Age is not deterrent
“In her mind she is not 91, I can tell you that right now,” said Jack.
His grandmother agreed that she did not have a concept of being 91 years old. The Lassen Peak hike is listed as strenuous by the rangers at Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trailhead is at 8,500 feet with the summit at 10,457 feet.
The day after the hike while her grandson nursed sore muscles, Millie went about her schedule as usual. It is this daily activity that keeps her fit.
“She tries to make the most of every moment of every day,” said Jack.
A common activity is her volunteer work as a senior companion. She has four elderly women she works with on a weekly basis taking them to appointments or out of their home for a change of scenery and entertainment. The purpose of the work is to give caregivers a break, said Millie.
When she is not working as a volunteer, she is doing chores around the house or devoting time to a favorite hobby. Jack said one day his grandmother had an extra half hour before leaving to pick up one of her clients as a senior companion so she grabbed the vacuum cleaner to make good use of the time.
During the winter when it snows if he is not the first one out of bed he finds her out shoveling the walkways. If her afternoon is free she will go for a walk around the neighborhood.
“I do anything I can find to keep busy,” said Millie.
In the evenings she usually crochets and is currently working on an afghan for her great, great grandson. She has made many of these crocheted blankets over the years for family members including her three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Millie moved to Clear Creek in 1940. She and her husband purchased a little shack for $138 and then built onto it, both up and out, she said.
During the years she has lived in the area she has traveled to Lassen Volcanic National Park with friends and family members that come to visit. However they never climbed the mountain. After 10 years of trying to get someone to hike with her, Millie finally made the trek. However she was a little disappointed that they turned back just shy of the summit so she plans to do it again in 2008 when she is 92. It is too late this year for there is already snow on Mount Lassen.
Jack said he wasn’t sure his grandmother could make the hike the first time but now he doesn’t have any fear about her ability.
Neither does Millie.
“The next hike will be a piece of cake,” she said.
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