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Maggie Mae

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"You are so creative"

margaret portraitThis is a phrase I have heard all my life. I think my grandmother may have been the first to say this to me. She was the one who taught me to sew, to cook, to enjoy tea and to express my self - to an extent - she was Norwegian - an ethnic group who are not widely known for their emotional outbursts.

I remember making a doll dress when I was about 6 years old. There was, what I thought, was a beautiful piece of lace. I sewed it to the front of the dress. She thought that the lace should go around the entire hem of the dress. I thought it was so beautiful that it had to be on the dress. "Who am I to interrupt your creativity," she said. Later I sewed clothing for myself in junior and high school and even though she had died by then I always could hear her voice in my head - strict - but encouraging. I became an expert seamstress because I could remember when she would look at the inside of the garment and say, "You should be able to wear your garment inside-out." Not that she really meant it but the inside of the garment should be neat. So, I learned to be creative but with an air of perfection in constructing a garment to be worn.

She also was the one that taught me about tea. When I would spend the night with her she would set the table with a tablecloth, with teacups and saucers and other china and would sit down and talk to me like a real adult. I so enjoyed her inclusion of me as a child. But my mother too, loved to set a beautiful table with linens, center piece, and fine china when it was her turn to host her sewing circle.

I also learned to cook from my grandmother. She was Scandinavian and so loved to cook with citrus - something Scandinavians hadn't seen much of in their homeland. Her Swedish Limpa, a rye bread with molasses and orange zest. There is no more scrumptious Lemon Meringue Pie than my Grandmother. (See recipes).

When I was in High School my drama director told me the same thing. "You are very creative". In traveling around the world performing my one-woman plays, "You are so creative" was a familiar refrain.

When publishing Maggie Mae Magazine, I would hear the words spoken again many times. I think, however, that because it comes so naturally that I only see it as a gift and it sometimes is rather nonchalant.

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