Tuesday, October 25, 2016

You Never Know

I can’t remember whether I read my first copy of Ideals magazine in my mother’s home or somewhere else. I loved the publication because it was all beautiful pictures, encouraging stories and inspiring essays. One year,1977, I bought the autumn edition because I’d fallen in love with the cover. I still have it. I take it out every September and leave it where I can turn to a beloved page whenever I’m in the mood. I have several of the poems nearly memorized.


Yes, fall arrived this morning
I felt her tangy touch
Persuading me to wander
Down paths I love so much . . .

That’s the first stanza of a poem by Georgia B. Adams. Lovely.

Here’s the thing. It’s my mother’s fault. When she was still in her twenties, she and my father pulled up stakes in Minnesota and with their four children (and one on the way) they joined millions of other Americans in the westward trek to California – the Promised Land of the 50’s and 60’s. It must have been so hard for her. Consequently she never missed an opportunity to remember Minnesota and the days of her youth to us whenever we snuggled up on the bed to listen to tales of the “olden days”. And she would rhapsodize especially about autumn. The chill in the air, the colorful trees and turning over outhouses on Halloween were my favorites. My siblings and I fell in love with an autumn we were pretty sure we’d never experience.

Many years later I married and moved with my husband and son(and one on the way)to upstate New York. Now I had an autumn “seasonal experience” every year just like Mom had in Minnesota. Every bit of what she had instilled in us about the season was presented in my 1977 copy of Ideals. I pored through it and the romance of the season washed over me. I admired each and every one of the writers and artists who contributed to it. How I envied their way with words.

Here’s another thing. Many more years later, when I began writing, I hunted down the Ideals contributor guidelines. I wondered if I could ever be as good as some of the wonderful writers I’d found within the pages of that beautiful publication. Measure up? Probably not. But I gave it a shot. I wrote several simple, rhyming poems and sent them in. I waited for the rejections. I wrote other things. Then one day I got an envelope containing a contract from an editor – at Ideals – they’d like to use one of my poems in an upcoming Easter issue. I was gob smacked! And grateful and gob  smacked! I wish I could tell you how gob smacked I was. You’ll just have to imagine the awesomeness of it. 

And here’s what’s happened since.





I have a poem in each of these issues 2012, 2013, and this year Christmas 2017. God is simply amazing.  Right? 

Image: 1977 Autumn Ideals

15 comments:

  1. I too have several copies of IDEAL. I love and miss Fall so much, also being a transplant from Minnesota. You are an amazingly creative Authoress and I love your style of presenting basic beauty. Never stop sharing God's beauty! <3

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    1. Oh, thank you, Rita! So glad you found some resonance in my story. God Bless!

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  2. Susan, I am so happy for you! Congratulations.

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    1. Sue,

      How awesome. Congrats! And yes, he is. :-)

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    2. Aw, thanks, ladies. I'm blushing.

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  3. What a great market for you, Sue. My sister has given me a few retro Christmas issues of Ideals and I treasure them. They were much larger in size in the "olden days" and always a favorite because of their gorgeous pictures. I got a Miles Kimball catalog the other day and the latest issue with the cardinals is for sale for $9.99. It's a classic magazine.

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    1. It has been a great market, Christine. I'm thinking Spring. LOL

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  4. Way to go! My husband loves this magazine and never fails to get the Christmas issue.

    Again, congratulations!

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    1. I hope he likes my poem, Rhonda. It's titled "Christmas Hope".

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  5. How awesome are you?? I have an Autumn cookbook that I won at Bunco. I wasn't thrilled when I won it, but I have since come to cherish it! It has ideas for barn parties, autumn decor and Christmas recipes and ideas too. I Love it!

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    1. Pretty dang awesome, Sis. LOLOL Some day I'll see that cookbook. =0)

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  6. That is what they call a story that warms the heart.

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    1. Aw . . . thanks beautiful daughter-in-law!

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  7. Congratulations Susan! So happy for you. :)

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