Sassy? It’s Good For Your Health

After reading this article in today’s NYTimes, i’m convinced that us Parlouristas are on the right track to growing old. Basically, stay active, stay social and have fun with it all, just like 92 year-old Esther ‘Faity’ Tuttle (shown above) who just may be our new idol:

Faity Tuttle could serve as a model for that study’s findings. Each morning, she does an hour of yoga and other floor exercises, then dresses and goes out on the street or to the top of her Manhattan apartment building for a half-hour walk before breakfast. Her usual breakfast: orange juice, oatmeal, a banana and black coffee. Then she works at her desk, mostly corresponding with her 11 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, now 3. “So many birthdays — one or two a month,” she said.

Lunch may be soup or leftover meat, a “very thin” slice of rye toast, with tea and Jell-O or fruit for dessert. The afternoon includes an hour’s nap and another walk, often combined with grocery shopping.

At 6:30 every evening, she enjoys a cocktail before a home-cooked dinner of perhaps lamb, pork chops, roast chicken or “a very good stew” she makes herself. Mrs. Tuttle, whose husband, Ben, died in 1988, lives with a dear friend, Allene Hatch, 84, an artist and author affectionately known as Squeaky, with whom she shares K.P. “Most days I do the cooking, and Squeaky cleans up afterward.”

Stay-at-home evenings are spent reading or watching “a good movie” on television, she said.

Outlined in the article are what are seen as the three ‘Rs’ to longevity: resolution, resourcefulness and resilience. In addition to those attributes, maintaining relationships and not succumbing to age-related depression is shaping up to be a key factor to achieving a 100th birthday. Steely and I often joke that our sub-conscious snooty old lady tendencies are gonna catch up with us, but given this news in health, we may be ahead of the curve.

Personal Health: Secrets of the Centenarians

photo: Antonio di Suvero

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