Norma Toussaint on Friday joined an exclusive club -- becoming a centenarian. "I feel pretty good, I really feel good," she said.
Toussaint said the secret to living a long life -- staying positive. "I think attitude had a lot to do with it -- not being pessimistic, being optimistic and being, no matter how bad things are, there's always something good," she said.
Born in Maine, Toussaint spent most of her life in Vermont. She got married and had five children. When her husband died in his late 50's, she went to work at a department store. She's now legally blind and hard of hearing but her mind and tongue are sharp. "Well, if I have a cocktail it's when the kids are home, so I might say my kids drive me to drink," she said.
And Friday she will celebrate with a whiskey sour with her family who have come from all over the country.
According to the Center For Rural Studies, in 2000 there were 100 people over a hundred and in 2010 it was up to 133 -- with women out numbering men 10 to 1. "That may have to do with issues that occur earlier in life expectancy, with more deaths due to trauma with men more than woman," said Dr. William Pendlebury, Director of the University of Vermont's Center on Aging.
Simply put -- women have a better chance to reach 100. Dr. Pendlebury said many in the aging boomer generation will someday hit the century mark. "And just the fact that the number of people who are getting older -- people over 65 are increasing dramatically -- so the one statistic that is really eye opening is that every single day for the next 17 years 8,000 people are going to turn 65," he said.
Doctor Pendlebury said the advances in health care and the knowledge of what's bad for you has increased the life expectancy.
Norma Toussaint confesses it's not her diet that has kept her going. "Potato chips, Moxie and rhubarb," she said. But again -- it goes back to attitude. "I call it PLUM disease -- Poor Little Unfortunately Me. I say, thank God for the blessings I have," she said.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:35 GMT
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains. There were localized areas of high water and damage, like a road washout on Mud Hollow Road in Kirby. Water remainsMore >>
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:58 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:58:11 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
A Montgomery farmer and a sheriff's deputy joined forces for a daring rescue to help a woman who got trapped in her truck by rising floodwaters.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:08:35 GMT
If you thought the weather Tuesday really stunk, you weren't alone. Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers were too much for even a beaver. WCAX Producer Diane Landry caught video Tuesday in MiltonMore >>
Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers in our region Tuesday were too much for even a beaver.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:09:50 GMT
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont. SheldonMore >>
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont.More >>