Thursday, July 14, 2011

the soft things

my grandfather keeps a stack of magazines on his coffee table.

he used to get people, then sports illustrated. sometimes forbes. occasionally, an alumni magazine would weave its way into the pile. but there have always been two staples in this treasure trove: reader's digest and reminisce.

and while i appreciate reader's digest for the clean jokes, the recipes and the pocket-sized motivation, it is reminisce that has captivated me. a magazine devoted to days gone by, with polariods and advertisements for products no one uses anymore.

long before i loved vintage. before i swooned over images of high-waisted bathing suits and pretty pin curls. when i was just a girl in middle school. with too much free time on my hand, a journal and a pen in my purse at all times, and romantic fancies dancing in my not-yet-seasoned heart.

i read a line in reminisce once that has stuck with me. i carried this line into my little cottage, and remember it often. i can't recall the exact phrasing, but an elderly man had written to the magazine about his wife who had passed away.

he said, she valued the soft things in life. like cooking, gardening and crossword puzzles.

every time i stand over a sink full of dishes, or a boiling pot of water. every time i tuck pablo in his doggie bed and say a prayer over him. every time i get up early just to curl my hair and eyelashes, paint a little magenta on my lips and iron that new skirt. i feel it. when i drag robert out at night with a flashlight just to look at the strawberry plant and its white flowers. when i get down on my knees and pull weeds from the bushes and carry them out to the woods.

i feel the soft things. and i think i'd like someone to say that about me one day. and i think its the most moving tribute i've come across. the most romantic notion. at my worst, i can be hard. i can be bossy and mean and rude and disappointing. but i can also be terribly soft. and it's that which i want remembered.


Ana* said...

you have such a way with words. Please, please write a novel!

yes, I am begging :)

Thisisme. said...

What a lovely tribute to his wife - "she loved the soft things of life" - quite wonderful! I can fully understand why that phrase has stuck with you all this time. I too have a side of me that I'm not always proud of, but I would like to think that people will remember the "soft things" when I am gone. Beautiful post as always, my friend.

Blondie's Journal said...

I can't imagine you being bossy or rude! I do love what the man had to say about his wife. I'll bet he was the same way...he sounds like a gentle soul.


Kelsey Cole said...

beautiful post! I agree with Ana*, you have such a wonderful way with words! It's those soft things in life that bring us peace and contentment I think. Perfectly grateful and happy in the exact moment we are in. And I believe that is the best way to live life:)

xoxo, kelsey

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

awww i love this, the soft things are sometimes the most beautiful xo

DaisyGirl said...

Love that thought!

Hope you're having a good week!

Gentri said...

So sweet! And wait- is this magazine still running?! I want it.

Anonymous said...

I bet she was a really sweet lady. :) And of course you are as well! It's the little things that matter most, and those that appreciate them, well, they are okay in my book!

Megan Tetter said...

me too courtney. me too.

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

This is so beautiful. I have doubt that this is how you will be remembered, you have the sweetest blog and seem like the sweetest person.

chambanachik said...

I hope as much, too. Beautiful.

Lulu said...

Like the other commenters, I truly think that you are fantastic with words. this was such a beautiful post, and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us ^^

Amylou said...

a beautiful ambition!
reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman.
just beautiful.

Shay said...

Wow- I need one of those magazines, it sounds amazing! And I love this post. I doubt you can be hard or mean or always seem very soft to me;-)

Cara-Mia said...

This is so perfect. "The soft things." Love that.

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