Alone in her last phase of life, Sarah McComb copied a poem onto the back of a postcard that read, “And now… what wait I for? No home, no welcome, nobody who needs me; no love, to which in my loneliness I can turn. And now… what wait I for?” She died in January 1937, not long after she “fell and broke her thigh” the previous December. She was ninety-one years old. Her hospital bills and funeral invoice, like most of her expenses, were sent to her brother's daughter. Her old-age dependency on extended kin, however, was not inevitable. As a single, childless, white middle-class woman, Sarah had supported her independence through itinerant teaching, traveling the American west including Alaska, with additional adventures to Guatemala and Cuba. As she approached her sixties, she pursued alternative strategies for income, intensifying her efforts to earn a profit through business ventures while continuing to teach for as long as she could. Despite her determination, Sarah faced old age without savings of her own; she would not be able to finance her independence once she stopped teaching. When that time finally came, she was seventy-six years old and had to turn to her brother for help. Securing his support, however, was a proposition fraught with familial tension and personal anxiety. Although women like Sarah valued their independence, they struggled to carry this independence into old age.