If you think meeting one 100-year-old person, you’ve met them all, you haven’t yet had the pleasure of running into Peggy Krutz Spidel Synovec Hoffman Chestnut Scheid.
The subject of today’s column, Peg is a hoot.
Animated, happy and feisty, she’s been married five imes – buried three husbands, had the good sense to divorce two others. She’s also the matriarch of a family that includes six generations of women, from Peg to not-quite-one-year-old Gabby, her great-great-great granddaughter.
The tradition among Peg’s clan, remarkably, is that a daughter is born exactly ever 20 years. That includes Pluma, 80,her daughter Linda, 60. Linda’s daughter Jennifer is 40, and her daughter Alexandria is 20
Over the weekend, Peg’s family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday with a blowout that drew about 80 people,. The guest list included Peg’s favorite Fred Meyer cashier to her Oregon doctor, who drove up even though he hasn’t been her doctor since 2006. Peg has that kind of personality.
She may have had a couple of knee replacements, survived cancer and come back from a brain aneurysm, but this is not a woman in flagging health. When she grabs your aarm to make a point, the grip is firm – and so is her point.
“An average day for me now? I don’t sleep well any more, and I case that’s a sign of getting old,” she said. “I’ll go to bed about 11 p.m. and read until about 5 a.m. and then fall asleep. I’ll get up at 10 and the day is shot!”
Peg lives in a small but lovely little place behind son Bill Scheid’s home on five acres of land in Graham, and she’s self sufficient. She’d still drive, she’ll tell you, except for the crazy people on the road today.
With more than 21 family members camping out all weekend at Schedi’s spread, the happy chaos was everywhere. At the center of it, always, was Peg, a delightful woman who survived kerosene and goose grease treatment for the influenza epidemic during World War I. Since then, she’s survived everything else life has tossed her way, too.
“I start every day as an adventure,” she said. “You can’t control very much in life. When the rug gets pulled out from under me, I start over. My mother used to tell me, ‘Nobody wants to see a sad person.’”