This is my last issue of Family Fun magazine. It’s been around twenty years, and I estimate I’ve been a subscriber for almost that long, since Aaron will be twenty this Fall. It was always cause for celebration when the latest issue arrived, and I’d devour it at one sitting, turning down pages to mark articles I’d later cut out and tuck away in file folders labeled “vacation ideas”, “kids crafts”, “gift ideas”, “recipes”, “holidays”, or my favorite catch-all file, “good ideas”. The issues with clever and easy-to-make Halloween costumes and the pre-Christmas toy reviews were eagerly anticipated. My cache of “kids crafts” pages saved my butt more than once as a Cub Scout Den Leader, and several “involve the neighborhood” articles were tweaked to suit Pack activities involving up to seventy-five families. Without Family Fun I’d have never made beach preserves or plaster of paris casts of my kids’ feet in the sand. I’d have never learned about letterboxing or visited Cumberland Falls to see a moonbow. But all good things must end.
I remember the day last year when I realized it was time to stop renewing my subscription. I’d noticed that I turned down fewer and fewer pages in recent issues, that rarely did an article apply to my family anymore. Then it happened. I read an issue without turning down a single page. Of course I’d been renewing my subscription every time a good deal came along (and they come along often), so I still had over a year’s worth coming my way, but it was time to pass the torch. I started saving my magazines for my friend Dianna. And finally, with this issue, I turned down pages for someone else’s family. I marked instructions for sealing pressed flowers between contact paper to make jewelry for her daughter, Rachel. I marked a water balloon tetherball game I can just see her twin cuties Adam and Thomas playing this summer. Oh, and I marked elaborate honey-bee cookies that Dianna will roll her eyes at and tell me I’ve lost my freakin’ mind if I think she’s going to spend an entire afternoon decorating cookies.
Maybe someday I’ll subscribe again – when I have grandchildren. But for now fodder for my “good ideas” folder will just have to come from Country Living or Real Simple.