Although it seems too soon, she decided to arrive early this year. And she’s done it with a shout.
Every trip in and out of my neighborhood has been glorious. Each week something new was in bloom.
I meant to stop and take pictures, but I was in too big a hurry to get to an appointment or take care of an errand, so I never got around to stopping. The hedgerow of bridal wreath has gone green–their tiny white flowers long blown away. The tulip trees are a bit bedraggled. (Like me on a bad hair day, they wouldn’t appreciate being photographed.)
I see them everywhere, all the time, but especially at this time of year.
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.
Terry picked up this rock heart on a work site. Do you see it?
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.
I have lots of good memories of making Valentine boxes, then choosing and signing cards for school parties. (I crafted a box during the snow this year!) I wonder if my mother emphasized that process to keep me from thinking only of myself on Valentine’s Day. You see, it’s also my birthday.
Don’t get me wrong, Mother was a master at making me feel like a sweetheart on my birthday. For as long I can remember, she baked a heart-shaped cake and sometimes cupcakes in pans bought especially for the occasion. I always awakened to presents in fancy wrapping paper. My childhood was sweet. I felt cherished.
My earliest birthday memory involves family and neighbors gathering under crepe paper streamers in our basement—maybe my 4thbirthday. (It had to be an early celebration because shortly after we moved there, a ground water problem turned that basement into a soggy last-stop-before-the-dump-place for castoffs.)
As an adult, I came to understand that some people hate Valentine’s Day. Men dread not “getting it right,” and some women feel left out and forgotten. One of the sweetest expressions of friendship I experienced was when one of those anti-Valentine’s Day people sent me a Valentines. She knew I loved the day. I haven’t lived in her state for over 30 years, but I always think of Nancy this time of year. I mailed her a card Wednesday.
I have a story or two I could file under Worst Valentine’s Day Experiences. But overall, I’ve come to associate the occasion with loving and being loved. I find joy in picking out cards to send to family and friends. Please accept my heart-felt wishes for a day filled with love, joy and friendship!
I picked out this card out just for you!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! … that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, … may know the mystery of God,
namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.