Each and every morning, you’ll find 90-year-old Gladie Nagamitsu starting her day with a toasted blueberry bagel, coffee, and a heart full of gratitude. She’ll be the first to tell you, she doesn’t even like coffee that much. She drinks it more for the sweet taste of her favorite creamer.
In the small town of Lind, WA everyone knows everyone—and everyone loves Gladie. In fact, when Gladie turned 90 a few weeks ago, more than 100 friends, family, and neighbors traveled from across the region to celebrate with her. What a day. She’s still smiling.
“Just happy. Just happy and so humble,” said Gladie.
Gladie is one of the oldest neighbors in Lind. Her husband, Dick, is three years her elder. She loves this small town. It’s here where she raised her family, worked as a secretary, and always stocked her cupboards full of homemade goodies for the neighborhood kids. In a way, Gladie is everyone’s grandma—fresh cinnamon rolls and all.
From milking cows at her family farm to main street in Lind, Gladie has had a front-row seat to the evolution of technology. She recalls making her first phone call at the age of 20 and gathering around a black and white television to watch the game show, “You Bet Your Life.” Then, there was that time she traveled to Pullman to learn about floppy disks.
Now, in the 21st century, Gladie is learning how to use her new smartphone and watching as 200 acres of nearby land is transformed into the largest solar farm in the state.
“Oh my goodness, as far as your eye can see,” she said.
Gladie says the solar farm is the largest project she’s ever seen during her lifetime.
She’s embracing the change, but admits, she’s still wondering how it all works. Her great grandkids help explain the process from what they learn at school. She has a lesson for them too.
“Enjoy every day and be happy with what you have,” she added.
No matter what changes, some things will always remain the same—like the heart of this small town.
“I love my town. Lind is a good place, lots of good people here. I love them, they are my life,” said Gladie.