For Anita Miller, making it to 103 years old seems like a piece of cake.
“I think it was the way I lived. I was always a tomboy, I was good at leapfrog and basketball,” she said.
“I’m very strong. I’ve always bragged about my strength. And I’ve never smoked.”
Miller was, in fact, rewarded with two pieces of cake last Thursday during her birthday celebration at the Northshore Senior Center. She first feasted on a meal in the lunch room and then headed upstairs for a few games of pinochle. Friends surrounded her in both spots, clapping and offering her birthday congratulations.
“She’s a fun gal. I bet she was really fun when she was younger,” said Linda Buss, a Senior Center volunteer. “To get to 103, how many of us can say that?”
Added staff member Michele Maneri: “I like the discourse, the stories (she) has to tell.”
Miller grew up on Long Island, NY, on the same street where the infamous Amityville “horror” house stood. (“Oh, none of that was true,” she noted about the alleged hauntings.)
She had two sisters and a brother, worked as a nurse, married twice and became a pretty good piano player along the way. Her favorite food is ice cream and she’s allergic to eggs.
Her strength kept her going when her husbands passed away.
“The lady next door called me ‘fantastic.’ I didn’t need a man, I’d pick it up myself … the laundry, the lawnmower,” she said.
Miller, who lives with her daughter, Joan Cunningham, in Bothell, has been hanging out at the Senior Center for the last five years.
Joan works part time and says her mom takes care of herself while she’s away. But when Joan returns, Anita wants some action.
“She loves to go, go, go. We go to the movies, out to eat. When we go to Lake Anderson with my daughter and son-in-law, she goes out on the speedboat,” said Joan, noting that Anita also likes to play cards and write letters to her friends back east.
As the pinochle game got into full swing at the Senior Center, Anita was the center of attention wearing her “103 and spoiled rotten” T-shirt.
The strong look in her eyes seemed to say that 104 is just around the corner.