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.
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:16 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:16:13 GMT
A burglary at the Dorset Union Store. Police say the Church Street business, in Dorset, was broken into sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning. At this time, we do not know what was stolen.More >>
Police search for a suspect that left his blood at the crime scene.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:13 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:13:06 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin is urging Vermonters to be vigilant as the rain continues to come down. Especially, he says, with the possibility of wet snow that could bring down trees and damage property. ShumlinMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin is urging Vermonters to stay safe as the rain continues to come down.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:09 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:09:12 GMT
First responders scrambled to drain a private dam Saturday afternoon to avert major damage. Officials say the dam on Poker Hill road in Underhill nearly burst Saturday afternoon. Members of the localMore >>
First responders scrambled to drain a private dam Saturday afternoon to avert major damage.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:58 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:58:16 GMT
Rain-battered state roads in the hardest hit areas of Underhill and Jericho are re-open to traffic, but that doesn't mean the work is done for crews. "It's been a very challenging two-day event here soMore >>
As the rain continues to pour down, response crews are not getting a break.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:51:37 GMT
Driving along Route 15, you may notice some roads have reopened as crews guide drivers cautiously around the cracked gravel. But driving down roads like North Underhill Station, you won't get very far. ConnerMore >>
While needed repairs are being made, more work is ahead.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>