It's hard to believe Rebecca Smith will turn 102 on December 21.
She has a few sight and hearing issues, but other than that her age is hard to pin down.
Smith would like to chat about her impending birthday and celebration but first she has to catch up on one of her former students. Cecilton town administrator Mary Cooper's mother, Mary Jane Heath, was taught by Smith. Smith needs to see how Heath is doing.
Smith worked for the school system for 41 years, serving as a social studies teacher and guidance counselor at both Perryville and Elkton High Schools. After that, beginning in 1978, she ran for Judge of the Orphans' Court and served four six-year terms.
"I'm having trouble with my ears, my eyes, and my feet," said Smith. But she said that her faith, old and new friends, and her family and all keys to her longevity.
"The Lord has been good to me. I haven't done it on my own. I find that my faith and my prayer are important. My God is good," said Smith.
She's been a member of Zion United Methodist Church since the cradle and lived her entire life in Cecilton except for when she went off to study at Western Maryland College. "Cecilton is a quiet, little town. It's changed. I used to know everybody. But now the natives have passed on," she said.
"I've never been married but I'm still looking," laughed Smith.
While she hasn't had a husband, she has many dear friends who are former students. Students call her regularly from as far away as Michigan, Colorado, and California.
She also taught people who made a name for themselves - including the late Senator Walter Baker. She also taught multi-generations of the same families.
"I keep busy and I try to keep moving. I take it a day at a time and I keep moving and don't stop," she said.
She is also a loyal Orioles and Ravens fan and she smiles a great deal talking about her teams. "Wrinkles are where smiles used to be," said Smith.
She's planning to spend her actual birthday with family.
"When I was 100 we had the big thing. But now, big crowds are too much for me," she said.
But first, the town party.
Smith, Cecilton's oldest resident, retired teacher and community servant, will celebrate her birthday at the first ever town holiday open house. That event is set for this Thursday, December 1 at the community room in the Parklands complex off East Main Street. The party will run concurrently with the open house.
Anyone who cannot attend the party, but who would like to send good wishes to Smith, may leave a card or letter at Cecilton town hall.