Meet Nana Rae Antona, 102, my neighbor

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My neighbor Nana Rae Antona is 102 years old. I just call her Nana Rae, and she is an amazing person. She does not walk with a cane or a walker; she walks perfectly on her own.

Nana Rae loves to cook and knit. She made my siblings and me stuffed animals when we were little. She made us our first baby blankets; it took her a month to knit each one.

When Nana Rae makes muffins, she uses carrots and zucchini from her garden. Her favorite food is mashed potatoes. She prefers to listen to jazz music over any other kind. She doesn't have a favorite sport, but she will watch whatever is on TV.

During snowstorms, she bakes cookies and coffee cake so that when everyone is cold, they can come in and warm up together.

She came to the United States from Spain when she was 16 years old, and she could not speak any English. She learned English and worked for Sperry for many years.

Nana Rae was in her house when the other houses were being built in New Hyde Park. Amazing achievements for a wonderful yet humble, talented, caring woman we call Nana Rae. We love her so much!

The whole neighborhood looks out for her, not just because of her age, but -- because she looks out for us, too. When she was younger, she would walk to the store and leave treats for kids in the neighborhood. Just because she could. Everyone loves Nana Rae.

Sometimes, she is sitting at her window, and we just wave. Other times, we bring in her mail and just sit and talk with her. She is one special lady!

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