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Sewing passes time for 99-year-old

While all of her peers are playing bingo, Ella Mobley has other things to do. The Thomson Manor resident keeps busy every day with a needle and thread.

"I enjoy doing something. I crochet, I knit. You name it, I can do it," she said. "When I came up, what you wore, you had to make it yourself."

And she's been at it longer than many of her peers have been living. Ms. Mobley was born in 1909. She makes blankets, pillows, clothes, night gowns and aprons.

Activities assistant Shonda Huff said Ms. Mobley rarely participates in the nursing home activities because she's busy in her room sewing. But that is alright because she is happy and her work is beautiful.

"We tried to offer her a machine to use, but she said she never sewed with a machine before," Ms. Huff said. "She always sews by hand and she never uses a pattern."

Ms. Mobley said her children bring her material when they visit her. At one point, she said she had five children, and a few moments later, she said she has two living children. Although her fingers are nimble, her hearing is almost totally gone, so communication with the 99-year-old is limited. But her mind is very active, and she loves to teach lessons of life. Ms. Huff said Ms. Mobley is constantly quoting scripture.

"We are supposed to be a light for the world, but a lot of people got no light," Ms. Mobley said. "I'm supposed to be a light."

With great accuracy, Ms. Mobley recalls and tells the story of Adam and Eve and goes on to talk about relationships between husband and wife, parents and children. She talks of her own experiences and how times have changed.

Then, she goes back to showing off her sewing projects, each with neat, even stitches.

"People can't do that now," she said. "Knitting and sewing has changed. Now, people won't do it unless they can make money from it. People don't care what you do, they just want to make money."

Then Ms. Mobley notices the activities assistant standing beside her, and that sparks another memory. Ms. Huff said Ms. Mobley has been a resident at the nursing home since 2006, and she likes to buy candy in the facility's store.

"There's no Twix (candy bars)," Ms. Mobley said, pointing her finger admonishingly at Ms. Huff, but with a smile on her face. "When are you going to get some Twix? I like Twix."

Web posted on Thursday, October 09, 2008

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