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Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Cool is Aunt Tillie?

This is my Aunt Tillie. I think this photo was taken a year or so ago, and she probably wouldn't love my posting it here because since then she has gotten a new haircut that is more glamorous and hip, and gotten into even better shape.

Aunt Tillie is 96 and a half.

I talked with her on the phone today and heard all about why she is moving to a different retirement community this New Year's Eve.

For one thing, she has really been needing a more competitive card game to play in. Also some more lively, intellectual, fun friends. She already has a bunch of them in the new place, not to mention a top-floor apartment with a view of the pool and pond from her deck. She is so psyched for the move, she says, that she finds herself singing in her sleep... though I think that might also be a little extra practice for her upcoming audition for the chorale at the new place.

Also, she is thinking maybe she'll learn to play blackjack. "Why not?" she says, with her inimitable Aunt Tillie laugh. There will be book groups and exercise classes and the chef is a buddy of hers from a few years ago, so she was delighted to catch up with him and find out how his 2 sons are doing. She remembers everything about everybody and is so positive and charming, her new friends have already been inviting her to sit with them at dinner, and join all their various clubs and committees.

She is particularly looking forward to the cocktail parties, when hired gentlemen come to dance with the ladies.

How awesome is she? It is really beyond expressing. I want to be her when I grow up.

How about you? Who do you want to be?

Rachel Vail


  1. Your aunt Tillie is truly amazing. I also have one of those amazing women in my family. She is my aunt Claire. At 87, she just retire from teaching ballroom dancing in Ardsley, sold her condo and is awaiting an apartment in Eastchester (she's next in line). In the interim, she is coming to stay with me.

    "Aunt Claire," I said, "At what time do you come in from your card games?" Her response, "!!:00 pm, but I can come home a little earlier if necessary"

    So what keeps these women so vital and alive? it must be the cards!! I want to be just like them. Lovelle Ruggiero AKA Stancarone

    I've included a photo: Aunt Claire on her 87th birthday

  2. Love Aunt Tillie. A real dynamo and blessed with memory and vigor at 96-1/2. I love how really young people and really old people add that 1/2.

    I had an Aunt like Tillie once. Aunt Becky talked politics, told stories and danced till the day she died.

    Yes, I am almost "grown up" but would love to get to this milestone too.

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