DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A Danville woman celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday with a special gift: 100 letters from people she knows.

Betty Meismer grew up milking cows on a farm east of Peoria in Benson. She graduated from Illinois State University with a teaching certificate and taught in a country school for four years. Some of the letters she received for her birthday were from her former third grade students.

Before she started to lose her eyesight, Meismer loved to bake and crochet. She said her secret to a long life is working and counting one’s blessings.

“I don’t know how it should feel. People ask me and I said ‘I don’t know how you’re supposed to feel when you’re 100,'” Meismer said. “I feel good. I’m tired today, but everything has been simply wonderful. So many friends and family.”

Meismer has one great-grandson and is expecting another great-grandchild in February.