House & Garden, I miss you already.


I am trying to pack to go out of town, but I can't concentrate because I can't stop thinking about the news I happened upon earlier: House and Garden Magazine is no more, the December 2007 issue being its last. I am incredibly saddened by this news today. It has been strangely difficult for me to process, to try to understand why.

I am sad that Grace of Design*Sponge is having to worry about finding a new job (although I know it is only a matter of weeks, maybe even just days, before she will be offered some fantastic position, doing something she loves to do. She is too charismatic and talented a person for it to go any other way for her, I believe).

I am sad that I will no longer have a my monthly dose of House and Garden, which to me was this sort of fantastic perfect mix of classic timeless, somewhat reserved, prestige and novel contemporary wit and style. This magazine was 106 years old, with the past 10.5 years under editor in chief Dominique Browning, who only enhanced it, in a way no one else could have.

I am sad I will no longer have the privilege of reading Dominique's Letter from the Editor in each and every issue. I hang some of them on my refrigerator in hopes that my daughter may happen to read them as she waits for her popcorn to pop. I email them to friends and family members if they shed even a small amount of inspirational light, which all do. I have linked them in this blog in hopes that others may enjoy them as much as I do. I will miss these Letters from the Editor, and it already kind of hurts knowing there will only be one more.

I know it all sounds so overly dramatic of me, to mourn a magazine. But there are people involved with this magazine that inspired me daily. And I think I may be a bit of a difficult person to inspire. I don't come across, what I call in my corny Anne of Green Gables way of thinking, kindred spirits all that often. This magazine with the life and spirit the editors and writers breathed into it, felt alive to me; a kindred in a way. What an inspiring and talented group of people that made House and Garden. Not having these tiny views in anymore is a great loss to me.

This comes at a bizarre time too, for me in my little world. I am almost done with Dominique Browning's Around the House and in the Garden. I only have about 50 pages left, and you know what I do since I am so close to the end? I ration the pages. Yes, I only allow myself to read 5 or 6 pages in a sitting because I don't want it to end. I actually underline, highlight, and star passages. I don't think I have done that since I was in High School, when I read Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

I don't want House and Garden to end, but at least I know those involved will all move on and find doors opening and opportunities awaiting. And that is comforting....

I wish those who contributed to the magazine luck, good fortune, and more. I hope they all know their work was greatly appreciated and valued, and will be greatly missed by so many.

The last passage I underlined in Browning's Around the House and in the Garden over the weekend (it seemed an appropriate quote to end this entry)....

"When we make our homes and plant our gardens we do it in defiance of endings, with a hopefulness about the future. No matter what surges and collapses in our lives, don't we all keep looking for something that does not end?"

-Dominique Browning, pg. 100 Around the House and in the Garden


1 comment:

Shay said...

partial archives of House & Garden from 1911-1922 are available online at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/serial?id=houseandgarden