Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Old Victorias and memory lane

After I finished my list of "things to do today" on Tuesday, I spent the afternoon with a stack of old Victoria magazines at my side (those I found at a thrift store last month for a dime each). What a way to spend part of a day.

There were many of the magazines from the early 1990s that I didn't recall reading, which was rather odd since it was my favorite magazine. Then I realized those were Christopher's umm... active... toddler years. Which explained a lot.

There was a very nice article about one of the women who wrote the Silver Palate Cookbook (one of my core library of cookbooks in the 1980s and 90s) and how she had married and started a Bed & Breakfast (The Wickwood Inn) in Saugatuck, Michigan. I remember hearing about her B&B at one time and was very happy to find the article... with pictures. :)

In my files I have another article about Saugatuck in the 1990s, which I believe came from a later Victoria or perhaps Midwest Living. It contains pictures of the town and the boardwalk... both of which contain such happy memories for our family. Well, three of us as Christopher was not born until we moved away from the area (B.C. means something entirely different than usual in our household).

I find as years progress that it become more necessary to take hold of the (Narnia) magic life has to offer. It is good to remember how filled with hope we were as a young family during those years we lived in Holland, Michigan.

Since both of us worked at the time, we spent many of our warm weather weekends in Saugatuck relaxing and enjoying family life. We often went there for Saturday morning breakfast "out" or perhaps a Sunday brunch overlooking the water.

Life was different in the 1980s with a girl as an only child; she and I enjoying the world of "foodies" as we would check out the new cookware, gadgets , or gorgeous coffee table cookbooks at the gourmet shop... or should I say "foodie in training" as she was quite young.

The three of us enjoyed walks on the boardwalk, taking in the summer breezes off the water, stopping to gaze at beautiful gardens, peeking into quaint shops, and the holiday feeling one gets at tourist's destinations during peak season. Most of our visits were spent window shopping with money spent only on meals... but still lovely.

Those years were far from perfect but memories are pleasant. I have found we tend to sift out the challenges experienced at certain times and remember those moments that were especially pleasant. As I pondered those years... I realized what a foundation they were to the person my daughter is now.

She and her husband are leaving for England today (their much anticipated anniversary trip) and she was frustrated that there may be no room for candles in her suitcase. I reminded her they have candles in England. (When we vacationed in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania last year... I found her with pillows propped up and candles lit on the dresser... reading while the children were napping.) She spent her early years surrounded by much that was lovely. :)

I also found it not surprising that my son-in-law was trying to take as many books as possible without going over weight limits for the airlines. I love that guy.

I'll be praying for them as they are traveling and for my son-in-law's parents who are staying with the children. It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact they will be taking high tea in Bath tomorrow.

Stephanie has also promised to eat an extra scone with cream and strawberry jam for me on my birthday.

Joanna, all I can tell you is... my birthday is next week. ;)

Picture: A corner view of my dining area


Vee said...

Now that sounds like a special treat to sit down with a stack of old favorite magazines. Glad that you found so much of interest in it, too. Seems that we're all feeling a bit wistful these days...must be the season.

Packrat said...

Sitting and looking at magazines and dreaming sounds like fun.

I hope your daughter and SIL have a great trip.

Just in case I forget to mention it next week - Happy Birthday.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful way to spend a day!And I want to join your daughter and her husband on this trip!I have not had scones with clotted with Devon cream and jam in ages and I could almost taste them now!!!!!Thanks for sharing Brenda,You bless as always.~Sharon

Heather L. said...

I'm SO excited for Stephanie! I hope they have a wonderful trip and I hope we'll all get to hear about it and see pictures too!!!!!

And I hope you have a very happy birthday! We will (Lord willing) be gone on vacation at that time and so I will miss it.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I have most of those early Victoria's and though I am trying to pare down things, I will look through them for a good while yet. They are very inspiring in their way.....Happy Birthday to be, Brenda. I love memories too, but want to continue to make good ones. My new grandaughter is two weeks old and I am going to visit her tomorrow.......I wish for Stephanie and her husband a lovely time in England, making memories of their own.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I am so happy for Stephanie. Wow. I imagine she will have the greatest time. I hope she takes some pictures of the scones for us. I just got my July/August Victoria. I, like you, so enjoy just reading and looking at the glorious pictures. I so appreciate your posts. Your time in Michigan sounds sweet.

Sallie said...


In our BC days (Before Caroline) when we had the time and money to do such things regularly, we stayed at The Wickwood Inn for a weekend. It was very nice although not as warm and friendly as many of the other inns we had stayed in. It was a surprise to us since we had read so many rave reviews about it.

Saugatuck is a quaint town although it has changed a lot in the last decade or two. Don't know if you've kept up with it, but the local flavor has changed quite a bit. I actually prefer going to South Haven or Holland now. :-)

Mrs.Rabe said...

Maybe Stephanie would eat an extra scone in Bath for me as well? Is she going to visit the Jane Austen Centre? What a wonderful trip!

Jennie said...

I too have stacks of magazines I reread often. I may have to spend part of my day doing that on my front porch today since its been raining.

Shan said...

Dearest Brenda,

I just love to sit and look through old magazines with a cup of tea in hand (hot or cold)!

Tell Stephanie to eat a scone for me too!

Yours kindredly,
Honey Hill Farm