfather that reached 93 but i think thats the oldest anyone in my family has ever made it, kind of sad really.

  22. Roach says:

    That’s great, Mark! Hope she has a great 108th year!

    None in my family made it that far. I think 101 is the oldest.

  23. Takuan says:

    ditto on the cooking and recipes

  24. stumo says:

    My Great Grandfather lived to 108, and remembered seeing Queen Victoria. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/576726.stm was a story on him around the time of the Millennium.

    Best thing was, he was doing his own shopping on the bus up until the age of 105 or so, when his site went. Even then his memory was 100%, and he was able to direct us round the country roads of Kent after we got lost on a family drive.

    When he was born, everywhere was gas lit, and he ended up being interviewed for a website. That’s quite a range.

  25. stumo says:

    My Great Grandfather lived to 108, and remembered seeing Queen Victoria. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/576726.stm was a story on him around the time of the Millennium.

    Best thing was, he was doing his own shopping on the bus up until the age of 105 or so, when his site went. Even then his memory was 100%, and he was able to direct us round the country roads of Kent after we got lost on a family drive.

    When he was born, everywhere was gas lit, and he ended up being interviewed for a website. That’s quite a range.

  26. Lydia9 says:

    Happy Birthday, Mark’s grandmother! My grandfather, would have been 107 this year as well (it’s likely he was about 5 years older though, as he made quite a few “adjustments” after coming through Ellis Island). There are some pretty fantastic photos of him catting around with the ladies at an upstate Socialist summer camp, and a record of him being arrested for disturbing the peace in Brooklyn in 1920!

    I remember him watching Sesame Street with me when I was a kid, and he would try to explain to me how amazing it was to be able to see a something like giraffe on tv, which I understand NOW.

    I’m wishing your grandmother all the best today!

  27. stumo says:

    My Great Grandfather lived to 108, and remembered seeing Queen Victoria. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/576726.stm was a story on him around the time of the Millennium.

    Best thing was, he was doing his own shopping on the bus up until the age of 105 or so, when his site went. Even then his memory was 100%, and he was able to direct us round the country roads of Kent after we got lost on a family drive.

    When he was born, everywhere was gas lit, and he ended up being interviewed for a website. That’s quite a range.

  28. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Happy Birthday, Grandma!

    We owe you a debt ’cause without you we wouldn’t have Mark, a true treasure of a man.

    My grandmother lived to 94. What’s amazing about her is that she was always sick when I was a kid. She had ear troubles and had dozens of operations on her ears and for other ailments. She was always complaining about her health (friends of Gareth’s are now quickly connecting dots… :-). I remember when I was a little kid her saying: “Oh… Kevin (that’d be me), I’m SO old and sick. Your sito (Lebanese for grandmother) isn’t going to be alive for much longer.” And I remember freaking out, thinking oh my god, she might die any day now! In truth, she was probably only in her mid-50s at the time and she had another 4 decades to wait!

    In the end, she got tossed out of several old folks homes in Florida for being incorrigible. A rebel to the end. That’s my grans…

  29. dbarak says:

    I have plenty of relatives that are older than 107, but none of them are alive. ; )

    It’d be cool if you could arrange some sort of online birthday card for your grandmother that we could all sign (like a guest book). I think she’d get a kick out of that.

  30. sonny p fontaine says:

    a happy birthday to her. my great-grandma (Dada) lived to 102. I’m fortunate for having had her influence

  31. pooklord says:

    My grandmother will turn 108 this year. She is one of Vermont’s oldest residents ..

    cheers,

    matt

  32. Kulia says:

    Happy Birthday to your grandma indeed! I hope she is still well and with it. Great genes you have.

    My mother in law is 90 (spring chicken) and has a sister who is 96, so I’m hoping my MIL will at least make it to 100 so that when we get around to having kids, she will get to meet them and vice/versa. (I’m only 41.)

    Similar to the previous comment: We went to visit her a few weeks ago (she lives alone in Texas but she’s moving to Cali into assisted living near us) and she asked if we took vitamins. We said yes. She said, from her nursing home bed recovering from a bad infection — “I took vitamins and calcium for years. Look where it got me.” We stared at her then said in unison “YOU’RE 90!!”

    She was still bowling in January and only stopped when she got sick. She can still bowl over 200 on a good day.

  33. boliyou says:

    Awesome, Matt! Very best and happiest of everything to your grandmama.

  34. Duke Countu says:

    The amazing thing Stumo (30-32) is that grandfather had a web site! Pity that when it went down that was the end for him.

    Congrat’s on Granny Mark…..I guess you must be older than you look. When is Make Magazine going to feature a crochet AARP membership holder?

  35. elsmiley says:

    Long may she live.

  36. Shawn Wolfe says:

    Sweet Fancy Moses, that’s fantastic!
    and amazing!

    Happy Birthday Grandma from Seattle!!!!!!!

  37. hex nut says:

    My grandmother (whose storied career included teaching in a one-room schoolhouse on the South Dakota prairie and writing a column for the local weekly paper) lived to 106.

    She was born in 1898, so her life spanned three centuries.

  38. Stacyj says:

    Aww, what a worthy subject of a post! I love that picture, I hope she’s still as happy today as she looks like she was in that picture =)

    Hope her birthday is/was a great one!

  39. Ant says:

    Happy birthday to your Grandma. Mine only lived to be 85, but if she were still alive, she’d be 107, too.

  40. JimXugle says:

    Congratulations! Many more happy birthdays to your grandmother!

    Did she do anything special? Skydiving? Bungee-Jumping? BASE jumping? Paintballing? Playing a game of stickball? Was there cake?

    One day… I’d like to see what the result is when someone sits down with a Centennial, Laptop open with a text editor up… and asks them “Tell me everything.” There’s so much that has changed between the generation of 100 years ago, and my generation (I’m 17)… Even the little things like how tea was made would fascinate many… … a few people such as myself who grew up with things like microwaves.

  41. Ape Lad says:

    I have a 117-year-old, possibly imaginary great-grandfather.

  42. daen says:

    At the risk of seeming otiose or elliptical …

  43. Mina says:

    Happy birthday to your dear grandmother.

    My beloved grandma died last October at age 99. She played me a ragtime tune on the piano the day before she died. I got to spend the last two months of her life with her, for which I will be forever grateful, but I’m still not over it. I miss her terribly.

  44. Ivan Y says:

    Fantastic! I wish her many more years of being healthy and active. I write about lots of remarkable elderly on my site including one I believe to be the oldest blogger… at 108 years old!
    http://elderlyspace.blogspot.com

  45. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Thanks very much for the kind words, all! I’m going to ask my mother to print this out and show it to my grandmother.

  46. License Farm says:

    @ #72 Noen: Yes, thank you License Farm for being the biggest fucking ass you could be. I shared what I have. It’s all I have, I have nothing else. I’m sorry it wasn’t good enough for you.

    And you thought this thread about someone else’s grandmother turning 107 was the proper venue for airing those issues? And my questioning the wisdom of your doing so is, by extension, a judgment on your very legitimacy? Sorry, I do not accept your guilt-trip, and I believe I was as respectful and sympathetic as the situation called for. If that comment alone is all you have, you’re even worse off than you claim. I refer you to #75 Syncrotic for an illustrative analogy.

    @ #85 EncarnacionFlor: He also did not ask of anyone had relatives that might have a chance at living to be 107, either.

    To extend Syncrotic’s analogy, that’s as though in a discussion of movies people had seen I talked about a movie I’d like to make, in the same genre, no less. Not exactly the same sort of departure, you see.

    Because I have respect for the propriety of this thread’s subject I will not respond to anything further on this topic, and I hope others will demonstrate the same discretion.

  47. bpnoy3 says:

    lol i don’t have one but in japan they have the longest living yesteryear gals and dudads.

    http://bpnoy3.wordpress.com

  48. Tequila says:

    My grandmother lived to see 105 years and died about ten years ago.

  49. Antinous says:

    bpnoy3,

    Your blog link goes in your profile, not in your comments. Thanks.

  50. wendyfr says:

    Hey, my grandma turned 107 too! Mark’s my wonderful brother. Two of my favorite memories of my grandma are: 1) whenever our family came to her house, the first activity on the agenda was a shot of ice cold vodka for everyone (kids included), and 2) she often made us delicious Russian food, and my favorite was potato pancakes. She make a heaping plate, and we’d sit at the table and eat pancake after pancake, chased by homemade dill pickles. If you tried to tell her you were full because you’d eaten 12 pancakes, she’d ask you to stand by her so she could feel your tummy. If she felt more room in there, she’d send you back to your seat, and tell you “no counting potato pan-a-cake!”

    About 7 or 8 years ago, I sat with her for several recording sessions in which we talked about her past and I recorded it. I love her stories and her true resilience. She is the most honestly optimistic person I know. I’m happy to say that I believe all her grandchildren have a healthy dose of her genes (1 part fiesty, 2 parts kind, 1 part practical, and a big dose of humor).

  51. falsemoniker says:

    My Great-Grandmother lived to be 107 exactly. She died on the morning of her 107th birthday. She was born in 1895. On her 100th birthday, we had big celebration, her drink of choice was Wild Turkey on the rocks. She was a neat lady.

  52. Daisy Bond says:

    My great-grandmother died last year at 104, but that’s as far as anyone in my line has gotten so far.

  53. joeposts says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I lost both my grandmothers this past year, but they both made it to their mid-80s, and were pretty amazed they made it that far.

  54. Antinous says:

    FYI Mark,

    108 is a very important number in Buddhism: 1 to the 1st, times 2 to the 2nd, times 3 to the 3rd. It’s the traditional number of times to repeat a chant. She’s got a magical goal for next year.

  55. aileinduinn says:

    My G.G. Lilian Severson lived to be 107. She raised 15 kids to adulthood. She wrote a book of poetry and songs and was remarkably literate. She worked in her garden every year until she was 99, exercised every day until sometime around 100 when she lost her balance so her sons built a giant walker-like structure out of pipe so she could hold herself up and march in place to Richard Simmons (who, according to her, was NOT gay). She spoke three languages and taught me Norweigan when I was a toddler (most of which I have forgotten except snippets of songs). She was forced to move into a nursing home when she was about 102 because… her daughters could no longer keep up with her.
    And she was beautiful until the day she shed this mortal coil.

  56. Cupcake Faerie says:

    Happy B-day! 107 is simply amazing! If my own grandma were alive today she would be that age as well. Many happy returns to Mark and his family!

  57. airship says:

    Happy Birthday to your Grandma, Mark!

    Visit your older neighbors and relatives and ask them about their past. They’ll surprise you. They may seem all old and wrinkly and boring now, but I guarantee they’ve got some stories to tell.

    My great-uncle Harley died in the early 1960′s at the age of nearly 100. I was only ten at the time, but he had been a federal Indian Agent in the Black Hills of South Dakota in his youth, and he told great stories of Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickock, and all of the Deadwood regulars. It’s hard to believe I once held the hand of a man who shook hands with Wild Bill!

  58. Ari B. says:

    Happiest of happy birthdays!

    I had a great-grandmother and great-grandfather that lived to 106 and 107, respectively. They passed away before I was born, though.

    My aunt Ethel lived to be 102, and if she’d lived six more months, would have lived in three centuries (she lived from 1899 to mid-2000).

    Aunt Ethel lived on her own in her own apartment in the Bronx. Twice a week, she would take two buses and a subway to visit her little sister, my Aunt Ruth, who lived to 99. Aunt Ruth had Alzheimer’s disease, so Aunt Ethel would go over to do some cooking and let the live-in home health aide have the afternoon off.

    Aunt Ethel (and Aunt Ruthie, too) kicked lots of ass.

    (one grandma just turned 80, the other’s almost 89, I wouldn’t be surprised if both make it into their hundreds)

  59. lf says:

    I don’t have a 107 year-old grandmother, but they best way to wish a happy birthday is probably to spend time with her!

    Can she still recount stories of her long life?

  60. pantsravaganza says:

    107th! …sorry.

  61. noen says:

    “how many Boing Boing readers have relatives 107 or older?”

    I don’t have a family. After I transitioned my family disowned me. I haven’t seen my children since 1995, I have a grand daughter that I have never seen and likely never will, none of my siblings nor my mother will speak one word to me. My maternal grandmother is still alive, I think, I don’t know and have no way of finding out. The only member of my family that will even speak to me is my father. He is dying of cancer and I expect that I will never be told when he passes. Even if I were I would not be permitted to attend his funeral. My situation is not that unusual. Count your blessings.

  62. Tamu says:

    Dear Mark’s Grandma,

    I wish you a happy birthday and all the best to you this year.

  63. JIMWICh says:

    Happy 107th Birthday to Mark’s wonderful Grandmother!

  64. License Farm says:

    @ Noen: Not to piss on your problems, but that’s not the question he asked. I understand the urge you’re indulging all too well, but there’s a time and a place, and this isn’t it.

    My sister reminded me that our grandfather, had he not passed away in 2002, would have been 102 yesterday. As three of my four grandparents lived into their 90′s, and my father has now outlived his father by a decade with little to suggest he won’t continue to do so for some time, then barring external calamity, the odds are that I will have a very long life. If I make it 100 with most of my wits about me and nothing unreasonably excruciating in my health that’d be pretty awesome, though it would be really cool to get to see the year 2100 at 124.

  65. Jake0748 says:

    Congrats and happy b-day to your granny, Mark! 107 years old is mind boggling. I don’t have any grandparents left, I miss them all but the memories keep me happy.

  66. Takuan says:

    Peace. On this occasion there is happiness enough to share and for just a moment at least, to revel in the event and let go sorrow.

  67. aRtFrEeK101 says:

    Congrats and God Bless…

    My grandmother will, God willing, be 100 in December of this year…She can’t see too well, but she is still sharp as a tack…

    Enjoy the time.

  68. hifired says:

    is she standing in front of a kiln?

  69. grow-a-brain says:

    Happy Birthday Grandma

  70. Sparrow says:

    Happy birthday to your grandmother!

    Life is short, but the days are long…

  71. swayframe says:

    “18 posted by Jamie Sue , April 11, 2008 4:09 PM
    -I bet when your grandma was a little girl she never imagined that 100 years later people from around the world would be wishing her happy birthday. :)”

    or myriad other strange and miraculous curious things…

    I hope that your Grandma is a happy one-hundred-eight! Happy happy birthday!

  72. Belinda says:

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday to your Grandmother. :)

  73. obzokie says:

    It’s wonderful to live a healthy, long life as age is just a number. Think of it, that’s over 10-decades this means that she’s been around for the first automobile, first aircraft, first computer and these digital gadgets, etc. Can you imagine living through the great depression and still being here now? I think it’s marvelous. My own Dad is 93-years old and still rides his bicycle.
    Congratulations on still having your grandmother around to relate to – hope you cherish the opportunity. Some of us never met our grandmothers so you are very blessed.

  74. deepblueday says:

    Relatives?? I AM 107 years old! Why do you whippersnappers always assume Internet users are all young? Your elders invented the first Internets. Fiddlesticks!

  75. 850 says:

    Congrats to your grandmother.

    To post #2. Yeah, that photo reminds me of this statue in Iceland: http://www.galen-frysinger.org/europe/iceland03.jpg

  76. Freddie Freelance says:

    Post needs more pictures, please.

  77. Jordan M says:

    Weird. That picture looks like a statue.

  78. gadfly says:

    Congratulations to your dear old grandma!

    I for one dread the time when that kind of lifespan is more commonplace. I love technology but it’s hard to ignore that it has a creepy side, and part of that creepy side is never dying. Apologies to Ray Kurzweil, but I don’t really want to live forever.

  79. Antinous says:

    My mother’s aunt lived to 108. She was a Jehovah’s Witness. I’m hoping that’s only a coincidence.

  80. Elapsv says:

    Why more pictures? I really don’t understand. I always know how my granny looks, yet when I try to remember exactly how she looks, I always picture her younger ;)

  81. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    I added a photo of my grandfather, too. He’s dead, though: http://flickr.com/photos/frauenfelder/2406577910/

  82. Beryllium says:

    Photoshopped.

    (kidding :)

    Congrats to mark’s grams. Apparently my relatives are too reckless to make it that far :)

  83. plousia says:

    awww, that’s sweet :) Congrats and happy birthday to your Grandma!

  84. LSK says:

    In 8 years, I might have a grandmother of that age.

  85. cszostek says:

    Wow! Congrats to your Grandma & a happy birthday! I hope she is healthy and enjoying life.
    Get the kids to see her as much as they can. I have great memories of my gran/grandad & great gran on my moms side.

    My great gran passed in her ’90′s when I was in 4th grade I think? She was great. I was young but I remember going to Chicago with my folks to see her and she always had a box of dehydrated milk for us. She was awesome. She wore this big giant jewelry, the looked silly to me, but she liked to look glam. Grandparents on my moms side passed a couple of years later, withing a year of each other as I recall. PopPop was retired from the Navy/insurance/Coast Guard. He taught me to pilot his boat, the Kathy Anne, on lake Michigan. There are some great stories I share with friends about him. Gran / MomMom was equally great. They both introduced me to the Fidler on the Roof, Big Band Swing music, Jazz,(smoking) & the water. I’m a fish in water thanks to them and my mom. I can also give thanks to the entire bloodline for a Lego addiction.

    Man I miss them!

    Thanks Mark, I’m smiling now going over memories.

    (damn it, there goes a tear!)

  86. Geek_engineer says:

    A happy belated Birthday to your G-mother. Treasure all the time with her you can.

    My Grandma is only 101. Some of my favorie memories are Thanksgiving at her house with my Mom, Grandma and her Mom all cooking in the kitchen. I can still smell it!

  87. Halloween Jack says:

    That’s pretty cool. Grats on your GM; mine didn’t make it past their eighties.

  88. Cazart says:

    Well, happy birthday and all, but geez, she’s just laying about?
    Why isn’t she blogging? Gah!

    (kidding. happy birthday.)

  89. BeeBee says:

    Happy Birthday to your Grandmother! I hope she is in good health and send her good wishes.

  90. Bottlekid says:

    Congratulations!
    My grandfather lived to 103. I remember he got a letter from President Nixon on his 100th birthday.
    He came to America from Corfinio, Italy and made wine in a big barrel in his basement every year. He also smoked a pipe and had a bottle of Wild Turkey at his knee. I hope to follow in his, er, wisdom.

  91. ogvor says:

    My grandad was 103 when he died. He was really healthy and was able to live by himself with no assistance besides his walking stick up until he was 101. He lived during 3 centuries and served in both World Wars. He owned a computer before my grandad or father did and he had an email address before anyone in my family did.

  92. noen says:

    “@ Noen: Not to piss on your problems, but that’s not the question he asked.”

    Yes, thank you License Farm for being the biggest fucking ass you could be. I shared what I have. It’s all I have, I have nothing else. I’m sorry it wasn’t good enough for you.

  93. mcdonough says:

    Happy birthday to your grandma!

    What’s really neat is to consider when centarians+ were the age you are now. Your grandma was my age (41) in 1942.

  94. umgrego2 says:

    Congrats to your g-ma, Mark!

    My great-gran, Myrtle Keats, just passed away in February; she was about a month away from 108. Last summer she celebrated her municipality’s 100th anniversary by riding in a parade float with the youngest member of the community.

    I remember her 100th b-day bash. Her 97 year old brother came in from B.C. by train to celebrate by playing her a song on the harmonica. She also got a card from the Prime Minister. I went to talk to her for a while and she said to me, “Should I remember you?” I replied, “oh, I don’t think so” And she sighed, “good”. She was definitely overwhelmed that day and the fact that she didn’t have to try and remember me relaxed her enough to open up with some fun stories.

    Her favourite quote was exclaiming in her falsetto tone, “i should be down there” while pointing emphatically at the floor “i should be in the ground”. She also loved to tease my overweight dad, “oh my, look at the size of you” and she would turn to my mom and say “you must be a good cook”.

    Our son is destined to live to a ripe old age, too. He has all 4 grandparents, 7 great-grandparents and until February he had one sweet great-grandparent.

  95. Llyandra says:

    My grandma is a mere 102, will be 103 in August. I won’t be surprised if she hits 107!

    Happy Birthday to your grandma!

  96. Anselm says:

    Happy Birthday indeed!

    My great aunt was a very, ah, convinced old woman. After the third time she went off her heart medication and nothing happened for several weeks, we started joking she’s live to a hundred and then die on her birthday, just so she could say she made it to a century.

    She sailed right on through.

    Then she passed away on New Years Day, 2007- her 101st birthday.

  97. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Thank you all for sharing these wonderful stories about your families. I’ve enjoyed them very much!

  98. Takuan says:

    peace, peace, peace, not here, not now. You have this, here, now.

    We are all wounded in our own way, we are all strong, in our own way.

    Joy shared is increased, sorrow shared is diminished.

    Again,together,happy birthday to one who has lived long, weathered much of life brings and above all, remains. Let us learn, let us strive to remain also.

    Peace, peace, peace.

  99. Alfie says:

    Incredible. My Great Aunt passed away a month ago, she was a buck, and two pennies. When we visited her over the Holidays, i showed her pictures of my life here in LA on my iPhone. As i was leaving she held my hand and said “I used to ride a horse and carriage to school”. To think the dramatic changes that I have witnessed at a youthful an immature 30, it paled in comparison to this bedridden wonderful old woman who had seen carriages and iPhones. A living treasure, Mark.

  100. syncrotic says:

    Some people are standing around talking about films they’ve seen recently.

    You enter the room.

    “By the way, I have cancer, and I’m probably going to be dead in six months. Let’s talk about that instead.”

    Can you see why that might not go over so well?

  101. Bionicrat2 says:

    That is fantastic. What a treasure for your family, Mark! So she was middle-aged during WW2?!! Amazing.

    In recent years, every time I hear that someone has a chance to meet a centenarian I think about a BBC story I heard. The main point was “…how far back into the past a single meeting can take us”

    It’s obviously more fun if you can tie it to a historical event. For the reporter, it was back to the Battle of Waterloo. Here’s the LINK to the text version of the story.

  102. Takuan says:

    enough. this is unseemly.

  103. chris23 says:

    Awesome! What a superwoman!

    My bday is 411 too. Would that I see as much as she!

  104. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    I like to show her photos on my iBook, because the images are big and bright.

    She told me stories about growing up with her brothers and sisters in Russia. Her parents were killed in the revolution. They lived on wild mushrooms and potato peels (the rich folks ate the potatoes).

    She taught me how to hunt mushrooms in the wild, which was a lot of fun.

  105. squid says:

    Happy Birthday to your Grandma! I think 107 is a beautiful number. Second only to 77.

    While I don’t have any immediate relatives that old, when I was a child my next door neighbor, Helen, lived to be 103. And her mother? She died at 113. Neither Helen nor her mother ever used a wheelchair. They just needed a little elbow support going from one place to another.

    Despite having had two knee replacements, my Aunt Doris is 93 now, and she goes line-dancing every week in a class taught by her daughter, who is 70-something. She’s very inspiring.

  106. Takuan says:

    we need thirty more good wishes to make 107!

    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
    There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
    Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
    It’s easy.
    There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made.
    No one you can save that can’t be saved.
    Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time
    It’s easy.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
    There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
    Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
    Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
    It’s easy.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
    All you need is love (all together now)
    All you need is love (everybody)
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

  107. bap says:

    Drat, I’m a little too late to the conversation. My Paternal Great-Grandmother is only 104. Her Maiden-name is the name of no less than two northern California cities that were (it’s claimed) founded by immediate relatives of hers.

    Her older sister passed away only a couple years ago, she would have been 107 this year.

    Speaking to someone of this advanced age about the the changes during their lives and what their life was like when they were your age, throughout your life, provides you with a viewpoint on history and current events that is irreplaceable.

    Really, go out, find the oldest people you can and get them to go down memory lane for you.

  108. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    I heard an NPR story in 1998 that boggled my mind. It was about a woman named Daisy Anderson who had been married to a US Civil War veteran and was still alive!

    http://www.radiodiaries.org/transcripts/OtherDocs/civilwar.html

  109. Jamie Sue says:

    I bet when your grandma was a little girl she never imagined that 100 years later people from around the world would be wishing her happy birthday. :)

Leave a Reply