Wouldn't you love to know the secret of life and longevity?  I sure would, but it's not just living into your one-hundreds, it's living joyfully and well.

This is the story of Ruth Payne, and how she received over three-and-a-half thousand birthday comments and 185 shares on Facebook for her 106th birthday.  Those numbers are outrageous, and stand out as someone very special, and that's exactly who Ruth is to so many people.

Ruth turned 106 years old on August 1, and the photo her granddaughter posted is so precious, with her in a great big purple party hat and a big smile.

Born in Pomfret, Vermont in 1917, Ruth attended Woodstock High School and met her husband Harley Payne at the Grange Dance in South Pomfret.  From there, the two had quite an active life together, owning Payne's Home Bakery for 20 years in Lebanon, New Hampshire.  Then they opened a second bakery in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, which they operated until Harley retired in 1965.

Ruth was the bookkeeper and helped out at the counter at both bakeries, and I'll bet she was a spitfire.

Tracy Price Currier
Tracy Price Currier

She and her husband were very active, spending winters in Florida and summers at Lake Morey in Vermont, hosting guests and entertaining.  Later they moved to Pickens, South Carolina, but eventually moved back to Vermont to be closer to family.

Harley passed away at age 98 in 2010, and they were married for 75 years.  75 years married to the same person, now that is a true gem of a story. But it doesn't stop there.

Her granddaughter, Tracy Currier, says "Gram was an avid golfer.  She enjoyed snowshoeing, rug hooking, knitting, sewing, quilting, needle point, making homemade cards, playing cards, Sudoku, and puzzles". Tracy also says her Grammy keeps very busy, is a huge Red Sox fan, and loves watching baseball. She's seen the Red Sox at their highs and lows for the past 100+ years.

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Seriously, think about all this centenarian (someone who's between 100 and 109 years old; I had to look that up on britannica.com) has seen over her lifetime. Two World Wars, Vietnam War, 19 U.S. presidents, The Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, Kennedy Assassinations, First man on the moon, civil rights, the Berlin Wall coming down, AIDS, the FM revolution, the invention of television, computers, and cell phones, and the global pandemic have all occurred during Ruth's lifetime.

One thing's for sure, this special woman likes to laugh, and her granddaughter says she is a funny lady.  The experts say laughter is the best medicine, but maybe an active lifestyle, a few cocktails, and a sense of humor add up to a long and lovely life.

Happy Birthday, Miss Ruth!

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