Dreams dashed!

The other day, I got news that I was losing an old friend and a great source of inspiration. Meridith Corporation will no longer be publishing Country Home magazine.

Almost 30 years ago .... I was a newly-divorced mother of one, living off of $195 a week. Even thirty years ago, there were no extra dollars in the budget (what budget!) for decorating. But some how, Country Home reached my inner soul and I discovered my decorating muse.

As a young adult in the early 70's -- contempory, bright, almost-garish style was the norm. And I embraced it -- but didn't find my soul. Then two magazines were born ...... Country Living and Country Home.

Country Living has always sat on the coffee table but Country Home was in the bedroom. It was the magazine that dreams were made of. I would pour over every page, drooling over the springtime gardens, the sunny porches, the warm inviting kitchens and the soothing bedrooms.

It inspired me to stencil red pigs on my yellow soffitt, paint my kitchen pink with flowery chintz skirts on my sink, and rip down those ugly gold insulated pinch-pleat drapes from the 70's for soft curtains that I made from unbleached muslin. It showed me that you could hang anything on a wall ........ and I hung a 14' level from my ceiling in the family room and a hand-made broom in the laundry room. I framed silver spoons and plastic clothes pins.

It taught me to look beyond the obvious and a cast-iron flower frog became my toothbrush holder. Honey made a chandelier for the garden from old garden fencing and glass insulators. And now -- I am making a tray for the garden out of an old kitchen cabinet door.

It showed me that McCoy pottery could be art when carefully displayed. Gazebos didn't have to be made of Victorian bric-brac moldings but could be as simple as an old corncrib. I didn't have to have Longerberger baskets ..... I could make my own. Eggs didn't have to be bought at the store .... chickens in the backyard were possible.

Country Home made the life I have ......possible. What if I had only read House Beautiful or Metropolitan Home? Would I have known that flowers don't have to come from a florist and that canning could be hip and cool???

The ultimate compliment from customers here on the farm was ............ "You should be in Country Home magazine." And I would hope .......... and dream ......... that maybe, someday, some how an editor would call.

I've given a lot up during this recession ........ vacations, antiquing, dining out and new clothes. Heck -- I'm thinking about giving up artichokes and kalamata olives. But giving up Country Home was never an option!!!

I'm losing an old friend ......... I'm sure going to miss it.


hiccupp said…
i feel your pain. I just lost cottage living, and while we only went back 2 years, there isn't much that compares. I just got my 'replacement' southern living in the mail today. I'm only about 10 pages in, but its not the same :(
Anonymous said…
This is such a touching tribute, you should print it off and send it to Country Living. I can speak from personal experience, so often magazine writers feel like we are working in a void, never knowing if anyone reads our work or what they think of it. I'm sure it is just as painful for them to shutter their journal as it is for you to lose it, so I'm also sure they'd appreciate all the more hearing how much you have valued their work over the years.

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