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    Posted February 6, 2014 by
    lew697
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Woman Celebrates 92nd Birthday and Reflects on a Lifetime of Memories

     
    Martha Weibe celebrated her 92nd birthday on January 17 with fellow residents at this month’s birthday social at Parkway Place. Weibe is a part of a generation that has witnessed and experienced many fascinating milestones and evolving progresses in America. At 92, she is still physically active, enjoying life and family, looking forward to a new year and says that celebrating birthdays never gets old.

    “I have had a blast starting off the New Year by celebrating my birth,” said Weibe, a resident of Parkway Place. “I have been out five times to celebrate and had a blast celebrating my birthday with fellow Parkway Place residents. I received at least 42 cards in recognition of my birthday. I guess after 92 years, I have made a lot of friends and my family has grown exponentially. I have one friend who was also born on January 10 and we would make a point to talk to each other every year on our birthdays. We did that for thirty years. Each month we have a birthday social for all the residents that have birthdays that month. We always have a lovely dessert, they present us with flowers and we get to enjoy live entertainment.”

    Weibe says that each ten years presents new phases to experience, and she believes that each phase can be fulfiling and beautiful if you have good health and live life wholeheartedly.

    “I enjoyed growing up in Waxahachie as a teenager, marrying my husband and accompanying him on his travels while he was in the Air Force, having children and watching my children go through the same phases in life,” said Weibe. “I was a child, Model T’s were the only cars people drove, I-10 was not a paved road, football was taking off as a popular sport and mail was starting to travel by plane. The first mail plane that flew from San Antonio went right over our house in Waxahachie. We were outside and waved to the pilot as he passed and he waved right back!”

    As an adult, Weibe watched as Eisenhower christened the first commercial jet, tuned in to listen as man landed on the moon, saw improvements in telephones and televisions and witnessed the vast growth of the computer and the Internet. She remembers when people used to have to share phone lines and now people have their own phones that they carry with them everywhere.

    “One drastic difference between the world I grew up in and the world of today is how safe and free our country felt,” expressed Weibe. “In my day, we could play outside and our mother would not have to check on us every so often. We were safe at home and in our schools. We did not worry about shootings or terrorism. It is frightening to be a parent in today’s society. There is so much more to be concerned about these days.”

    Weibe watched as Americans became more mobile, more open to travel and began moving from hometowns to other cities and states.

    “Growing up, people stayed close to home and took up jobs near towns where they had been raised as children,” shared Weibe. “After World War II, I saw an interesting movement as people opened up to the idea of travel and living in new places. Instead of sticking with one job and staying in one place, people were switching jobs and moving around the United States. The war opened up these opportunities and spurred this new trend in society. Families used to stay in the same city, but now families are branching out. I am thankful that my family is still close by!”

    Weibe appreciates her good health and loves experienceing new things with her family. At her age, she is still excited to see what the future holds.

    “I am still very active and healthy for my age,” said Weibe. “I swim five days a week for 45 minutes. I love doing water aerobics, and I meet with two other ladies each morning at 6:30 to start off my day by doing something active. At the end of March, I will be traveling to Europe to visit England and Scotland with my daughter and her family. I really enjoy visiting other countries, observing their culture and customs and getting to know the place’s people and history. It is very fascinating to me. When my husband was in the Air Force, we lived over there for a period of time. It will be fun to travel with my family and rekindle all those memories.”

    “This generation experienced a vast amount of change and growth,” said Jimmy Johnson, executive director of Parkway Place. “Each resident has a unique background, played a different part and has an interesting perspective to share from these periods in time. We find ourselves eagerly listening to their tales from the past and their opinions of how times have changed.”

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