AS A CHILD, I always felt a certain nostalgia as the desperately steamy dog days signaled the ending of my beloved summertime. I experienced it as a dying of the light and the beginning of a long, slow descent first into a nippy autumn then the
cold, dark winter.
The excitement and adventure of summer were falling away,. Time was slowing down. Instead of hastily slapped together sandwiches devoured when we ran inside ravenous after swimming (only to run back out the door and not return until dark)... We instead somehow sensed the fall season was a time to come inside to do homework, where soup was simmering on my mother's stove, and warm bread was being pulled from the oven.
The birds were leaving, each at their appointed time, flying south for the winter. Summer loves were a wistful memory, nothing more. No more time for playing at life. School had started. Winter was coming. It was time to - as my father would say - buckle down.
Fall always seemed to me to be the edge of the universe where play ended and hard work began. It's rather appropriate that after a long season of rest and healing in my life--three years, in fact, since my cancer diagnosis and surgery--I am finally ready to get back to work on Ageless Woman. I hope you enjoy our new look and are as excited as we are about our plans for the future.
Back in my childhood, once I finally stopped grieving the passing of summer (and grieve it I did with all the passion of youth), I would remember that fall had an excitement all its own. The crisp air, the sounds of football games, dreams of homecoming, sweater weather perfect for snuggling. I will forever associate autumn with mums and pumpkins.
I have never found a photograph that captures the nostalgia of autumn like the one above. It is my gift to you for this fall. I wrote to Caio, the photographer who took this magical photograph, to ask where he took it. "It was Warsaw in 2012," he responded, "just at this time of year." Isn't it lovely? Caio says: "To me, photos are frozen windows to warm memories." He has such a good eye and a pleasant turn of phrase. I'm hoping Caio may do a series of photographs of ageless women for us in the future.
Our cover art feature in this issue is entitled "Swimming South" - a play on flying south for the winter. The cover photo of Rajan, the legendary swimming elephant, who passed away last year, was taken by Sonia Toledo several years ago. She writes two pieces for us - to go with her spectacular photographs - along with a very personal interview about her life's journey. The sea is a theme in our fall issue. Summer's end and the birth of autumn bring a certain bittersweet nostalgia to seascapes of our remembered childhoods. Sonia grew up surrounded by the sea. I wonder if it may have been a refuge for her then, as it is now.
An interesting note: our cover artist, Sonia Toledo, was born and raised in Puerto Rico. What interesting timing. We are going live with this magazine issue and Sonia's story at the same time as the crisis in Puerto Rico's hurricane relief effort has inspired the efforts of five American presidents. The timing on this was completely a coincidence. Sonia and I began working on this feature three years ago, and started back on it months ago, planning for the magazine's comeback. I don't know what it means, but I have always loved coincidences like that.
Our other photo-feature focuses on a fall classic - falling leaves. It is entitled: All that falls away. I borrowed that phrase from a line by St. Augustine. I hope you enjoy the brilliant, dying colors in the photo-feature.
Mary Rapoport, our food editor, talks about the changing colors of the season and whips up an incredibly colorful - and healthful - recipe for busy nights after work and school.
Speaking of recipes, I've included my favorite fall recipe on this Editor's Note page. It's (you guessed it) pumpkin bread (I told you I loved pumpkins). This, however, is a very special pumpkin bread that is made with sprouted ancient grains. I've got a source for sprouted grain flours that you can order online or pick up just down the road in Floyd County, Virginia. It's also organic, gluten-free and chock full of superfoods and protein. You can chomp on the go on my pumpkin muffins on fall mornings and count it as your breakfast protein. It's rare to find foods that are organic AND gluten-free AND sprouted AND full of superfoods. This recipe is a keeper, folks.
The season is also a time for indoor pursuits, and there is no finer indoor pursuit than shopping. Our fashion editor, Siobhan Deeds, will help us find ourselves again when it comes to fashion. Our new fitness editor, Robyn Goodpasture from Fit Body Boot Camp, reminds us we need to fall in love with our bodies because becoming fit and healthy can only happen as an act of self-love.
Don't miss Suzanne O'Neil's column. She talks about the one that got away (there's that sea-theme again). We all have one that got away - tell the truth, you still think about him sometimes. Speaking of men. don't miss the Haberdashery feature in this issue called "Finding True Blue Love." One of my favorite stories ever.
Continuing with another of these curious happenstance sea references in this issue, Tanya Dalton's timely and disquieting article on drug addiction contains a lovely jellyfish simile and stunning jellyfish imagery. Be on the lookout for Tanya's continuing series of articles entitled: "Things We Don't Talk About" for more eyeopening input on various unmentionable topics.
Montrose Grandberry's column talks about all the good causes highlighted in October - most notably breast cancer and domestic violence awareness, two of my favorite causes.
Then, of course, we have our special health section focused on women's health. Here's wishing a happy, healthy fall to all!
We'll visit again in late November in our Holiday issue!
P.S. While it's on my mind, and I'm down here at the end of my Editor's Note where all the social links are please take a moment to click on them and follow us. Like us on Facebook and comment often. We need your input and your feedback to do a good job. Right now we're asking our readers to give us suggestions on which B&Bs and country inns in our area should be featured in our January issue. Chime in. Give us your thoughts.
Donna Gail Broussard
Editor and Publisher
People ask me why I continue to use this amateur photograph - such poor resolution and image quality.
I tell them it was taken the summer I started the magazine, where I sat, day after day at my daughter's kitchen table, wearing my pjs, working relentlessly. Oblivious to everyone and everything around me.
There I am, so intensely focused (obsessed really) on doing this project that was...well, impossible.
This is my only photo of myself from that summer. I will always treasure it as a reminder of that hopelessly driven woman deep inside me who persevered against all odds that summer and actually found the impossible was possible after all.
(Organic & Gluten-Free)
SO WHAT'S THE DEAL with sprouted grains these days?
It's actually a pretty big deal, and most people really don't understand it.
Our ancestors used time-consuming traditional methods to prepare grains before consuming them - because of the anti-nutrients that naturally occur in foods like wheat. Gluten is only one of the problems with eating grains - it just happens to be the most-publicized.
When food production became industrialized, these traditional methods were too expensive and time-consuming, so they were lost to history.
Our health has suffered for it.
But you can optimize your healthy baking without the time-consuming traditional methods.
The beauty of modern convenience and the internet is that you can buy sprouted grains online and shop locally at the same time. Blue Mountain Organics in Floyd County, Virginia, has an incredible line of sprouted flours that are prepared traditionally and are actually healthy, organic and gluten-free. Order online or pick them up down the road. You can use them to make recipes like my beloved Ancient Grain Pumpkin Bread - which is organic, gluten-free, sprouted and chock full of superfoods.
Click here to read more about Blue Mountain Organics and to get the recipe for my sprouted organic gluten-free ancient grain superfood pumpkin bread. Now that's a mouthful.