Posing with Elizabeth Adams, center, are her children, from left, Carol Anderson, Sarah Sutermeister, Elizabeth Adams, Pamela Forbes, Donald N.H. Adams, Jr.
Elizabeth Adams doesn't understand why people look amazed to learn she is turning 90 on Dec. 5. But even more amazing is that she still gets up every morning at 6 a.m., Monday through Friday to work an 11-hour day as a licensed assistant in her daughter's home daycare for children under the age of four. She has been doing so for 17 years.
She will tell you that is what keeps her so young - getting up and down from story time or play on the floor, pushing strollers up hills and carrying babies. She is Grandma Adams to countless children in Magnolia and the surrounding area who have attended "Pam's Daycare" over the years. She is Grandma Adams to her 10 grandchildren, too. Add to that four grown children of her own and you have a lot of nurturing in her history.
Her four children, Carol Anderson, Pam Forbes, Don Adams, Jr. and Sarah Sutermeister have a special family birthday celebration planned for their mother, with several surprises, photos and nostalgic touches to remind her just how very special she is to them.
Ask any one of her 10 grandchildren and they will tell you she is the most loving - and most fun grandma around! There are many annual Christmas and Thanksgiving pictures of her looking hip and surrounded by her adoring family. Her grandkids will also tell you she has always given them a handwritten, personal message on every birthday and nurtured them through all their growing years. Grandma Adams is honored, admired and loved completely by this younger generation.
Elizabeth was born in Sooke, B.C., Canada on Dec. 5, 1920 and has shared many stories about the early years of sleeping on hay, using chamber pots and seeing the wild horses come running through the town. Elizabeth's parents came from Scotland and she has always been proud of that heritage, sharing it with all of her children and grandchildren. Her family eventually moved to Seattle where she attended and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in child psychology and training as a dietician.
While attending the university, she met and on Feb. 20, 1943 married Donald N.H. Adams, an English-born lad. There began a British fairy tale marriage that spanned 54 years and was a true romance from start to finish when Donald passed away in 1997. He always referred to Elizabeth as his bride and placed her as most important in the family, to which they both devoted their love and attention. Their children always commented that they were lucky enough to live in a family that was almost like the Beaver Cleavers, the Waltons and such.
Elizabeth grew up with Scottish traditions and frugalness so that even with the growing success of Donald's business, she still insisted on doing all the garden chores, cleaning and even painting and repairs of their large house and surrounding grounds on Magnolia Boulevard.
She remains a wonderful cook and her Scottish mince and mashed potatoes (ground beef, gravy and carrots over mashed potatoes) is a favorite with her children. Many cold mornings started off with old-fashioned oatmeal cereal because it would "stick to their ribs" she would tell her children. Sunday mornings the whole family went to the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Magnolia and she was proud of the fact that her four children would have perfect attendance. Following church, being present for the big scrambled egg and bacon breakfast that followed was required throughout the children's teen years, as was the tradition of a Sunday night dinner. The family grew up close and is still close; all settling into homes in Magnolia.
Elizabeth currently lives in Magnolia where she enjoys spending time with her cats Tinker and Bell. She is still an avid gardener and keeps her deck full of beautiful plants and flowers for passersby to admire. She is also an avid reader and keeps her mind sharp by following current events. Elizabeth can carry on a conversation with anyone about almost anything, whether foreign or local. She is in the best of health and enjoys her busy life and family to the fullest - and plans to for many more years to come, Lord willing. Happy 90th birthday, Elizabeth!