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The Secret to Living to 90


These photos are of my grandfather. Wasn’t he the cutest baby? And the most handsome young man?  I’ve just returned from celebrating his 90th birthday and had to share a little story from my visit.


After the dessert plates had been cleared and we were all circled round in the living room I spoke up and said, half jokingly, “Now’s the part of the evening when you tell us what the secret is to living to 90.” Not missing a beat, he replied “Well that’s easy…” A hush came across the room. ”Strong women. Grandmother, mother, wife, daughter, granddaughters, friends.”

He didn’t say green vegetables, though he eats lots of those.

He didn’t say daily exercise, though that’s been a mainstay most of his life.

He didn’t say time spent in nature, though he lives in the most beautiful and wild place.

He didn’t say being kind, though you couldn’t imagine a better friend.

His answer was unexpected, but also obvious:

Strong women.  


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  1. Anna December 4, 2012


  2. Kerilyn December 4, 2012

    Wow. I haven’t had my grandfather in my physical life since I was 14. So amazing you have had such an amazing reminder that the seeker you recognize in yourself, has trickled down, generation through generation, before you decided to join us this time around. This is the lineage of you. In awe.

  3. Sarah December 4, 2012

    Your grandfather is a wise man. Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment with us.


  4. tea_austen December 5, 2012

    Oh my goodness, I love this. What a wonderful response.
    I can see where you get some of your wisdom (and good looks) from! :-)

  5. Jac McNeil December 6, 2012

    This really, really touched me Rachel. My Grammie just turned 94 and still drives (occasionally). I adore her. Maybe we could do a hook-up or something? :O) Love, Jac

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