During her 99 years, Adele L. Miller has seen much and always adjusted.

During her 99 years, Adele L. Miller has seen much and always adjusted.

She'll be 100 years old on Oct. 3.

Despite living through both world wars, a smallpox pandemic, the Great Depression and the most recent economic recession, Miller said adaptation reigned supreme.

"I adjusted to whatever was going on," she said.

Miller grew up in Oregon. She was born in Portland in 1909. When she was 5 years old, she and her family moved to Boring, Ore.

"I went to school in Boring, Ore., and I didn't find it boring," she said. "That's a good name - Boring - but they still pick on Boring."

She remembered when she was 10 years old that her father bought her a Singer sewing machine for $5. She said the "neighbor lady" taught her to sew, but didn't believe at first a 10-year-old could reach the machine's pedal.

"She looked at me and said, 'You can't use a sewing machine,'" Miller said.

Sewing became a hobby for Miller. She said she sewed garments for U.S. soldiers fighting in World War I.

She had eight brothers -- one older, seven younger. Later she moved to The Dalles, Ore., where she graduated from high school and got a job working for an automobile agency, she said. But she contracted smallpox and was quarantined from the public.

"Then I lost my job," she said.

Her brothers were treated with a vaccine in a failed attempt to protect them from the disease.

"They were sicker than I was with the smallpox," she said.

Miller left Oregon during the Great Depression to live with relatives in San Antonio. She was 22.

"That didn't affect me much," she said of the era. "I adjusted to my situation. If I wanted a red dress, I'd get a piece of red cloth and sew me a dress. I didn't have any money, anyway."

She said she worked for BFGoodrich Tires in San Antonio. A year later, she transferred to an office in Houston.

She said she made $60 a month and was paid once a month.

She met Lysle D. Miller in Houston. He worked for BFGoodrich as a building inspector. He was from Athens, Ohio, but visited Houston to inspect the office there.

"There was a long-distance romance because he went back to Athens," she said.

Miller said she and Lysle D. Miller kept in touch by telephone. They married when she was 28 in 1937.

"My husband was an old bachelor and I was an old maid," she said. "I could've married at any age."

By 1940, the two had moved to Cuyahoga Falls and had a daughter. Miller's husband died in 1999.

Later, Miller fell and broke her hip. Her family moved her to Grove City in 2004 to be close to them.

"I was just getting up from the davenport," Miller said, explaining her fall. "I thought I just pulled a muscle or something."

Asked what she thinks about life in 2009, she said, "I don't particularly approve."

People of the present have too many possessions. They should repair what they already have instead of buying new things, Miller said.

"I'm one of those who repair things," she said.

She added the 2008 credit crisis "didn't happen over night."

Miller has four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She likes to shop and keep tomato plants.

She said the secrets to long life are fairly obvious.

"Don't smoke, eat right, get your rest," she said.