A Harbor resident who has traveled the world from China to Australia celebrated her 101st birthday Tuesday.
Bernadine Shimmin said there’s no real secret to such longevity.
“Just tell them to breathe,” she said.
Shimmin has been at Good Samaritan Society Curry Village getting physical and occupational therapy recently. She’ll go home to Sea View Senior Living Community soon.
“We’re excited having her here,” said Good Sam Community Relations Director Kristin Villavicencio. “She’s a blessing. She interacts so well with other residents and the staff.”
Other than poor hearing and a slight shake to her voice, Shimmin is in good health.
Residents and staff members sang Happy Birthday to her just after lunch Tuesday, then she wielded a knife to cut pieces of cake for everyone.
Shimmin was born in Lawton, Okla., and said she has “just a smidgen of American Indian” in her blood. She was married for 50 years and has two sons – Jack Shimmin of Brookings and Dick Shimmin of Sacramento.
Besides China and Australia, Shimmin’s travels have taken her to Alaska, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and three trips through the Panama Canal.
“Most of it has been on small ships,” Shimmin said. “They are great.”
She wore a flowered lei and a necklace with turquoise stone for her birthday celebration.
The Brookings Harbor area’s senior resident isn’t ready to slow down.
“I keep pretty busy,” she said. “I like to read.”
With memories of her travels and other experiences, Shimmin has plenty of stories and enjoys sharing them with friends. She jokes with self-deprecating humor while describing the discussions.
“I like people,” she said. “I love to talk, but most of it is gibberish.”