Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Mum Mum" celebrates a century in Raymond - By Michelle Libby

Muriel “Mum Mum” Yeager asks “Who do you love?” And the answer is always “Mum Mum.” If the attendance at her 100th birthday party is any indication, lots of people love Mum Mum, who turned 100 last Saturday. 
Her daughters Margo Fournier, from Raymond, and Donna Dowse, from North Carolina, organized a surprise birthday party for their mother. They were able to keep the party a secret until 10 a.m. on Saturday when, with the food on the pool table set for an army, they told her that there would be a few people stopping by. 

Yeager was born in Wallace, Nova Scotia, Canada. When she was born in 1914, singer Anne Murray’s grandfather brought her into the world. Yeager was one of 12 children. 

She told her children she didn’t want a party. “No, I want a quiet day.” 

“It was like Grand Central Station,” Yeager said. 

The biggest surprise was when her son Jim arrived with his adult son in tow, after saying he couldn’t be there, said Margo. 

The whole Raymond Village Church was invited and most came to the party. “I told the minister that she could have brought the offering plate here,” Yeager said. People from the neighborhood association also stopped by to wish Yeager well. 

Yeager is part of a group of women who call themselves the golden girls. Anne Harriman, Rosemary Tripp and Yeager were known to take off after church to visit Tim Horton’s and Walmart. 

“They used to raise hell,” said Dowse. “When you get to be this age you can get away with saying anything,” she added. 

“We were never arrested,” Yeager declares.  

Yeager can be found most days, sitting on the couch knitting baby sweaters, pants and hats to sell at the Raymond Village Church’s Christmas fair. She started knitting at five years old. She watches only a few shows on television like The Price is Right and The Sound of Music, which she said she’s seen five times. 

“Oh I love that.” 

On TV she said, “Nowadays someone’s shooting someone or in bed with someone.” 

Back in the day, she was married to Floyd “Bud” Yeager, who passed away at 77. He was the director of military transport for TWA. He was quiet and reserved, which according to her daughters was the opposite of his wife. One night at an officer’s club, he had to beg her to get off the stage, when he came in and she was dancing mostly to egg him on, she said. 

She ran a nursery school where she charged $.50 an hour and $.75 if she gave a child lunch. “But then it was only $.30 for a gallon of gasoline,” she added. 

She moved to Portland in 1996 and spent one year in an apartment before moving to Raymond to live with Fournier. 

Yeager loves to garden and was raking leaves at 98 years old. “I’d rake for an hour, come in have a Boost, then go back out for another hour,” Yeager said. “I told the mailman to drive up very slow. I don’t want the leaves to fall from the trees.” 

She got her hair cut for her birthday at Guys & Gals. “They gave me a freebie,” she said. Yeager wanted everyone to know that they too can have a free hair cut when they turn 100. 

“I’m on Facebook,” she boasted. Joanne Riley at the salon posted a picture of Yeager’s hair once it was done. 

The mother of four children, Bob is the oldest, followed by Fournier, Jim and Dowse. She has 10 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. She is proud of her children happy to tell about Fournier working as assistant director of transportation at RSU14, Dowse is an art teacher, Bob was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and now works for TWA and Jim helped with the building of the lunar module that landed on the moon, she said. 

Fifth-graders at Manchester School made 107 birthday cards for Yeager. “I’m going to get every card out and read every one of them,” said Yeager. 

In addition to gardening, being a New England sports fan and knitting she also likes to have a glass of wine every night. She was a member of a wine of the month club at one point. “My wine and Boost and eating oatmeal every morning,” she said are her secrets to longevity. 

“I try to do for myself,” she said. 

When she blew out her birthday cake candles she made a wish, but this year, she didn’t want material possessions. Her wish was for everyone to get home safely.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.