She's a face you'll probably recognize and is one of Siouxland's favorite people.That smiling face you see all throughout Siouxland is Mikki Paul. She celebrated her 96th birthday this weekend.
We caught up with Paul and learned the secret to living a long happy life, one of which includes never skipping a beat.
The hard-working 96-year-old is the sweet greeter you'll find at the local Walmart or movie theatre, whose become a staple throughout Siouxland with the joy she brings to every person she meets.
"You know, it's kind of a nice feeling. Even the young people come and call me by name. So they even know me now," said the birthday girl.
But this past weekend on her birthday, it was family and friends who gathered together at the Sioux City Public Museum to bring joy to her.
" It's really nice to know people care about her because she does care about everybody. What you see is what you get because she is authentic. She just loves everybody and everything and she just really does," said Judy Curry, Paul's youngest child.
After more than 9 decades, Mikki also said the world has changed and for the better.Now 96 years young, Mikki says there's no real secret to happiness in life and in fact, it's really simple.
"Oh I don't know. I'd just say to just keep going-- just keep working and just keep enjoying every day," said Paul.
The birthday girl took her own advice following a life-long dream to fly in a hot air balloon.
While she may not have physically been able to hope on the ride, she hopes her spirit will go on with the balloon to wherever it lands next.
If you're the lucky person to find the balloon, send Siouxland News Reporter Beairshelle Edmé at BEdme@siouxlandnews.com.