A few people around Bloggsville have been going through their magazines for a variety of reasons. No, don’t run and hide. It’s not another meme. But I’m always fascinated when people are on the same wavelength — especially if it isn’t meme driven.
I’ve been thinking about magazines quite a bit because I’ve gotten to the point where as much as I now have the time to enjoy them (they used to be a decadent distraction in my life I’d indulge myself with) I don’t. Most of my subscriptions have been for cooking magazines, and because much of the content is available on the Internet now, I’m feeling guilty about the paper stuffed in my mailbox each month.
I’m also feeling a bit uncomfortable about the problem I have throwing magazines away. Of course, they’re recycled in the end, but that isn’t the problem. It’s having to go through each one more time to see if I need to: 1) save the whole edition; 2) tag specific sections; 3) tear out recipes to try; or 4) just get rid of it. And they just sit. Waiting for me. Waiting in baskets, on tables, on bathroom counters, and in stacks mixed with catalogues and mail.
For years when each school year ended and I actually had a week or two before special project work began (for school, not my leisure) I’d sit down with my magazines and have quite a bit of fun watching old movies and wallowing in the possibilities that each magazine contained. It was a cathartic process that helped me mentally conclude one year, and sort of erase my hard drive to prepare for the next.
The process helped me plan projects that needed to be done around the house, too. It helped me think about things to organize, get togethers with family to celebrate birthdays, decorations to make for special seasons, and dreams to put on a list of things to do some day when there was more time, less work, more energy, and more money. Ahhh…dreams…
Many of the projects involved gardening because we had quite a large piece of property. There was never a dull moment deciding what type of garden to put where, which seeds to plant or what perennial to become emotionally attached to. Seriously. It’s easier to think of organizing a small piece of the planet instead of the pressing grind of aspects of life that seem beyond our control. The promise of food to cook, a garden to take care of, and a house to decorate and organize has always been my idea of heaven. Truly.
So it’s no wonder that I am someone who loves Martha. Yes, The Martha. My family lovingly refers to her as Moth-rah. I think the MoH came up with that one, but I’m not exactly sure. I know what you’re thinking, but yanno? I just don’t care. I don’t care that she was in jail. I don’t care that it’s been said she’s not a nice person. I just don’t care. And for those people who do? Get the hell over it. Because Martha helped me get through some very difficult years. She’s seen me through a new marriage, raise two boys into adulthood and a third into a teen, has inspired me to create two beautiful homes, and fill them with the aroma of something delicious to eat. She’s helped create many days with memories of working with my mom in our yard, planting, clipping, and admiring our hard work. Martha is the reason I was able to hang on to remnants of a life long desire to create anything and everything connected to what the MoH calls “fluffing my nest.” If Martha ran for president, I’d vote for her and I’m not kidding.
It all started with her Weddings book, given to me by an old friend before the MoH and I were married… Or was it her Entertaining book?
I have nearly every Martha Stewart Living magazine published. Really. I don’t know how I missed out on the beginning, but my collection goes back to Number 4: Autumn of 1991. That was before the RT was born. You know I’m not the only one who keeps them, right? It’s kind of the same for those who save National Geographic. Every time I decide I’m going to throw them out, I just don’t get around to it. Or can’t bring myself to do it. Anguish at the thought. I have given some to my middle son for school related projects, and he’s *Martha lovers, please cover your eyes…* cut out some of the photos, but he’s returned the magazines. He gets it.
I used to watch her old television show, but it’s been years. And I’m not sure why I don’t watch the new one. I could DVR it, but never think about it. Maybe it’s because all those other people are on now, and it isn’t just Martha and her obsessive compulsive drive on the most minute detail I could spend an entire half hour of time fascinated with. Totally.
When I was very young, my idea of a good time *everyone groans and settles in for yet another maudlin trip down morose memory lane* was to go through the Sears catalogue and make lists of furniture I’d purchase for my some day house. I was fascinated with color and texture, with shape and design. The idea of putting it all together perfectly to suit a mood or a personality or lifestyle is like being able to put together a gigantic puzzle. It’s the same with gardening and cooking.
Ironically, I don’t get the same satisfaction performing the same ritual with fashion. It just doesn’t interest me. It never has. *Oh, really, dear? We couldn’t help but notice…* But the clothes in my closet are organized by colors. That counts, don’t you think? *Yes, as a sign of someone with one foot firmly planted in looney land…*
I miss having my head in the world that kept me from going stark-raving mad with stress from work. And I value more than I can ever say, what I’ve learned from digging in and trying new things, and for having family and friends who’ve indulged me my wannabe obsessions.
They’ve graced me with comments of, “Martha Does Live Here,” and I’ve taken them as a compliment, knowing full well, that Martha’s businesses run due to the creativity and drive of an enormous number of very talented people. So I supposed I should say they saved me. But without Martha, they wouldn’t have had the same opportunity.
At this point in life, if I regret anything — any one thing — painfully, it would be that I did not gain my education in a world filled with textiles and color, design and shape. That I did not choose to immerse myself in an environment organized with samples and cuttings, layouts and portfolios. That I chose instead to keep those passions as hobbies or distractions instead of a livelihood. *very, very heavy sigh*
Okay, so that’s more than one. But still.
It’s that time of year, and the first in so very, very long that I will be able to immerse myself in all the what ifs and begin to wonder instead…
p.s. I’m sorry I don’t even have a Jack-o-lantern on my porch this year. I guess I didn’t rally the guys hard enough. Does it count that we have a few on the dining table with some autumn colored flowers? Just checking.
p.p.s. I’m a NaBloPoMo-Ho (see pink lips above) and that all starts tomorrow. I’m going to focus my writing on letters to people. Which people? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. If you’re interested, send me some ideas of what you’d like me to blather on about. Or would like to challenge me to write about. Keep it clean, though. Okay?