Lena Jacobson–A Century of Living!

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My mother-in-law, Lena Jacobson, turns 100 on Sept. 5th. We will celebrate the occasion on Sept 9th. Also, Sept. 10th is National Grandmother’s Day. Perfect timing, especially since my own grandson will be at the party and then be honored for his birthday brunch on the 10th. As his grandmother, I will be happy to have him with me on that day.

Writing all I know about Lena would take a book, so instead I am enclosing the poem I wrote to give to guests at her party.
Below the poem are a few statistics about life in 1906, when Lena was born. Some of the stats are unbelievable!!!

Lena @ 100!
Lena is 100! What a Celebration!
A century of living; we sit in fascination.
One hundred years of waking up every, single day.
Facing the world and planning the way
For Alan to follow as her devoted son.
She did a great job; he’s her number one.
One hundred years of time flying by
The world has changed and so have you & I.
What hasn’ttchanged is Lena’s everlasting cheer,
Just one of the reasons she is so very dear.
So now we rise and give Lena a toast
No nasty remarks, no Hollywood roast.
Just a heartfelt thanks this very special minute,
Because the world’s a better place
with Lena Jacobson in it!
P.S. I sent Lena’s name and photo to Willard Scott of the Today Show, so maybe he will read her name on TV the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 5th. I’ll be watching!

The World in 1906
The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years old!
Only 8% of the homes had a telephone. (Lena was in the 92%)
There were only 144 miles of paved roads.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.
Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Most women only wahsed their hair once a month, using borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
The 5 leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school
Back then heroin, marijuana, and morphine were considered home remedies and were available over the counter at local drugstores.
(These statistics were sent to me via the Internet, without the original source, so I have no way to verify all of them. If anyone reading this also received it and knows the source, please email me at: menupause2006@yahoo.com, so I can post it. )


Previous Posting of Barb Jarmoska, owner of Freshlife Foods
August 6, 2006

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On my way to the post office and local library, I pass an abandoned gas station (circa 1950s??) on one of the corners. It is a cookie cutter duplicate of a former gas station on a corner in Williamsport, PA., the first home of Barb Jarmoska’s Freshlife health food store, opened in 1981.

About two months ago I attended the 25th anniversary of Freshlife, now located on the Golden Strip on the outskirts of Williamsport. Barb’s newest store is a state-of-the art natural market that would be a ready competitor to a Whole Foods Market, if there were one nearby. (As an aside, Whole Foods Market is 26 years old, only one year older than Freshlife.)

I met Barb when her two children and my youngest attended an alternative school in Williamsport. We had both been elementary teachers and somehow found our way into natural foods. Mine was probably my change to a vegetarian diet, while Barb’s reason was experimenting with dietary changes in young children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD.

The history of Barb’s store and her journey to health can be found on her website: www.freshlife.com. (Click on HISTORY.) Also, Barb has a weekly radio show: Road 2 Health. To listen to the broadcast online 24/7, visit www.road-2-health.com. (Click on Radio Archives) On the show, she interviews men and women from all walks of alternative healing. In addition, Barb does nutritional consulting and gives talks on natural foods in the Central PA area. Finally, Freshlife also produces two newsletters: a hard copy called Freshnews and the e-letter: FreshMail. To subscribe, go to www.freshlife.com and see subscription window on top of the page.

Perhaps her greatest accomplishment to date, in my estimation, was her recent bike trip across America (California to Florida) with 20 other women over the age of 50. Her passion for biking is probably equivalent to her passion for helping others stay healthy. This bike trip was designed to raise awareness for breast cancer. Barb has lost two or three good friends to breast cancer, so this was an important trip for her.

Each woman funded her own trip; no sponsorships were accepted. Barb accepted donations on behalf of Breast Cancer Action, a grassroots organization, which educates corporations, building contractors, and the general public about the link between breast cancer and environmental toxins. To learn more, go to their website: www.bcaction.org or
www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org.

Barb and I have been friends for almost 25 years, when she first opened her “gas station” store with its bare floors and hand packaged snacks, with her two young children running around the store. My own health foods store had morphed into a sprouting operation, with my youngest strapped to my back while I packaged sprouts.

While Barb stayed with the retail store, I went into the direction of cooking classes and cookbooks. But our friendship has never wavered, and my admiration for all she has accomplished puts her in the category I call “Women of Strength, Women of Power.” The power to accomplish comes from her strength of purpose, and her strength of purpose comes from her passion to help others.

Be sure to visit Barb’s website: www.freshlife.com, and if you want to read about her exciting cross-country bike hike, she also has a blog bikeusa.road-2-health.com. For mail order, call 570-322-8280 or 1-800-371-LIFE. Freshlife has been added to my links list (to the right of this text) in case you want to contact barb at a future time. Her email address is: barb@freshlife.com. She is available for phone consultations and to answer questions through her website. The name of her store, Freshlife, is a perfect description of what is possible in life if you take a fresh approach to food and healing naturally. Happy Anniversary, Freshlife!

8 Responses to “Lena Jacobson–A Century of Living!”

  1. ellen sue spicer Says:

    I werote this article about my mother-in-law, who is now 104! ellensue

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  3. ellen sue spicer Says:

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