Mountain Lake’s Lena Dick celebrates 110th birthday
Back 110 years ago – in 1905 – Teddy Roosevelt was the President of the United States, the cost of a first-class postage stamp was two cents, the population of the this nation was 83,822,000, the first train was equipped with electric lights, the first movie theater opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Thomas Edison proposed the Theory of Relativity.
And, on August 5, 1905, a spunky Lena Schultz was born.
All-in-all – it was a very good year.
She would later marry Jacob Dick, remaining in her home Mountain Lake area. She worked hard on their farm as farm wife – feeding the pigs and chickens, gathering the eggs from the hens, other necessary chores, making rib-sticking meals for her family – as a caring mother to two sons, Alvin and Willard, and a daughter, Dorothy – and, of course, all that cooking, baking, sewing, loving.
Lena lived on her own in her home at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Boxelder Street until she was 105-years-old. She brought with her when she moved to town her tradition of having a big garden from which to feed the family – just down-sizing it a little. This gardening inspired her neighbor down Boxelder – artist Anita Skow – to paint Lena’s image as a tender of the soil on canvas.
She made it through the Great Depression, was on hand to witness a multitude of changes – from horse and buggy to cars, kerosene-lit streetlights to electricity – so many improvements over the course of more than 100 years.
While she officially celebrated her birthday on Wednesday, August 5, family and friends will gather this Saturday, August 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in the Chapel of the Good Samaritan Society-Mountain Lake to share in marking he milestone in becoming a supercentenarian.
Milestone birthdays are a good time to remind ourselves that the path ahead offers options – we can continue to grow, or we can grow old.
Human existence is made up of moments and stages of change, those life cycle events – such as growing into adulthood, marriage, the arrival of children and grandchildren – as well as seasonal events such as harvests and holidays. Anthropologists even have a word for the state of being that occurs in these transitional moments – liminality, from the Latin word limen, meaning “threshold.” When standing on a threshold, we both look back at the past – and prepare for the future.
Happy 110th Birthday, Lena!