Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A lifetime of words.......

My life is full of changes.  The more I age the more I seem to stay active.  Yes, I consider myself a busy lady............even though I'm no spring chicken.  Three score and ten years are fast approaching but I have to admit I feel much younger, perhaps forty five! My forties were a roller coaster ride, many personal ups and downs, and a tough battle with cancer.  When all that was sorted and I picked up the pieces, I decided that I needed to make the most of my life because I'd been given a wonderful second chance.  I made decisions which have enabled me to have a good life, surrounded mostly by people who care about me, even love me......and a few who don't!  Absolutely nothing in life is perfect.

Life throws things at us.............some by way of the written word, others by happenstance. I love words. I thrill to opening a new book where the words look promising.  Flipping through a magazine used to be always enjoyable, now mixed feelings prevail.  This week I declined renewing my subscription to a well known home magazine because, after many years and many hundreds of dollars, I noticed they are charging me almost triple what they offer to a new subscriber.  I sent a letter to them explaining my cancellation decision, and had to add that their publication no longer truly thrilled me with so many pages of advertising.  Yes I know ads are necessary for revenue, I used to work in advertising, but they stoop so low now, double spreads of drug ads that I detest on paper as much as on the television screen at dinner time! I now prefer to spend my money on beautiful books and just a few international magazines.

My favorite decor and home magazines:

UK Country Living (Great Britain)
Campagne Decoration (France)
Cote Sud (France)
Jeanne d'Arc Living (Denmark)

And magazine stacks are dwindling as my book stacks grow taller.  

I don't buy all my books new. Often I browse the shelves of a couple of used book shops. I look for favorites on my list which may show up, and sometimes I discover a gem I wasn't familiar with but know would be a perfect addition to my collection.  Some I hold on to, others I read and then pass along to a friend who may also find enjoyment in its pages.

Words are odd things.  Sometimes we are full of them, spouting them out nonstop like a raging waterfall. Other times they stop us in our tracks making us tongue-tied, silent.  They can shower one in anger or caress one with love.  They are often noisy when spoken, quiet when read alone.
Words are very powerful and truly wonderful.


  1. What a BRILLIANT post! Beautifully said my friend.

  2. I empathize with you on the magazine problem and also love books and the written word. Having such a small place keeps me using the library instead of buying very many books. Have a wonderful evening.

  3. This is a beautifully written post, Mary.

    Today I read Mrs. Darwin's Cookbook, which I saw on your blog recently....very enjoyable reading, and not the usual fare offered in a cookbook! Now I'm curious to know more about her and may look up the biography mentioned in the cookbook...I may even try one or two of the recipes! So glad you shared about the cookbook; otherwise I would have missed out on "meeting" this interesting woman...

  4. Such a wonderful post. I no longer take magazines for the same reason as you and now I have an e-book for fiction, it leaves more room on the shelves for the books which are beautiful, both inside and out.

  5. Mary, I so enjoyed reading this post. I agree with you about magazines, they are lovely to look at now and then. I wonder if you can get your favourites in USA?

  6. Mary this is a wonderful, thought provoking post which will stay with me for a while, je pense!
    Beautiful images as always.
    So pleased that you are still enjoying Campagne.

  7. Wonderful post, dear Mary.

    I think a worthy lesson for everyone is that words, once spoken, cannot be retried.

  8. Mary, I agree with you 100%! Wonderful post!

    Two publications I pick up at Barnes and Noble are Country Living British Edition and English Home. So much nicer than the ones with all the ads. The ads are even beautiful in the British editions.

    I ordered (amazon) Barbra Striesand's new book the other day. Can't wait to see it.

  9. I'm with you. I have stopped reading magazines due to all of the advertisements. I do most of my reading on the Internet now.

  10. Mary, what a wonderful post. It went well beyond mag subscriptions for me. I am presently wrapping up my difficult 40's decade and seek others wisdom for an understanding of how I might make my 50's the decade of fulfillment. I often find bits to ponder and absorb in your writing. Please continue penning your insights.

  11. Wonderful post, Mary. I have the same feelings about the current state of magazines. I find myself leafing through them at the bookstore, finding the content sparse and less than inspiring - then I decide not to buy. Books, however, are a different story!


  12. Mary,
    Your post made me cry, I feel like our lives have mirrored each others in so many ways. It's like we hit 40 and fell apart.
    I too, have been given a second chance after cancer and feel like there is no wasting time now.
    Love your post....most beautiful one I have read.
    Hugs to you my friend,
    Amy (Mom to the Four Sisters)

  13. Mary, as usual you have shared your thoughts through beautiful words and images. I find that I no longer subscribe to magazines. I picked up a few copies at B&N this past week, but mostly spend time revisiting old favorites that I've kept through the years. There are so many gorgeous blogs now, that magazines can hardly compete. And I put yours in that category!
    ~ Sarah

  14. Mary, I stopped renewing about 1/2 the magazines I used to subscribe to. I have done that for just all the reasons you listed above! It is really ashame. Some of them were like old friends.

  15. I agree with you on the cost of magazines. I have recently let my subscription to my favorite magazine expire because I felt each issue getting thinner and thinner in my hands. I think books make me happier anyway. By the way, I see my favorite books on the top of your stack. ;) Carla

  16. Mary Mary Mary: It is so much cheaper and easier to get books on your IPAD and read them that way and they don't take up all that space. I know it's nice to ruffle pages, but when one reads a lot (one? - sounds like the Queen!) this is the better option, other than when "one" is outside in the bright light and the shine makes it difficult to read.!

  17. I have mixed emotions about all this. Yes, magazines have too many ads, but that pays for the increasing costs of production and distribution. And I worry, as well, if people stop buying books entirely and rely only on electronic versions, who will write them? Writers make little enough now on something that sells for $25, and correspondingly less on a $10 sale. One of the big villains, unfortunately, in price rises and content declines has been corporate consolidation in publishing.

  18. Interestingly, eventhough I am a magazine addict, I just recently gave up two magazine subscriptions that no longer thrill me. One just expected me to automatically renew every year and I had to write them a note and tell them to take me off their list. I am tossing many of the old ones I have held on to for so long. They will be in my yard sale this summer. And life goes on, but continually as we grow, we change.

  19. Oh Mary, you've struck several chords with me in your eloquent post.

    You are so positive about life and that's how we all must feel - age is only a state of mind!!
    And keep company with positive, happy souls!

    I also agree with the magazine issue - I no longer subscribe either.
    Now and then my daughter sends me "Campagne" from France - it feeds my soul.
    I borrow the English "Country Life" from the library and then occasionally buy the odd house/decor/garden one I like, read it from cover to cover, cut out ideas I like and then pass the magazine on to a friend.
    I can't ever see myself reading a book via my laptop/kindle, I enjoy the feel of a book too much!
    I can't wait to suss out Mrs Charles Darwins recipe book - it sounds like a gem - thank you!
    Shane x

  20. I totally agree with you Mary. I have stopped quite a few magazine subscriptions, but I do love my German ones when I can get them. Books, ah!, love books! I probably have too many....not! I could never use one of those kindle things. I love to open up an old book, smell it, wonder about it, and cuddle up to it with a good cup of tea!
    Hugs to you!


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