The 83-year-old Sunday school teacher and grandmother has been baptized in the River of Jordan; she has seen the Alaskan wilderness; she has ridden a camel and a motorcycle, and she recently rode along in a police cruiser during an officer’s patrol.
“I wouldn’t call it a bucket list,” said Smith, a retired teacher. “It’s not really a wish list either. It’s just stuff.”
“I couldn’t do these things [before I retired],” she said. “I was a mother and a teacher- I couldn’t afford it and I didn’t have the time anyway.”
But after Smith concluded 34 years of teaching and her children moved away to have families of their own, she said that she was blessed to begin traveling and experiencing different aspects of life.
“These are all things I never thought I’d be able to do,” she said. “God has been so good to me.”
Smith said that her adventures began with trips to Alaska in 2003 and Israel in 2004.
“We saw the tomb where they laid Jesus,” said Smith of her visit to Israel.
Smith said that she marked her 82nd birthday with a 40-mile motorcycle ride with her neighbor.
“He told me I had better not holler,” she said. “But he said that if he hollered, I could start hollering.”
Smith’s latest adventure included a special ride in a police car. This excursion had added significance, she said.
“That was neat because I got to catch up with a few of my former students.”
Lieutenant Jimmy Shaw, Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Paris and Shirley Woodall of Gordon County Sheriff’s Department are all Smith’s former students.
“They were all wonderful to teach,” said Smith.
On Friday, July 23, Shaw, Paris and Woodall, accompanied by Sheriff Mitch Ralston, brought a police car by Smith’s home.
“Jimmy Shaw drove the car,” said Smith. “So I got to catch up with what he’s been doing since high school.”
Another of Smith’s recent exploits included performing a harmonica solo in a community choral production.
“I’ve been playing since I was ten or eleven,” she said. “My brother played… and he said that if I could learn a whole song on the harmonica, I could keep his.”
Despite her many adventures, Smith said that she gets the biggest thrill from helping others.
“I volunteer at the hospital,” she said. “I volunteer at the food center twice a month and I stuff bulletins for Belmont Baptist.”
Smith is also a listener for the AWANA club as well as an assistant Sunday school teacher.
What’s next for Smith?
“I don’t know,” she said. “I’ll go where the Lord takes me.”