Valentine's Day - I don't have the same expectations or fairy tale thinking that seems to go with lots of people on this day. It's a day to shower the one we love with gifts, or so the marketing world we live in tries to tell us.
I don't need a day for my husband to send me flowers, or give me chocolate/wine. In fact if he came with flowers I would probably accuse him of drinking. It's just not something we got into the habit of doing from day one of our journey together, meaning dating. I got flowers for prom, our first date, only because his mother insisted. And chocolate and wine give me migraine headaches, so I will pass on those two things as well.
So why write today?
It's a day that always brings a smile to my face. It was special to me as a kid. You see, it is the day my parents chose to marry in 1946. Theirs was a romance that bloomed during World War II and they married soon after my dad was discharged from the navy. I think they may have gone out to celebrate some years, I really don't remember. I just knew it was their anniversary and that in itself made it special to me. Throw in the fact that my brother was born on this day, in 1953, made it a double bonus.
And as a young mom I made my own memory on this day that will always bring a smile to my face.
Envision a harried mother with four children, 9, 7,5,3. I decided to bake a pie for Rick for Valentine's day. His favorite is pumpkin pie, to be clear, it's the only kind he likes, so I rolled out the pie crust and started on the filling. The phone rang.
I chatted with my sister-in-law, Marilyn, as I continued to mix in ingredients and keep an eye on the kids. I popped the pie into the oven and decided to bake a cherry pie to celebrate Washington's birthday in a few days. As the pies baked I gathered the kids to leave for an appointment in town. Eric needed a physical and blood work to prepare for his upcoming tonsillectomy.
I peered into the oven and saw the pumpkin pie was done. I set it out to cool, but the cherry pie needed a bit more time. "I'll shut the oven off on my way out the door and let it finish while the oven cools," I told myself.
I hurried the four children into their winter clothing, making sure each had hats, gloves and boots. It was winter, you know, and I live in a climate that dictates how we dress on Valentine's Day.
Mission accomplished and out the door the five of us went. The doctor's office took some time and a side trip to the hospital for blood work was finished. Round off a trip through the grocery store and you have about five hours behind us.
It was six o'clock by the time I pulled the van into the garage and we unloaded. Rick met me at the door.
"The smoke has all cleared," was his greeting. "You left the oven on. The pie is out by the back door."
I dashed to view the pie. It was charcoal in color, even the dog wouldn't eat it.
I felt bad about ruining the cherry pie, but quipped, "At least we still have the pumpkin pie." After our evening meal I served up the first piece for Rick. He looked at it with a strange look in his eyes.
"What's the matter?"
"You taste it," he replied as he peeled back a layer of rubbery looking pie.
"Oh it's probably okay," I said as I grabbed the plate and my fork.
"Ugh! that's terrible," I spit the mouthful into the napkin. I retraced my steps in mixing the ingredients and realized I had forgotten to add the sugar as I chatted on the phone.
So much for making something sweet and thoughtful for my Valentine.