When asked during her birthday party recently, “what is the key to a long life?,” Erris Croom cited three things: she is surrounded by good people, she doesn’t worry at all, and she trusts in the Lord. “Every morning I ask the Lord to guide me through the day,” Croom said, “and I thank him everynight for the goodness of the day.”
At 107 years old, Croom lives a full life. She has her own apartment at the Covenant Woods Retirement Community, takes the facility’s bus to Publix to buy her groceries, does her laundry and doesn’t really like for others to wait on her.
“I do for myself,” Croom said smiling. “Once you give it up, you lose it, you don’t pick it back up.” She was born in south Alabama and grew up on the family farm with four siblings. “Life out like that was a lot different to what life is now,” she reflected. Her first presidential vote was Franklin Roosevelt, she graduated high school during the depression and remembers Woodrow Wilson as the president when she was a child. “I couldn’t have imagined the things that I see now.”
She enjoys discussing politics, has a wonderful sense of humor and says that she just takes life as it comes. On the subject of dating, Croom shrugs it off and shares that she likes older men, laughing that “they probably couldn’t drive at night anyway.”
Four generations of friends and family gathered to celebrate, share stories about the centenarian and present her with 341 birthday cards. “I don’t feel a lonely feeling, like some people talk about getting lonely,” Croom said. “I don’t have anything to worry about. It’s a safe place, a good place, good food, good people. I don’t worry at all.”
Then she paused and smiled. “If it’s my day to go, I’m ready.”