Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe

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Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe

Adele P. Margolis, role model and friend

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The news when it came this morning was not unexpected. My friend Adele Margolis was, after all, 100 years old and had become more frail each time I saw her. I first met her because she was my aunt Alice’s childhood friend. But I was fortunate that she and I had our own friendship, too. And her determination to enrich every aspect of her life with beauty and meaning and creativity was a lesson I was honored to learn from her.

Google and you find pages about her books on sewing and tailoring. They were written in the 1960s and beyond, but they are classics, still being bought and talked about among women who sew. One blog, Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, had a wonderful post, “New Sewing Books have Arrived,” with a photo Adele would have loved--her book, “Make Your own Dress Patterns,” next to “Chanel: A Woman of Her Own.” Perfect. Her newest book, on tailoring to fit an aging body, is currently in the hands of an agent and will, hopefully, soon find a publisher.

Adele wrote poetry, too. Here is one from a recent birthday:
The years surprise me.
The numbers surprise me.
The number of years surprises me.

That I am here surprises me.
That I am here when so many
of my contemporaries are not
surprises me.

Next year another birthday?
Surprise me!

In my last visit with her a few days ago, she told me she had had a good life and that she had no regrets. “Except,” she said, “that it was so short.”

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