My gardening friend Julie has an annual birthday party for her
husband, usually attended by the same group of friends and
neighbors. The event took place last evening in Julie's
enchanting garden where I had a chance to visit with people
I hadn't seen since last year's party.
The one person I look forward to seeing is Al, Julie's 101
year old neighbor. It's not too unusual for someone to reach
the bright and snappy age of 101 but Al is using that bright-
ness to live in total independence. Living alone, Al performs
all his housely duties, buys his own food and cooks. But get
this, AL STILL DRIVES A CAR. He said they made him
take a driving test that consisted of him driving around the block.
That was it!
What is so amazing is that Al joins in on almost any
conversation. He knows exactly what is going on in the world
and expresses his ideas in a strong, clear voice.
Those of us who love history are forever bombarding him
with questions concerning his early life. Last night I heard
him say he moved to Helena in 1930 (year I was born) and
bought the land where his house stands, for $95.
In my mind I was comparing Al to the ladies in my Bliss class.
Their average age is somewhere in the early 70's but take my
word that Al could run circles around many of them. I've heard
them use the phrase......"but at my age"..........which is complete
non-sense to keep referring to a number. Al knows exactly how
old he is but when someone asks, "are you one hundrea and
one" I've heard Al laughingly say, "Am I?"
Who can say what it takes to live a long and healthy life.
Genes? Diet? Attitude? I really don't have the foggiest but
it's a delight when you see it in action. I know one thing, Al
loves ice cream and he ate a lot of it. hahahaha