ATWOOD, Kan. (KSNW) — Some call it rare. They call it a blessing. Three Kansas sisters have each reached 100 years old.
“I guess I have been around a while,” laughed Lucy Pochop.
“We are getting up there,” added her sister Frances Kompus.
“I am thankful for us girls being together all the time, my parents and my faith,” said sister Julia Kopriva.
Kopriva, 104, is the oldest of the three sisters, born on Nov. 5, 1917. Lucy Pochop, 102, is next in line with a birthday of June 11, 1919. The youngest, Frances Kompus, celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 11.
The three women, who are mothers and grandmothers, grew up on a farm in the small town of Beardsley, Kansas.
“I just remember how we used to walk to school,” Pochop said. “It was about a mile and three-quarters. It was a long walk.”
Growing up, the sisters also walked the farm fields helping their father tend to the crops.
“What I remember well is my father didn’t have modern tractors. We took gas — gasoline — out in the field in 5-gallon buckets,” Kopriva explained.
“We’d cross the pasture, we would walk, and then on the way back, we would stop at the creek and catch frogs, put them in our pockets,” Kompus said.
Growing up in a simpler time
The sisters remember a simpler time when the internet was nonexistent and supper time meant family time.
“We always had homemade bread, just plain potatoes, and gravy and meat. With those cookstoves, that was hard to bake. The temperature was hard to keep. Even if it didn’t come out good, we still ate it,” laughed Kopriva.
The female wardrobe was much different back then, too.
“We wore dresses. We didn’t have slacks or jeans,” said Kompus.
One of the biggest changes the women expressed to KSN is new inventions such as washers and dryers and improvements to transportation.
“We have got refrigerators and deep freezers. We didn’t have that those days,” said Pochop.
However, the simple times were not always easy. The sisters vividly remember the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
“It was dark sometimes. The teachers would call the parents, and, you know, to come and get us from school. Then, we had old homes, and at the bottom, my mother would always put wet towels so the dirt wouldn’t be so bad to come in,” said Kopriva. “The younger generation don’t believe what we done went through. We work today, but we worked harder those days.”
“Things are a lot better now than they were when we were little,” Pochop said.
Advice for the next generation
KSN asked each of the sisters what their message or advice would be to the younger generation.
Kopriva was quick with her answer.
“I think faith comes first and thank your parents, grandparents,” she said.
Kompus, who didn’t go at length with any of her answers, simply said, “I would tell them to walk a lot.”
Pochop didn’t have an exact answer. She nodded and agreed with what her sisters had to say, especially Kopriva’s final thoughts on how they managed to live past the century mark.
“We eat well, right?” Kopriva laughed. “And pray and try to stay out of mischief.”