The fanciest appliance 100-year-old Rachel Booker ever owned, until late in her life, was a gas stove, but she could cook, sew, quilt and farm like nobody ever did, her relatives say.
Booker reached the century mark Saturday, and although she was too modest to talk, a man she raised had plenty of praise for his surrogate mother.
Booker was born in the eastern part of the state, said Dan L. Lawson, and she spent the early part of her life on a farm in Oakland.
Booker later married two farmers, and though she had no children of her own, she practically raised a half dozen, Lawson said.
“A typical day for her was to get up at 3 a.m., tend to cows, chickens and hogs, cook breakfast then go out into the field,” said Lawson. “She would come in from the field at midday, feed everybody, then go back to the field.”
After fixing a big supper, Booker would quilt or sew well into the night, Lawson said. Quilting has been one of her lifetime passions.
“She had a sewing machine, but she always quilted by hand,” said Lawson. “She could hold a pattern in her mind, and take ideas from almost anything pretty she saw and make a quilt of it.”
Today Booker lives at Grace Health and Rehab Center. Director of Activities Angela Benford said she always thinks of scripture, and the trials and tribulations the woman has endured, when she sees Booker.
“Matthew 5:44 says love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you,” said Benford. “To have lived 100 years, Mrs. Booker had to do something right along her journey.”
Booker loves to play Bingo and to go to church, said Benford. She enjoys activity time, having her nails painted and doing arts and crafts.
That makes sense, Lawson said, because Booker spent a lifetime perfecting the arts and crafts of everyday life.
“It’s hard to wrap your mind around 100 years of anything,” said Lawson. “Mrs. Booker’s whole purpose in life was to make other people comfortable and happy. As far as a housewife, I’d put her up against anybody there ever was.”