Few reach the birthday Rachel Glazer celebrated this year. But if you ask her, that accomplishment is a dubious honor.
"I'm not happy about it," joked Glazer, who turned 100 in January. "But, I'm happy I'm still able to get around."
In fact, Glazer easily walks the halls of the Jewish Home for the Aged in San Francisco, where she is one of nine residents more than 100 years old.
Glazer is not only ambulatory and alert, but perfectly polished — from her delicate string of pearls to her pink fingernails.
The New Jersey native, whose son lives in San Francisco, has lived at the home for six years, where she plays bridge and bingo and reads "most everything, anything interesting." In an interview at the home, Glazer is nonchalant about living a century, claiming as her secret to longevity, "I just lived a natural life," raised by a "nice Jewish family."
Perhaps with time comes a more spiritual outlook.
Another resident at the home, 101-year-old Mildred Altman, sees something of the divine in her long life. She has outlived 10 siblings from her native Chicago and looks only toward God for an explanation.
"God blessed me. I thank God for every breath I take," said Altman, who was active in Hadassah and Women's American ORT and says she has one surviving grandson.
As for how much time she has left to appreciate favorite pastimes such as opera, she says "only God knows. Let God take care of it."
Meanwhile, Altman continues to enjoy earthly pleasures; even after 101 years, she still loves to shop.
Patting the smooth silk of her new cream-colored outfit she said, "This is my new dress. I love it." Grazing a manicured hand over its gold, biscuit-shaped buttons she can't help but confide in a whisper, "it was a dollar a button."