The smell of homemade cookies fills 89-year-old Betty Mount's kitchen in Lake Charles. This is one of the sweet tasks on Betty's plate for the day, baking and delivering cookies to...well, just about anyone she knows! "Anybody I can think to give it to!" she said.
Betty's not one to prop up her feet in retirement. She gardens, cooks, quilts, reads, exercises, goes to church and always makes time to laugh with her sister. "We make fun of some of the things we encounter getting old, you know," said Betty.
While Betty's family has grown through the years to include children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she and her sister are the only remaining siblings from the Storer family in Iowa. "There were seven girls and one boy," said Betty, "it was like a dormitory. I wouldn't take anything for my childhood."
The Storers sold milk from their cow for extra money and Betty was even an entertainer during World War II at DeRidder's USO, Fort Polk and Camp Claiborne. "They'd have their dances and two of my sisters and myself sang in a trio and another sister played the piano," said Betty.
After the war, Betty become a secretary and loved working. Times were different, though, and when she married Crawford Mount in 1947, she had to resign. "Married women couldn't continue to work then," she said.
Betty shifted right into motherhood with first-born Ben, then Ann and Jean. "It seemed like it was easier than it is now," she said, "just simple."
Betty eventually went back to work for 20 years at the Calcasieu Marine Bank. She and Crawford celebrated 50 years of marriage before his death, followed by the loss of her son, Ben. "Losing my husband and my son has been hard," she said.
Faith and time are Betty's answers to healing that hurt. "I just try to look at the brighter side that there will be a brighter day," she said.
Memories make Betty smile and she still holds onto the love letters her parents exchanged in the early 1900s.
Betty says her biggest truth in 89 years is that true richness is found in God and love. "I would tell young people to be more satisfied," she said, "and not reach for things that are beyond, what you could do without. Be happy!"
Betty still drives, manages her own money, cleans her house and walks to her neighbor's for a daily coffee talk.