CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy Birthday, Margaret! The Oldest Living Dell Rat is Now 104 Years Old!


This is a very special occasion.


Margaret Elizabeth Brown Schneider...

"The Oldest Living Dell Rat"...

is 104 years old today!


For the benefit of new readers, Margaret was born
in 1912, three days after the sinking of the Titanic.
When Margaret was a year old, she and her family
became the first residents of the Shady Dell,
built by her father George Brown. Over the
last few years, Margaret has been sharing
true stories of her life at the Dell during
the WWI years and Roaring Twenties
exclusively here on SDMM in the
 chapters of In-Dell-ible Memories,
a special guest series written by her
daughter, Kathleen Mae Schneider.

Margaret Schneider is an inspiration to people
of all ages around the world. Please join me in
wishing Margaret a very happy 104th birthday.


Happy Birthday, Margaret!

We love you so very much!


50 comments:

  1. Dear Margaret,

    Is it hard to believe you’ve lived so long?

    I work at a hospital down here in Florida— one that is notable for citizens with longevity. I am often called to admit centenarians to the hospital, but I think the oldest patient I’ve had so far tops off at 102— so even you would really turn some heads if you were down here.

    Hope you have an enjoyable birthday— eat plenty of cake and have fun. We love you!

    Best wishes,
    Kathryn Anderson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 20, 2016 at 6:38 AM

      Hi Kathryn,
      Mother was the star of her PT room when she was a rehab patient after hip surgery. When her therapist asked her if she was able to walk the final 10 feet to make her "magic 250" in order to return home, she quickly asked him, "What choice have I got?"

      She hopes never to have to be admitted to the hospital or a nursing home ever again, and we are doing our level best to abide by her wishes.

      Yesterday held a lot of excitement, so by the time the cake was served, she ate just a little with ice cream followed by a nap! It was obvious, however, that she enjoyed all the attention.

      Thanks for your comment and birthday greeting, Kathryn!

      Delete
  2. Happy birthday, Margaret! That's an age to celebrate. Glad you are getting some of her stories down on paper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 20, 2016 at 7:22 AM

      Thanks for stopping by to help us celebrate, Alex! My writing of Mother's 100-year-old stories right now consists of notes I've jotted down when she reveals yet another memory from her Shady Dell childhood and beyond.

      It amazes me how much she remembers, such as the name of her first grade teacher ("She wasn't very good with children", according to Mother.), the sweet smell of the arbutus blooming across from her Dell home in the woods ("My sisters and I built pretend houses out of big stones we found there."), and how her father climbed a ladder while carrying big rounds of cheese up from a cold cellar under the pump house to feed his large family. (She still likes cheese!)

      Someday those bits of paper and incomplete files on my iPad hopefully will coalesce into more chapters about my Mother's life, and I will share them with whomever will read them.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      Delete
  3. Happy birthday Margaret! That's quite a milestone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 20, 2016 at 7:48 AM

      Milestone (noun):

      1.
      a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place.
      2.
      an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.

      The dictionary agrees, Mike. We are so proud and happy that Mother has lived this long!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  4. Happy Birthday, Margaret, and wishing you many more.

    Good morning, Shady. Thank you for sharing Margaret with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 20, 2016 at 7:53 AM

      Mother says "thank you", Sandra! (Me too) She's liking all of these messages as much as her greeting cards!

      Delete
  5. Happy Birthday, sweet Margaret! May your memories be as precious as you and your heart filled with the melodies of your life!
    It's wonderful that her story will be recorded. I'm sure its as much a keeper as she is:-) Thanks so much for sharing her with us, dear Shady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 20, 2016 at 3:43 PM

      Welcome, Diedre, to our extended 104th birthday party for Mother.

      When talking to many people, some complete strangers, I become more convinced that every family has stories that are "keepers". Problem is, so many people are just too busy just living that they don't take time to write down those narratives that would be so valuable in the future.

      By the time the next generation is old enough to care and seek answers, the folks who inhabited those fascinating stories have long since passed on and cannot provide details.

      Those that come after them have to ferret out the tales from old archived documents, yellowed, brittle letters and photographs. Sometimes, gems are discovered through talking with relatives but much history is lost forever.

      Case in point - I'm so busy taking care of Mother and writing her stories that I don't seem to be able to find time to write my own!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Delete
  6. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 18, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    What wonderful greetings celebrating my Mother's 104 years! I will read them to her in between her many visitors, and I know she will be thrilled to hear from you all.

    She (with my help) will answer each one of you later once her "party day" is over. At 104, she has to space out the excitement and fit it in - in between naps!

    Thank you so very much for sending her your good wishes and helping to make her birthday extra special.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How wonderful! Happy, Happy Birthday Margaret! Oh the things you've seen and the changes in technology and the world. Thankfully birthdays are still celebrated so eat cake, hug family, and enjoy your day. I hope the newspaper where you live runs a special story on you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 20, 2016 at 4:20 PM

      It's good to hear from you, Ya Ya!

      You're so right about the changes Mother has seen in her long life. Out of the blue, she told me simply the other day, "I've had SO many experiences", and later, "Nothing ever stays the same."

      When I probed that idea a bit with her in conversation, out tumbled her familiar memories: riding open trolley cars across the countryside to visit grandparents, hearing the player piano in the Dell's parlor, seeing more horses and buggies on the streets than automobiles - to name a few. Photography was in its infancy during her childhood, and so were automobiles.

      You can imagine how fascinated she is with my iPad as she hears these blog messages read to her and sees enlarged pictures of herself and her childhood home. What an interesting and full life she's had!

      A reporter wrote a feature article on Mother and the Shady Dell when she turned 100. I plan to send a recent birthday picture in for publication however.

      We appreciate your kind words and the sentiment behind them. Thank you, Ya Ya!

      Delete
  8. Kathleen - Toni Deroche asked me to publish her comment for her, but I was unable to do it using her name due to a Blogger glitch.

    Here is Toni's comment for Mother:

    Happy Birthday, dear Margaret , my oldest , but sweetest, friend!

    You looked so pretty in pink when I saw you on Friday. Your pleasant smile and personality is always a welcome joy when I visit. Kathy decorated your house so colorful and festive! Enjoy your family celebration today for you are so loved by many!

    With love and admiration,
    Toni Deroche

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 20, 2016 at 4:46 PM

      Hi again, Toni!

      You came bearing thoughtful and lovely birthday gifts for Mother last week, but the best gift of all is your friendship and we also will never forget that there would be nothing left of the Dell if not for you!

      When another visitor stopped by, Mother said, "That lady who fixed up my old home even came to see me." She couldn't wait to cash in the lottery tickets and especially important, she ate your soup and candy without my encouragement - a major feat right now!

      Mother and I are very glad our lives' paths crossed with yours and we so appreciate your cheerfulness and kindness. Please visit us again real soon!

      Delete
  9. While I would never want it myself, it is wonderful that there are people out there that have seen so much in this world... have a very happy birthday, young lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 11:36 AM

      Hi Chris! Thank you for your visit and birthday wishes.

      Many people tell me they wish they could live as long as Mother, but I think longevity in and of itself without quality of life is the issue to be considered.

      We've been so fortunate that Mother remained active and mostly self-sufficient in her own home until her hip broke almost five years ago. Her mind is also good for someone her age, which I consider a miracle. Caring for her now that her advanced age manifests in varying degrees of frailty feels like a blessing instead of a burden.

      I need to mention that hearing comments like yours pleases her greatly, adding that quality to her life that I mentioned above, so thank you again!

      Delete
  10. happy birthday beautiful Margaret. be blessed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 11:47 AM

      Mother is a humble and quiet woman not prone to unseemly pride, but I'm glad you agree with me that she is indeed beautiful. She often also expresses that she has been truly blessed with a good life, and still considers herself so in spite of the challenges of old age. Reaching her 104th birthday with wishes such as yours are proof enough to her! Thank you, shortybear!

      Delete
  11. Amazing! Happy birthday, Margaret!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 12:13 PM

      Hello, Jessica Marie!
      Many people agree with you that Mother's reaching this age is pretty hard to believe. We're glad you could add your comment to her collection of birthday greetings, and appreciate your visit to her special post.

      Delete
  12. She is a year older than my dad:) A very Happy Birthday to someone who is young at heart. How wonderful to have someone who lived there and can share in those memories when she was a young lass living there during the Great Depression and WW2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 12:32 PM

      Well, Birgit, you know what it's like to experience living history in your family too. Congratulations on your father's long life! Isn't it great to hear real stories from the past as opposed to ones in a textbook?

      Incidentally, not only was Mother around during the Great Depression (as a newly-wed whose husband made $30 a week) and World War II ("The attack on Pearl Harbor was an awful thing", she says.), she also remembers WW I (Her Dad raised pigeons used as messengers on European battlefields.), and the Spanish-American War (She had family members who fought in it.), as well as all the conflicts that came after.

      Thanks for your comment and Mother's birthday greeting, Birgit!

      Delete
  13. Happy Birthday Margaret! What an incredible life you've lived and it's wonderful that you are sharing your stories with us!
    What a wonderful milestone, 104!! I wish you health and endless happiness on your special day, and always!

    Thanks Shady for sharing Miss Margaret with us!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 1:49 PM

      I'll never forget my sadness when Mother was recuperating both times from a broken hip in a nursing home/rehab facility, and seeing dozens of people up and down the hallways, sitting with their heads down, asleep or confused. I thought to myself that they all held wonderful stories, vivid memories and events large and small in their minds, but many could no longer access and share them the way Mother does. Also, it tragically appeared that no one cared!

      That's why I'm trying to write down everything Mother says, especially about her past. I'm also fortunate to have a vehicle in SDM&M whereby Mother's life and celebrations can be documented and shared with readers all over the world, and a wonderful friend in Tom, who allows me the time and space for posts such as this.

      Thank you for your interest, Michele, and the wishes for Mother's health and happiness contained in your comment.

      Delete
  14. Happy Happy Birthday Margaret !
    Let There Be Cake !

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 1:55 PM

      Hi Parsnip (one of my favorite vegetables, by the way...),

      Mother's Swiss Lemon Mousse birthday cake had a picture of her at age 20 on the top, wearing a pair of knickers that she still has in a trunk in the attic!

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  15. Best Birthday wishes Margaret!!! How amazing it is that you have seen our world change so much in the 104 years of your life. God Bless You!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 4:06 PM

      Think of all the changes you have known in your life, Holli - then multiply them many times. That's what it is like for my mother! Thank you for sending your best birthday wishes for her!

      Delete
  16. Margaret, happy birthday! My paternal grandma was born in 1908, but she passed away in 1980. You were born in an interesting period and I would love to hear your stories. Tom says you've shared some of them here on his blog, so I'm going to try to read those very soon. May the Lord bless you with good health and long(er)life! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 5:02 PM

      Mother says "It was very nice of you to wish me a happy birthday". She also thanks you for thinking of her and for planning to read the stories about her early life.

      Since I, along with my sister, am Mother's caregiver, there is little time for writing right now. However, I hope to continue my In-Dell-ible Memories series as soon as I'm able. Thank you for checking out the archived chapters. Mother and I hope you find them enjoyable and interesting.

      I wonder if any of your paternal grandmother's stories were recorded. She certainly would have been a virtual treasure trove of information.

      We are grateful for your comment and good birthday wishes, Cathy!


      Delete
  17. A very happy birthday to Margaret! 104 is a lot of years! I'm sure she has a lot of stories to tell! I love the picture with her and the roses. Very pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 9:00 PM

      Hi Sherry,
      Yes, Mother does still remember a lot of stories. Every time I think I've heard them all, she tells me another new one!

      Although she loves all flowers, roses are some of her favorites. She received two large bouquets for her birthday this year - one from a friend and another from a grandson. Both knew how much she likes roses, and she was thrilled to get them. Even with her limited vision, she really enjoys their colors and scent.

      Thanks for visiting the party for Mother's 104th and writing a birthday greeting!

      Delete
  18. Happy Birthday, Margaret; you look lovely! That's quite a milestone. How wonderful that your memories are shared here. Thank you, Shady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 9:12 PM

      Mother's beauty, I think, comes from a well-lived life based on love and kindness shown to others, devotion to her family and a strong faith. She was, and still is, content with what she has and is grateful for every day given to her.

      Having her memories published on the "innernet" (as she calls it) is hard for her to grasp, and she is amazed by people she's never met sending her greetings. It is quite a wonderful opportunity and a blessing to her, and it helps keep her mind alert.

      Thanks from Mother and me for your comment, Debbie!

      Delete
  19. Wow, 104 years old. That's quite a feat! Well done. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 9:16 PM

      It is quite an accomplishment, to be sure! Thanks for commenting, Jeffrey.

      Delete
  20. Another happy birthday wish to Margaret. What a grand lady with a wonderful history! Have fun celebrating, Margaret.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 9:28 PM

      Mother did enjoy her birthday. At her age, "fun" means being surrounded by her family, opening her gifts, scratching off lottery tickets and having a small piece of cake with ice cream. She also loves flowers, colorful decorations and balloons. It was a great day!
      Thanks for your visit, Arlee!

      Delete
  21. Happy Birthday, Margaret! What a wonderful day for you and your family. It is so blessed to have family. It's one of God's greatest gifts to us. May your day be full of happiness and love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 9:39 PM

      Hi Belle!

      Mother smiled shyly when I read your comment to her. Although she takes it in stride and often seems unimpressed by it, we continue to be amazed at her longevity. I consider her to be my first gift and one that seems richer and more beautiful every day.

      Thank you for your cheery greeting and comment, Belle!

      Delete
  22. Happy belated birthday, Margaret! Oh to see the things you have lived through. I hope your special day was just that - special!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 9:45 PM

      The 18th was very special for us all! The flowers were blooming, the weather was perfect, and Mother was able to appreciate our efforts to celebrate having her with us another year. Thank you for stopping by, Ashton!


      Delete
  23. Wow, how amazing that she is 104 - happy birthday Margaret!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 9:54 PM

      Thank you, Sarah!

      Delete

  24. I bet Margaret has plenty of interesting stories to tell.The Roaring 20s is a fascinating era.
    Have a good one, Shady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 10:00 PM

      Hi, Sarah!
      Check out the archived In-Dell-ible Memories chapters for Mother's stories that have been written so far. (They haven't included much from the Roaring Twenties yet, but will in the future, I hope.)

      Thanks for your visit and comment.

      Delete
  25. Happy Birthday, Margaret! I bet you have some fascinating stories to tell. I am glad that you are getting those stories written down for prosperity.

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge R is for Reba

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 21, 2016 at 10:06 PM

      My goal is to preserve Mother's stories for future generations, and thankfully she has been happy to help me get them recorded.

      Thanks, Mary, for coming by and checking out the special birthday post for Mother.

      Delete

You talkin' to me?