It’s a new agey cliché, but the universe always gives you what you need. At a monthly staff meeting this morning, someone brought up Nola Ochs and Barbara Hillary, and I vowed never to feel old and tired again. Have you heard of these ladies?
Meet Nola Ochs
Nola Ochs is 95 years old, and this spring she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Ochs took her first class at the college in 1930. One assumes that life intervened. There was the Depression and the Kansas Dust Bowl. Ochs married and had four children, 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. In 1972, when her husband of nearly 40 years died, Ochs began taking college courses here and there. She completed some online classes, before deciding to move 100 miles from her farm to an apartment near the university. She completed her studies in art and history this year with a 3.7 GPA. Her 22-year-old granddaughter graduated with her. SOURCE
Ochs hopes to find a job as a storyteller on a cruise ship.
Meet Barbara Hillary
Barbara Hillary, a 75 year-old cancer survivor, trekked to the northernmost point of the North Pole this year. She is one of the oldest people and the first black woman to achieve that feat. USA Today reports:
Hillary, of Averne, N.Y., grew up in Harlem and devoted herself to a nursing
career and community activism. At 67 and during retirement, she battled lung
cancer. Five years later, she went dog sledding in Quebec and photographed polar
bears in Manitoba.
Then she heard that a black woman had never made it to the
"I said, 'What's wrong with this picture?'" she said.
"So I sort of rolled into this, shall we say." SOURCE
…[Hillary] hopes her journey will inspire hope in other cancer survivors.
With her feet back on dry land in New York, she is already plotting a new
adventure: that of a global-warming activist.
"What if?" she said. "I'd like to go and lecture to different groups on
what they can do on a grass-roots level (to fight global warming)."
All glory comes from daring to begin.
Photo of Barbara Hillary by Richard Drew/AP