Oh, to live to 100

I want to reach 100 years old.

Do you? Or have you reached 100 already?

It will be nice at that age to maintain memory and the ability to get around.

A Lancet article predicted in 2009 that half of babies born these days will live to age 100. I want to see the incredible advances that happen during the next few decades.

My Great-Aunt Elva, I always say when someone starts this conversation, was still climbing stairs to her second-floor apartment at age 100.


Of course, many of those around us disappear over the years, so it can get lonely as we age. But I plan to have decades of interesting (and often bizarre) life experiences to remember. 

I often suggest with humor that most of my friends, co-workers and family will end up in the same long-term-care facility with me.

Someone will look across the table with a Mona Lisa smile spreading into a belly-buster laugh. Someone else will snort. Then the whole cafeteria will explode in a symphony of giggles, chortles and uproarious hilarity.

Forgot to mention: The nursing home staff in my fantasy will be mysteriously unaware of the residents' previous life connections. So they'll think we're all a bunch of squirrels in need of a few extra prunes to snack on.

In the more-likely scenario, all alone in my rooftop apartment or in the corner of an assisted-living cafeteria, I hope to have memories to occupy my mind.

Like a young girl who describes her own experiences with cancer, helping ease worry for kids newly diagnosed; an elderly woman who took a late-life balloon ride and a doctor who told me about weaving birch-bark baskets. I will remember the time my dog started to float away in the Missouri river, with worried eyes. My fingertips in his collar saved the day. Or the time I bought a giant used couch. A portion of it as long as my little Plymouth Horizon stuck out the back heading home.

At a stop sign, a guy called over, "hey, you lost your couch!" My eyes flipped back, then forward again, as we both laughed aloud (he was just joshing after seeing my transport method).

Who knows? Maybe at 100 I'll still be living that kind of wild life. Snort.

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