Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Best Memories...

When my birthday came that year, Daniel had only five dollars. He was upset, knowing there was no real way to buy a gift...at least the kind he wanted for me. He bought a card, and then he wandered into a bookstore...hoping. All that he could afford was a magazine...the cover of this particular one reminded him of me, of things that I loved. When he paid for it, he was left with thirteen cents. He brought it home, with a sweet note written in the card.
I was touched, both by the beautiful magazine and the humble man who trusted me enough to know I would see the love behind the gesture.

That was 1990, and month after month for the next thirteen years, Daniel brought home the Victoria magazine for me. He watched for it on the news stands every month, and delivered it to me with a smile and real joy, because he knew I treasured it. It was a symbol of faith between us; a touchstone and a reminder of simple pleasures and better, beautiful things to come.

When publication ceased in 2003 I was stricken. I've never found another magazine like it. I treasure my back copies, keeping them close at hand, reading them in season, never tiring of the ethereal photographic charm of Toshi Otsuki.

Today, on a day when I was blue and achey, I read this page! on a (beautiful) random blog while following a rabbit trail. I can't really believe how happy it made me. Laugh out loud happy! Immediate celebration happy! Plan a spectacular dinner and dessert and put a great bottle of wine on to chill happy! But the look of shared joy on Daniels face when I told him was priceless. He knew it meant more than just another magazine on the market.

Tonight, after dinner, I pulled out the 13 August issues I have piled carefully in the dining room shelves, and began to reminisce, this time with excitement over things to come.

A letter to the editor in the August 2001 issue made me do a double take. It features artful, handmade travel journals by none other than Lynne Perrella! I have one of her art books, "Alphabetica", sitting on my coffee table, and she is an editor in at least one of the art magazines I now subscribe to. I wonder if she knows Victoria will soon be back in print.

Life is good...and beautiful. I will once again have the pleasure of a monthly reminder that life is hopeful; that women can achieve their dreams without sacrificing their families; and that a charmed life is in the eye of the beholder.


Dawn said...

Ooooh Arlene!! This news is so exciting. Although I didn't collect 13 years of Victoria issues, I do have the original premiere edition as well as others. I don't think there ever was a disappointing issue! I can't wait to see the first issue ~ hope they'll keep everything that was best about the original Victoria.

Speaking of magazines, I picked up the latest Home Companion yesterday. It's a good one.

Isn't it inspiring to pour over cool mags? One little thing in a photo can be a great springboard for lots of great artsy/decorating projects.

Karyn/Mom said...

I'm so excited for you Arlene! I know how much you loved that magazine - and I know how much Daniel loved to buy it for you.

And I always liked to see it on the newstands - because it always made me think of you.

Stacy said...

What a kindred surprise! My husband did the same for me! Did we know each other in another life?

A friend told me about The Storybook Home Journal published by a homeschooling family in the US. Each issue is inspired by a classic book.


It may be worth taking a peek...

arlene said...

Storybook Home looks beautiful Stacy! I love many of the books they've used...what a wonderful idea!

Too funny that your hubby bought Victoria for you too.(...and comforting that they know us so well).

You must be very close to your due date, no? Imagine curling up soon with your new baby and a new issue of Victoria...it was one of my favorite things to do.

PS...can I still order the bag?

Nialle said...

Great post! Very cool. I remember Victoria, and the smiles.

I think Victoria came in our house with greater regularity than meals.

arlene said...

Hey Nialle,
That's how you came to be such a great cook!