It feels like winter in Vermont; a snapshot of months to come. But there is an oasis of sorts in St. Albans. Branon's Pool is a place to warm up the bones.
"The silly thing of throwing those big balls, we all end up laughing like kids, which is wonderful," Ann McKay said.
Ann and the other women-- she calls it the fellowship of old ladies-- are regulars. It's therapeutic for the body and spirit. Laughing comes easily.
Ann McKay: When I taught the course on laughter...
Reporter Joe Carroll: You taught a course on laughter?
Ann McKay: I did, I did!!
Ann is a woman who has given of herself most of her life.
"I like to stay busy, God, who wants to retire? No really," she said.
But first a bit of coffee with the pool posse.
"We are going to Mother Hubbard's," she said.
It's just up the road. Ann doesn't mind driving.
Joe Carroll: You're always on the road doing something?
Ann McKay: I am, I am.
The pool ladies get together for hot drinks and treats, with a crossword puzzle on the side. Ann is the oldest of the group at 85.
"I admire her for her spirit," friend Rosalie Teague said. "She keeps going and going, like the little engine that could!"
Ann has had both knees and hips replaced. She always has her trekking stick, which seems only right, because she's always traveling.
"I belong to organizations and help with them and then I help anyone who needs help," she said.
Today, she's giving a helping hand at the St. Albans Rehabilitation Center.
"So I thought I would stop after swimming," she said.
Patrick Bradley has known Ann for years.
"Remember what I told you, keep exercising even in the wheelchair as far as lifting your legs," Ann said.
"She's my counselor, my guide and my crutch, that I lean upon for help," Patrick Bradley said.
Ann isn't comfortable with the accolades. She says she volunteers just to keep busy. But if you dig a bit deeper, you find something telling.
"I don't know, I feel if we all give a little something, maybe we will leave the world a little better," Ann said.
On the road again, this time to Isle La Motte, her home now and as a child. Ann was born there. Her dad was a farmer. They had no electricity or running water.
"We were complete hicks, but we didn't even know that!" she said.
She left the island for college, when she met her future husband. His name was Floyd, but she called him Mac. She got married her sophomore year. Mac and Ann moved to the south.
Ann McKay: I was head of the PTA in Memphis.
Joe Carroll: So, you've always volunteered.
Ann McKay: Yes.
They had a son and a daughter. John is 21 years older than his kid sister Melissa. Mac passed away in 1995, just short of 50 years of marriage.
"I have my hat by the door and if they say go, I want to grab my hat and go," Ann said.
A woman who says she's lucky to give of herself and stay in motion.
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