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Utah woman takes to the water for her 103rd birthday

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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GREAT SALT LAKE -- It may not be so unusual for someone to go golfing in Utah on the same day they go sailing. But when that person is 103 years old, well, that's a story.

It's not often one gets to go to sea for a birthday party - the inland sea, that is. But that's where Lou Calder chose to ring in her 103rd year.

She walks without a cane or a walker, using the original equipment she was issued at birth -- back when William Howard Taft was president in 1909.

I hear a lot of people say, ‘Oh if I could live my life over.' I say, if I could live my life over I wouldn't change a thing.

–Lou Calder

The birthday girl boarded the Nauti Girl at Saltair, exchanging her golfing hat for a skipper's cap. She said doesn't keep score these days on the links.

"I didn't do very well today," Lou said. "Not like I used to when I played."

They broke out the sparkling cider in honor of a woman who's lived life to the fullest.

"I think it's beautiful. Lovely. The best birthday present I've had," she said.

She's had a lot of them. You just knew we'd ask her the secret of her long life. When somebody's 103, you have to ask.

"That's what my doctor keeps asking me," Lou said. "I said, ‘I'll tell you next time I come.'"

She lived alone for years, but now she lives at the Wellington Senior Residence, where she's known for keeping everyone on their toes.

"Sometimes it's hard for me to keep up with her going down the hallway," said Anne DellaMora. "I see her out walking every day. She's in the gym. She's just a wonderful woman - really my role model."

She's lived long enough to have left quite a few great-grandkids in her wake. "I have 37 great-greats, 36 greats and five grandchildren," said Lou.

All in all, Lou says she's had a long life, yes, but also a happy one.

"I hear a lot of people say, ‘Oh if I could live my life over.' I say, if I could live my life over I wouldn't change a thing," she said.

Needless to say, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Lou back at it golfing and sailing on her 104th birthday.


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John Hollenhorst


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