Ruby Holt had spent her 100 years in the state of Tennessee, working on a farm, working in a shirt factory, looking after her four children or being looked after at her care home. She had never been to the beach, and never seen the sea.
That was true until this week, when she was taken to stay at the Perdido Beach Resort in the Gulf of Mexico, where she placed her bare foot on the sand for the first time in her life and watched as the sea swept over her toes.
Ms Holt, who turns 101 in December, made a casual remark about never having been to the sea to the workers at her residence in Brookdale Senior Living Solutions, Columbia, Tennessee, during a scheduled water gun fight in the summer.
Through a partnership with the assisted living residence and the Wish of a Lifetime organisation, which grants wishes to the elderly, Ms Holt was taken on an all-expenses paid trip to the resort in order to rectify this fact.
“I’ve heard people talk about it and how wonderful it was and wanted to see it, but I never had the opportunity to do so,” she told Associated Press.
She added that she was always too busy cotton picking on the farm or working in a shirt factory to travel, and that her family had not been able to afford a trip to the beach from her native Giles County, which is around 400 miles north of the Gulf.
Ms Holt said she had only left Tennessee once before her trip to the coast in Alabama this week.