A favorite quote on centenarian Peggy Cobb’s refrigerator door reads, “I think, therefore I am.” Cobb says a good life is filled with a desire to “learn and grow.”

Cobb will turn a youthful 105 on Saturday. Friends and family celebrated her birthday Friday afternoon with a Hawaiian-themed birthday party outside the Hammond Glen retirement community where she lives in Sandy Springs.

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t dampen Cobb’s celebration, but then she has some experience with pandemics. She was 3 years old during the last great worldwide pandemic — the Spanish flu of 1918-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 50 million people died from that flu.

“This virus thing has turned all of our lives upside down,” Cobb said Friday. “You accept and you cope however well you can.”

Hammond Glen has quarantined residents from the public — including their families — in order to protect them from the coronavirus.

But Cobb’s birthday party was an opportunity for family members to finally visit with her in person. Activity Director April Parker said about 10 family members ran up to greet Cobb in front of the building during Friday’s parade. She was also surrounded by friends from the retirement community.

“I think it’s an exciting time to be living,” Cobb said, before the start of her birthday party. “There’s so much to explore in space and on earth and under the seas and all around the world. I just feel inspired and upbeat.”

Cobb is a Minnesota native and lived most of her life in Terre Haute, Indiana where she worked as an art and math teacher to students from pre-school to college level, she said. Cobb and her late husband, Jacob, had three children and were married for more than 50 years.

Reflecting on life, Cobb said she has found sharing ideas and engaging in deep conversation to be the most satisfying memories.

Like many others isolated from family during the shelter-in-place orders, Cobb has stayed active on her computer and emails regularly with her son and grandchildren.

“This computer is my lifeline,” she said.

Cobb considers the coronavirus pandemic a great opportunity for enlightenment. “There is so much to living,” she said. We’re going to learn a lot from this, not being able to communicate like usual.”

Her upbeat attitude could be one of the secrets to her long life. “When I think back on all of the experiences over the years, we were all positive thinkers in my family,” Cobb said.