I was sorting and cleaning through some baskets that had a collection of old magazines thinking it’s time for them to go to recycling, and in this particular basket was a stack of Martha Stewarts going back to 1995! I was about 37 at that time when I became a Martha Stewart follower of sorts. I had by then been married a few years, had my first home with my new husband in this small, rural, tight knit little island community (all my adult life up to that point was lived in apartments) and best of all a yard with plenty of garden space. Our house was still in renovation mode and I had discovered baking. So when I picked up Martha’s Mag in ’95 I was inspired.
I saw beautiful home design ideas, garden design ideas, and great recipes. She was offering up exactly what I wanted to see and do at that precise time in my life! She sated my “Homemaking” Jones. I began making my own mayonnaise. And who can beat her organizational wonder works! Those calendars at the beginning of the Mag where we are privy to her day by day “To Do’s.” Seriously- does anyone do that? Well, she’s a busy woman and I suppose it does illustrate a workable guideline to make sure all those tasks get done. And she was in empire building gear at that time after all, so, you know she needed to keep all her ducks in a row at all times. Revisiting these magazines I also remember the talk show interviews with Martha and the female audience members nearly distraught with her for expecting these working moms/wives to be all and do all, “I can’t make 5 dozen cupcakes after work/managing kids and house all day/with fresh edible candied flower garnishes from my organic garden for my daughters PTA meeting night, I don’t have the TIME! What are you doing to the feminist movement, WTF Martha?”
Being perhaps a micro manager/control freak and maybe a bit cool, detached and emotionally remote aside, Martha did seem to tap a timely nerve that would bring Home to centre stage again- maybe with us kicking and screaming in tow-but who can argue that Home isn’t where societies are formed, education begins, and good things could be found? I now know how those women felt as my life proceeded to get extremely busy too and so many things had to eventually be pushed aside. Like cooking, and baking, and tending a garden, and painting the living room feature wall. Hmmm. But I digress.
Although I didn’t do what was in her Magazines per se, she supplied more the atmosphere of how I desired my surroundings to manifest with visual cues and the ambiance I internalized that her images provided. That lusciousness of life that seemed attainable to all if we took the time, if we had the time. And as I again look through these pages today it brought back the feelings of being Home and making a Home, and reminded me of how fired up I had been back then to prepare my garden, implement a landscaping idea, choose a paint color, learn about Farmstead cheeses, and bake the perfect scone.
I decided these magazines needed to remain in the basket, at least for a while longer and since I am once again refocusing on Home and Garden I may need an infusion of uber ideas from Martha the Maverick Mavin to instill my original passion of taking pride and pleasure in the endeavor of the lost art of Homemaking.