Things to Know About My 87 Year-old Nana

Shirley is a powerhouse. Sure, she does wacky stuff sometimes but she's going to outlive us all.
  1. She lives on her own in the same house she grew up in, in Guadalupe, CA (pop. 7,225)
    She's lived in other places, like New York and LA but moved back there 20+ years ago
  2. She went to Stanford for her undergrad and Columbia for her nursing degree.
    When I was applying for colleges and got accepted at neither of these places despite her recommendation, she decided they weren't getting any more of her money. Take THAT!
  3. She got divorced from my gross cheating grandfather 43 years ago and decided she hasn't needed another man in her life.
    Like I said, powerhouse. And side note, I haven't spoken to my grandfather in probably 15 years and I'm very ok with it. He lives with his third wife in Florida.
  4. She raised my mom and her three older siblings mostly as a single mother, and they never wanted for anything, including her love and attention.
  5. She keeps even busier than the average working person, despite being retired for almost 30 years - she helped raise money for and save the Guadalupe Library, and she was recently given an award for her service to the local Historical Society.
  6. Every year we all get together and go somewhere fun, and two years ago we went zip lining at a vineyard on the central coast. My nana was the first one out on every line and loved it.
    So mad I don't have any pictures of this on my phone! Fail.
  7. My nana drives the 16 miles into the biggest nearby town of Santa Maria every month to pay her gas bill IN PERSON. WITH A CHECK.
    But she still has an iPad and uses it regularly?
  8. She has adopted anywhere from 3 to 5 cats that come and go from her house and yard. She insists on putting out 2% milk for the cats, heated for exactly 11 seconds in the microwave, despite them never drinking it. She herself drinks non-fat milk, but buys the 2% solely for the ungrateful cats.
  9. She makes her own bird feeders by cutting out squares in each side of a paper milk carton. She has at least 6 of these hanging around her yard.
  10. She's good friends with the mayor of Guadalupe and calls him by his first name.
  11. She is incredibly loved and respected by her family and friends and I'm lucky to be related to her.