Valentine's Day is always a bright spot in a winter that has worn out its welcome and an opportunity to show appreciation to those we love. The merchants who sell chocolates, roses, jewelry, perfume, and other traditional gifts for Valentine's Day have never gotten much money from us. We are both too tight to spend a lot of money to observe the day. I don't wear jewelry and one bottle of perfume lasts many years because I'm usually in too much of a hurry to remember to put it on. Chocolate? No good. He's diabetic and I'm on a diet. Roses? Sure, I like roses. But I grow them myself and get them in June.
I wasn't expecting roses today so I was not disappointed when none appeared. As I thought about Valentine roses, I decided I actually have gotten roses every day since Valentine's Day last year. I got them when he took out the garbage so I didn't have to go out in the cold to empty the dish; when he brought home the paycheck and trusted me to handle the money; when he let me use my time to pursue my own interests; and countless other ways.
When we had small children, he stayed home with them while I went to Writers Conference for several days. Now that the children can all take care of themselves, he goes with me to places in which he had little interest himself so I can satisfy my curiosity. Last summer that meant patiently waiting while I dug through files in a courthouse in Ohio and stomped through cemeteries to find people who died 150 years ago. This year he is taking me to Indiana to do more of the same. I don't need roses for Valentine's Day. I have been blessed with an unselfish husband who loves me all year long. That's how our marriage has endured for nearly 42 years.
So how are we observing Valentine's Day? I splurged and bought a box of strawberries. They are cheaper than roses and fit both our diets. And hey! They look kind of like hearts, don't they?