Monday, February 4, 2013

August Farmer Fred Award Runners Up

It could not be August with the mention of barley or wheat in GriggsDakota.
The Second Runner Up for August:
Click on the link above to visit the post.

I am about to break my own rules. I am going to repost the First Runner Up. Iris and I both have our fingers crossed that she will last through 2013. We found ourselves talking about next Christmas and making plans for gifts and cards. We both stopped short and crossed our fingers, laughing together as we did it.  Having someone like her in our lives is beyond our wildest dream. I hope her spirit and determination inspires you.

The August First Runner Up: 
Today 107 Years Old
A farm girl from the start, she has always carried the farm in her heart.
 I am certain she is among the oldest people living in North Dakota. 
Her name is Iris. Her favorite flower is the pansy. Pansies remind her of kitten faces. 
Iris is a graduate of the University of North Dakota.  
She spent her career first as a teacher. She became a children's librarian. Although she loved traveling, she lived her life in North Dakota, then Minnesota, and then back to North Dakota. 
She was the only daughter in her family to survive to adulthood. Two sisters did not survive their childhood. It caused her to be very close to her mother and fiercely loyal to her brothers.
 She appreciates those who marry into our family. I remember at the party celebrating her 100th birthday that she remarked at how fortunate she was to have such a wonderful family even though she never had children of her own. She went on to tell us that the ones who had joined the family by marriage had been a special blessing. We have been very lucky in that regard. 
Iris likes Winter as well as Summer. Most farm girls from North Dakota do.
 She has a quiet unshakable faith and after years of joining churches in the various towns in which she has lived, she is again a member of Sundahl Lutheran Church, probably among the oldest living Lutherans.
Where Iris fits in to the oldest living person category, we don't really know. She does not want attention for her long life. She has not gotten a letter from the President or been featured on television. She has no advice or words of wisdom for others who hope to duplicate her longevity. "It is the Lord's doing, not mine," Iris tells me. 
And so, today, we will quietly eat cake as we celebrate the 107th birthday of our dear
Iris Westman.

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