October Martha

Allow me to apologize if you’re here to read about our recent family adventures. This is all about me.

I love the idea of Martha Stewart. I have read Martha Stewart Living for, get this, twenty one years. Long before she met Snoop Dogg, went to jail or was even online. I’ve only missed one year of my magazine delivery, because I got mad at the threats to renew when my subscription was about to lapse. But I couldn’t stay upset and eventually asked for forgiveness. I use Thanksgiving recipes approved by Martha, I hand make Christmas gifts that she designs and I drool over her clam bakes on the beach, especially when the Navy has sent us somewhere without a coastline near. But not one single issue all year tops my love for October.

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Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. I have more Halloween decorations than Christmas. We dress up, as a family, in costumes every year. Our fall vacations for the past two years were to Transylvania and Loch Ness in Scotland, respectively. Fall is my favorite season.

I’ve kept them all. All my October Martha’s. And I reread them every year, like a ritual to start the Halloween season. I admit I skip over articles like the one about the evolution of the table in the 1995 issue. Or the one about succulent gardening in 1997… I zip through the more recent issues. Anything that involves glitter gets passed by quickly and anything past 2010 may not even be picked up but the early issues are meant to be savored. Why? Maybe because that was the beginning of Martha for me. When I was first becoming interested in setting up a home rather than a dorm room. The first years that I bought decorator magazines rather than fashion ones. Martha was my guru and Halloween my favorite holiday so having Martha give Halloween tips and decorating advice? Spooky recipes? And when her famous column “Good Things” gets renamed “Bad Things” for October? I couldn’t ask for anything better.

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Why Martha, and not, say, Country Living?  Or Better Homes and Gardens? Martha keeps her Halloween geared mostly toward adults. There are no kid friendly parties or what to do when your child is afraid of ghosts. There are occasional kid costumes but mostly it’s adult beverages and decorations that would scare most kids away. And it’s not dumbed down. Her Halloween is for the adult who really appreciates the holiday. Like me.

So while the Navy moves us again and again, Martha is a permanent force in my life. Luckily all those walls painted in rental-house-white match my Halloween decor to a t. And Martha would think that’s a very good thing.

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