Most people are happy to live to see their grandchildren be born, maybe even graduate high school or college, but Red Deerian Edith Hudson has lived to see much more than that.
At 102 years old, Hudson has seen her four children have children and now has 15 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great grandchildren.
Hudson said being 102 is nothing new, nothing different.
“I don’t know what’s special about it. I just live day-to-day and do the same old thing. It’s nothing special,” said Hudson.
She added, though, that she does have a special “thing” coming up. She got a perm on Oct. 6th and on the 11th is leaving for Calgary.
“I’ve got to go to Calgary at 6 a.m. to catch the plane to go to Vancouver Island. It’ll be a tough trip but my daughter and son are both going with me.”
It’s Hudson’s oldest daughter Helen’s 80th birthday, which is the first of a few reasons for the trip.
“She’s getting married again and her fiancé is seven days older than her so they’re going to celebrate their birthdays and wedding all at the same time.”
Edith’s life story began closer to Calgary in an area called Pole Line Road. She was one of 10 children to David and Julia Adams.
She and her family moved out near Raven just after her father’s return from war where they had a small property on a lake. This is the area in which Edith attended school and recalls earning a playful nickname because of her first teacher.
“My first school teacher’s name was Wolf-Frame. We drove a team to school and he walked but when we came back he went with us,” said Edith.
She said because of her size and age, she rode on her teacher’s knee. She recalled the day she asked him how he got his name. “He showed me his tooth and said that’s the wolf, and the brim of my hat, that’s the frame, so Wolf-Frame.”
She said she must have followed him around at school because she earned the friendly nickname Wolf-Frame’s puppy-dog.
Edith completed Grade 7 before finding a summer job and choosing to stay working instead of returning to school.
These days, her life at Piper Creek Lodge is full of card games, dice games and one of her favourite games, Pigeons and Crows.
Pigeons and Crows is most closely compared to curling where you have a ball you throw and try to get on the button or knock the opponent off.
“One time, we needed one more pigeon, so we asked a lady if she wanted to play. She said she didn’t know how so we taught her. The next day I walked past her and asked how she’d liked Pigeons and Crows. She said ‘Don’t know what it was but I ate it’ because she thought I was talking about our lunch.”
Edith has a wonderful sense of humour and she said the staff at Piper Creek Lodge are all fantastic, beautiful people who go beyond the call of duty and help whenever they can. Her family is fairly wide-spread these days with two of her children in Vancouver, one in Medicine Hat and one locally.
She moved to Piper Creek Lodge in 1999 after living alone in Bowden for a number of years. “I was just alone and had yard work and everything so I thought I’d move somewhere I didn’t have that. So I thought why not try Red Deer? I love this room better than anywhere else I’ve ever been, everything is just so handy.”
Edith’s daughter, Eunice, brought her a Halloween costume for this year. She is going to be a witch. She dresses up every year.
“Last year I went as the undie-taker and had underwear all over my walker and myself. Everyone thought it was funny.”
Edith has been without her husband, Alfred, since 1982. They were married in 1932 when Edith was just 21.
She said they met unexpectedly after riding with her sister to a dance. Alfred approached Edith while her and her sister were putting away the horses and asked if he could have the first dance.
Edith turns 103 in February and said she doesn’t know what the future holds, she just lives each day as its own. “It’s important to look at what we have and not be worried about all we had or could have tomorrow.”