Family & Friends, Keepsakes, Life Lessons, Love Notes, Remembrances, Valentine's Day


I love heart-shaped things.

I see them everywhere, all the time, but especially at this time of year.

This little red stone is the only thing I brought home from the Crater of Diamonds State Park. (You may have to tilt your head to see its heart shape.)

Just this week, I marveled at how often hearts appear in nature. From the dried pods hanging from a tree, a piece of quartz in a neighbor’s flowerbed, to the African violet leaves in my den.heartcollage

Terry picked up this rock heart on a work site. Do you see it?


A bit of moss

Hearts are everywhere.

And I love them—probably because my birthday is February 14, the day of hearts.

I’ve written before about how my mother made me heart-shaped birthday cakes. I’m going to use those same pans to bake a cake for my writing group that meets on Valentine’s Day.

Through the years, friends have given me all sorts of heart gifts.


Thanks to Grace Johnston, I have a wall of framed vintage Valentines.


Even if Valentines Day wasn’t my birthday, I would love it.

Remember making Valentine boxes for school parties? We colored away with red and pink crayons and adorned them with paper doilies and ribbons.

This week I made a Valentine box.

It started with the last shoes I bought.

Fergalicious Westin Booties.

The box top was so pretty it made me think of the boxes we used to decorate.


The next thing I knew, I was digging out craft items I picked up on clearance last year. I repurposed cupids and hearts from cupcake kits and added ribbon, gluing and taping to my heart’s content.


The curves in the crown reminded me of a flower punch I picked up for a pittance at Tuesday Morning. I dug it out and I made a bunch blossoms, stacked them together, fluffed them up and added button centers.


Here’s the final product.




Perhaps a bit overdone.

But I had a blast.

May I spend as much time working on the condition of my heart–especially when I find it challenging.

For the Lord sees not as man sees:

man looks on the outward appearance,

but the Lord looks on the heart.”

I Samuel 16:7b

Anniversary, Love, Love Notes, Marriage

Love Notes

Have you written a love note lately? Or received one? I don’t mean one of those beautiful cards you pick up at Hallmark or Walgreens—although they are nice. I’m talking about an honest-to-goodness love note, scratched out in your own hand – a missive declaring your heartfelt affection for someone in your life.

Kinda sweet, even with the misspellings, huh?


Love Notes are on my mind because on July 7, I celebrated 39 years of marriage to the love of my life , and I received one. Short, but definitely a love note! It touched my heart.

Our anniversary is always an important day, but some years we celebrate bigger than others. This time we agreed to keep it to cards and dinner out. No big gifts. We’re going to the beach soon. That will be enough.

We exchanged cards at breakfast and later looked through some old pictures. Terry posted one of us from 40 years ago on Facebook, which I also shared. Over dinner that evening, we related to one of our sons and his sweetheart how we met, got serious too fast, took a break and became best friends before realizing we loved each other enough to want to spend the rest of our lives together. They were appropriately attentive and impressed. Our day was sweet.

But back to that love note. This man, who will tell you he finds conventional romantic gestures a bit uncomfortable – although he always observes them – shines brightest  when it comes to more unconventional expressions of love. (Someday I’ll tell you about the love note he wrote me on the lawn.)

Here’s this year’s anniversary card in all its hand-lettered glory.


It was perfect!    Or as we say in our family, “Just Right!”

Did it put a lump in your throat? It does in mine, every time I read it. Definitely deserves a mat and frame.

You might ask me, as the aspiring writer, if I composed a love sonnet or poured out my heart to him in beautiful prose.

Short answer: No.

I depended on one of those greeting cards I mentioned earlier to do it for me – mostly because I get stuck on the overall effect of the card instead of the essential message. The sentiments are very important — I  spend a lot of time finding just the right one. But I want it to be completed with the perfect illustration.

And I am not an artist. Stick figures are hard for me.

I found a card this year that said exactly what was in my heart.

Here it is: 


I love it because it’s still true after all these years!

But now I’m thinking it might have been the lazy way out for this lover of well-turned phrases. Next time, I shall pen my own love message.

But why wait?  Who says there has to be a special occasion to tell the important people in our lives that we love them? 

Gotta go now!

I have a note to write.
How about you? Is there someone you could delight today? It doesn’t have to be limited to a sweetheart. There are many important people in our worlds.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach …  Elizabeth Barrett Browning