Lucille Hublou marked her 102nd birthday on Saturday, August 19, at St. William’s Care Center in Milbank. She recently became a resident there after... Lucille Hublou Celebrates Her 102nd Birthday

Lucille Hublou marked her 102nd birthday on Saturday, August 19, at St. William’s Care Center in Milbank. She recently became a resident there after she took a tumble last winter and broke her wrist. The sticker affixed to her rosy-hued top proclaims “It’s My Birthday!” but only the gold balloons shaped like the number 102 and pinned to the wall give away her age.

She chats about school starting the other day and remarks on a conversation we had many months ago. She seems to be aware her skills exceed her living situation, but nary a complaint crosses her lips except to say, “My wrist is still a bit swollen. When I broke it, the doctor reminded me that it was the second time it was fractured. I remember the first time. I was in fourth grade.” (Lucille attended the country school outside Milbank in Madison Township.) “All the kids and I were outside playing. We piled into one big heap and it was just an accident. I happened to be the one who got hurt.”  

She recalls, “I didn’t want to go to the doctor, but my mother insisted. Things were much simpler then. We didn’t have x-rays or special equipment. The doctor just pulled on my fingers and wrist until things popped back into place. Then, he put a cast on it.”

Lucille denies there is a magic formula for living a long and healthy life. However, she gives a nod to what she calls a “longevity gene.” She was one of five children born into the Oscar and Bergetta Manning family, and she says all but one of her siblings lived to be at least 90 years old. Her sister, Marcella, 98, has a room just down the hall from her at St. William’s. “We get together every day and often watch a game show on TV,” Lucille says, “but my hearing isn’t as good as it used to be.” She notes that sometimes Marcella dozes during the program. “I just let her sleep. I don’t nap during the day, though.” Lucille prefers working on circle word puzzles. She is accustomed to being busy. 

Until she broke her wrist, she was living in an apartment and taking care of most of the chores herself, so there was no time to nap. Although she admits, “It was getting a little difficult to keep up with my housework.” 

She especially enjoyed grocery shopping, and her family had bought a cart for her to carry her purchases the block home from Hartman’s. She had found inspiration in browsing and selecting things, but a few years ago she began having all of her food delivered. “When you don’t go to the store, though, you run out of ideas for what to cook,” she says. She also remarks, “I can’t believe bread is over $4 a loaf. I guess we have to understand that the cost of paying the workforce and the prices have to match.” Nearly $5, however, is a far cry from the 12 cents a loaf of bread cost in 1921, the year she was born. 

Lucille, an ever-strong and sturdy South Dakotan, has weathered all the changes life has thrown at her with ease and positivity. She chose a pastoral painting to hang above her bed and notes, “I’ve had more compliments on it than anything. It isn’t either of the farms I lived on. It was done by a Nebraska artist, and Ralph (her late husband) bought it at a fundraising auction.” 

The place could be somewhere near Milbank, though. The prairie sun has muted the colors, cows graze nearby, and it exudes a sense of peace and charm. A dirt road stretches as far as the eye can see until it vanishes. It’s easy to imagine yourself traveling down it. Whether that road leads away from home or back again is hard to know. It’s much like Lucille’s attitude about life. It’s all about perspective.
Click here to read more about Lucille!


No comments so far.

Be first to leave comment below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *