Cambridge resident reaches the century mark
If you like beef enchiladas, and hanging out with some friends, well, you may just live to be 100.
At least that recipe has worked for Avis States, who began her second century of life on Jan. 30 with flowers, cards, photos, balloons and even a bit of wintry sunshine decorating her room at The Cambridge assisted-living facility in Quincy.
“As old as I am, I’m enjoying it,” she said.
How a veteran of hundreds of thousands of meals can still have a hankering for hot, spicy Mexican fare mystifies even those closest to her, like her son Randall States, a resident of Sunland.
“A cast-iron stomach, maybe,” Randall said with a laugh, confiding that last weekend, his mother celebrated her upcoming birthday with friends and relatives at a Mexican restaurant in Quincy.
“Maybe I’m part Mexican, I don’t know,” Avis said with a big laugh.
Quincy is the only actual city Avis has ever lived in. Until she was 97, she lived on a farm just outside Toronto, Kan., a town two hours southwest of Kansas City.
“She was the only one left back there and needed a little assistance,” said Randall, explaining the move to Quincy. “All the family was up here.”
Needing a little assistance is not really Avis’ thing. Randall said that she drove until she was 96. Now her eyesight is giving her a little trouble, as is her hearing, but she is still sharp, aware and fairly independent. Her husband died in 2003, at age 86, so she lived on her own on her Kansas farm for quite a while.
Now that she’s in Quincy, she enjoys going for rides and checking out the farms.
“She’s a farm girl,” Randall said.
“I think it’s nice,” she said of her adopted hometown. “It all depends on who you pal around with.”
In 100 years, there have been some tough times, Avis said, but what got her through was being with friends and “growing good crops.” Sometimes, she added, her children made her mad. Randall pleaded not guilty on the spot.
“I can usually deal with him,” Avis said with a laugh.
Randall called his mother’s longevity an amazing thing. “You can see she’s in good shape, pretty sharp, still gets around.”
And she still has a word of wisdom for what it takes to make it to 100. In short, take care of yourself and don’t get too mad.
“People’s been kind to me and my health has been good, so what do I have to growl about?” she said.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org