Back in the 1970s, when my older brother bought a bright red Camaro, she shared with me how teenage boys, when she was growing up, would pick up their dates not in a sports car, but in a carriage with a matching team of horses. (Apparently that was the essence of cool in the early 1900s.)
So what is the secret to living to be 103?
Grandma had a long, loving marriage — 74 years — to my Grandpa Ralph, who died at age 99 in 2004.
She exercised regularly, walking at least a mile daily with Grandpa.
Fruits and vegetables were part of every meal.
Grandma never smoked or drank.
When one passes 100, memories become more important.
Grandma spends far more time today remembering and almost no time planning.
But by far the most important historical event to shape her life was the Great Depression.
Her riches are stored in her heart, in her love for God, her family and her country.
Happy birthday, Grandma.
Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse reporter and the journalist in residence at the Illinois Policy Institute.