Crepe myrtles, sleeping porches, and fried green tomatoes
So I had this pile of Southern Living magazines growing in the corner of my bedroom.
By pile, I mean every issue dating back to sometime in the autumn of 2008. Maybe it would be better to call it a small mountain.
I don’t read a lot of magazines. National Geographic is my favorite even if they do believe my uncle was a monkey, and Mr. Sparky and I both enjoy Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country. Southern Living is my light reading, and I admire the houses I’ll probably never live in, the projects I’ll probably never undertake, the gardens I’ll probably never cultivate, and the recipes I’ll probably never cook. When I come across a page of interest, I turn down the corner so I’ll be able to come back to it later.
I’ve obviously been at this for a while.
When you have a small mountain like that growing in the corner for so long, you tend to stop seeing it. It’s just…there. But last week I saw it and immediately broke out in hives. And so I dragged all those years’ worth of magazines downstairs and began revisiting the dog-eared pages and tearing out the things that still interested me.
Tonight I finished the last one.
Truth be told, as I flipped through those pages I once marked I often had no idea what had interested me on that page. All I can figure is that I must have been feeling really hungry when I turned down that page corner, because on a normal day there is nothing on that page that I’d give a second glance.
I also don’t cook as much as I did six years ago. I didn’t have a job back then, and I had more mouths to feed living under this roof. Recipes were more interesting then, and I was more willing to do complicated things to put a meal on the table.
Now ain’t nobody got time for dat. Or the want-to. We don’t starve, though; Mr. Sparky loves to cook and is darned good at it, and he’s willing to tackle recipes I would never touch because of the Complicated Factor or the Mess Factor.
It’s weird how you can’t feel time passing, and yet the effects of it show up in the strangest ways.
Fewer places set at the table.
Different sized shoes left piled by the door.
An evolving grocery shopping list that contains fewer cartons of soda or boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes, but more Terra Chips and coconut oil.
Old magazines with what-was-I-thinking? pages marked for later review.
Sometimes I forget how much I’ve changed over the past years. I see differently, I think differently, I expend my energy—physical, mental, and emotional—differently. But I like the me I am now far more than I ever liked the me I was back then.
That chick had strange taste in magazine articles.