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Chattanooga Valley's Thelma Little, 102, left, and her son Baxter Little spend time together often.

Chattanooga Valley resident Thelma Little is full of advice. After 102 years, she should be.

"Don't drink and don't smoke and you will live long," said Little, who still lives on her own, surrounded by relatives in neighboring houses. "I read in the paper that if you get up at the same time and go to bed at the same time and eat three meals a day you will live a long time," she added.

Her sister must have read the same article: She's 100 years old.

Little grew up in Chattooga County and spent her younger years as a sharecropper. She spent most of her adult life as a seamstress making quilts.

She moved to Chattanooga Valley in 1942 and her family built the house she now lives in back in 1997. A park sits beside her house — named "Thelma Mae Park" by her family — which overlooks McCallie Lake on the family property. Family members added a picnic pavilion to the park so they could make the most of their time together.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow," Little said of her outlook on life. "I don't worry about what's coming. Let it come as it may. Plenty of people don't make it to 52, so yeah it's exciting to be 102."

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