This past week, Blanche Copeland celebrated one of the single most impressive milestone when it comes to birthdays: she reached the century mark.
Copeland’s church congregation reached out to some of her family members and helped organized a grand party fit for the occasion.
“They just had it decorated so pretty,” she said. “ It had balloons all over the place. It looked like a fair ground. And I was so excited to see them. I had to stop and think: ‘they did all this for little ol’ me.’”
The mass of people making up the event had come from all over.
Some of her present relatives included: a nephew from Arizona, a son and grandson from Florida as well as a niece from North Carolina.
Everyone gathered in hopes to share the celebration of her life up until this point with her.
Looking back on decades past, she got to take part in so many fleetingly charming experiences.
Activities and outings that have lost their simplicity in recent times seem so vivid in her recollections.
“We went to the picture show a lot on Saturdays, and we had to walk a long ways. You got in and you saw a serial picture, a comic and then the picture you went to see. And then you’d see the news—all of that for a dime,” she explained.
After they finished up with the movie, they would take just one more dime to go continue their day out.
“We walked about a mile to the ice cream factory. We’d get what we call a knee-high cone: the cone was about four inches high and then the ice cream was about that much higher. We’d have a huge ice cream party—it was the highlight of the week,” she declared.
Aside from actual family outings, she and her six siblings would take to hobbies in and around their home.
Her exercise and sporting included roller skating through their neighborhood.
She even recalled this one group endeavor from her early childhood.
“We got all the kids in the neighborhood, and we got them lined up. We lived a couple streets over from a street that curved and went downhill, so my brother, who was older than I, said ‘let’s get up a train.’”
“He was the locomotive, and you know what I was—the caboose. He said it’s because I was the smallest one. I had quite a ride when we all went down the curve,” she said.
Once she had grown, she was forced to delay schooling directly after high school due to sickness; however, she eventually attended six months of business school.
She then went on to work in an accounting office at Liberty Mutual bank until her husband was relocated with the U.S. Army.
She bounced between being with him when she could, to picking back up in different accounting offices.
This trend was finally broken when she had her first of three children. She wanted to stay home with them until they were almost grown.
This commitment was taught to her through the great sacrifices and efforts of her mother.
“It was hard, but not many women could’ve held up like she did,” Copeland said.
“My mother had to sell my father’s furniture store and his property after he passed. And all that money was in the bank when the banks were shut down in ’29.”
She went on to note that “She had a hard time, but she worked. And she had said ‘God gave me these children, and I’m gonna take care of them.’”
Copeland’s efforts similarly never wavered, even after her retirement at 44. She and her husband began volunteering for Meals on Wheels.
“That’s how I spent my retirement as long as I could. We did that for 15 years. It was the greatest blessing you could have. And I just fell in love with people,” she explained.
Their retirement was also shared with quality family time. The two of them traveled around the US with their trailer.
“Every summer, we’d take it to Lake Lanier or up to the mountains with three or four grandchildren. They remember that to this day,” she added.
After 100 years of life and 72 years of marriage, Copeland gives all thanks for her fortune and trials to Almighty God.
“The Lord walked me right through the bad times and right up to the mountain top again. It’s been a long journey, but it sure has passed fast.”