Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday. Fourth of July is red, white and blue bunting, parades and fireworks. Halloween is all about creepy crawlies and dressing up. Thanksgiving is giving thanks, stuffing turkeys and eating pumpkin pie. Christmas is …well… Christmas family, friends, snowmen, Santa Claus, presents, music, trees, stockings, lights….
I loved decorating a box or bag to hold my Valentines; working with construction paper, glue, crepe paper and sequins is just plain cool. At home we would each have our package of valentines, a ballpoint pen and our list of classmate’s names. Carefully selecting the appropriate valentine, writing each name and checking the name off of the list gave me such a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of goodwill toward classmates.
The origin of Valentine’s Day was not really important to me. I have vague memories of elementary school teachers talking about a saint in Italy, patron saint of affianced couples, marriages, love, beekeepers ….
Winter in DeKalb, IL was cold and snowy. Mike and I had been long distant dating for several months. Jill and Mike traveled from Kansas to visit me over Valentine’s Day weekend. For our Valentine’s Day dinner I fried chicken and made mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, biscuits, apple pie and ice cream. Jill’s eyes were wide and she mouthed a big “WOW”. She told Mike her Mom had not cooked a meal like that for a really long time.
After dinner Mike and I went for a drive. He pulled into the parking area of a small forest preserve on the north side of DeKalb. He was very quiet. After a minute or so he raised his head, looked at me and asked me to marry him. I was very quiet and thought about what he was asking. He knew I was not sure if I ever wanted to marry again and there were many things still left for me to accomplish. Speaking from the heart, he told me he loved me and understood my fear of committing to being part of a couple again. He said all he knew for sure was I was the woman he had been waiting for and wanted to be with me for always.
Taking a big breath, I agreed. The rest is now our story. Through the years I have given and received many valentines from family, friends and a husband or two. The night in the forest preserve parking lot on the north side of DeKalb is where I received my very best Valentine Gift.
Now about Saint Valentine and those beekeepers ………………..
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