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There wasn't a lot of physical gathering involved this time, but Jo Bryant enjoyed her 105th birthday as much as any other.
"I had a wonderful time," she said. "I was celebrated for a whole week."
At a time, when positive attitudes are sometimes hard to find, Jo Bryant stands out as the kind of person who knows how to count her blessings.
"I had 22 cards," she said, "and one day I had ten phone calls." There are two things you notice when you see her. One, she looks and sounds shockingly young for someone of her age, and the other is her smile. It's there most of the time.
"I just take it as it comes and enjoy life," she said.
Bryant was born in Vancouver in 1916, before the last pandemic. She remembers living through The Great Depression.
"We didn't have a lot of everything, but it wasn't that bad," she said. "We were thankful for what we did have. I think other people suffered more than we did. We had our garden and our own chickens."
She wrapped-up her take on the depression years with a comment that ages well, even as the pandemic drags on.
"We knew there would be better days ahead."
Bryant credits her health and longevity to an active lifestyle. She avoids processed foods, goes for lots of walks and tries to make herself useful.
"I knit a lot of toques and send them to the Gospel Mission," she explained.
She's looking forward to the possibility of a real in-person birthday party next year.
"Oh boy," she said, flashing her easy smile once again. "I'm going to live it up."
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