Today is February 15. It’s also known as Valentine’s Day. No, I’m not mistaken. While I may have “mommy brain”, I am not delusional. Valentine’s Day is on February 15
At least, in our family it is.
So this morning we will call JoJo to tell her, “Happy Valentine’s!” We might even make a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. Red velvet was my daddy’s favorite.
I know you’re wondering, why did we do all this on February 15th? Isn’t this holiday on February 14th? Well….technically it is. I mean, the nation as a whole does recognize it on the 14th.
But we don’t.
Years ago, my father began a tradition. He started celebrating Valentine’s Day on the 15th. I cannot recall ever receiving a card or candy on February 14th. My sisters and I knew when we got home from school on the 15th the kitchen table would be full of cards and heart shaped boxes of chocolate. Why? Because Valentine’s candy is 50% off on February 15.
Daddy didn’t like to pay full price for anything.
I have a bit of that quality in myself. I’m hoping my children will too.
The cards were almost always handmade. He would cut out hearts and letters to spell our names. He would rip pictures out of magazines and glue them inside. I have one card with random shoes glued inside because he knew I loved shoes.
He loved anything artsy. He was always doodling on a piece of paper, or making something out of scrap pieces in the garage. He was crafty and creative. I’d like to think I have a bit of that quality in myself. I’m hoping my children will too.
He also liked recycling and repurposing things. He often saw potential in the old, broken, dirty things most people would throw out. In fact, he was known to pick up things off the curb and bring them home. People would sit things out as trash. He saw them as treasure.
JoJo became all too accustomed to PawPaw dragging something old and filthy home and wanting to put it in the house! Fireplace mantles, coat racks, picture frames, tables. The list goes on and on.
In fact, when I was in college he told JoJo he wanted to buy an old, abandoned farmhouse. It was built in 1910, and looked as if it could fall apart at any moment. To say it needed updating is an understatement.
Yet, he saw beauty. He had the vision and skills to transform it into something wonderful. He put in months and months of hard work. He would get off work and head to the farmhouse. New electrical, plumbing, heating and air. New windows, new doors, new walls. He tore down walls and added rooms. He worked hard and well. I’d like to think I have a bit of that quality in myself. I’m hoping you my children will too.
By doing this, PawPaw taught me how to be a visionary. He could look beyond and see what things could be. The great thing is, he didn’t just do this with things. He did it with people as well. He saw the potential in people and in his gentle, quiet way would encourage them. I’d like to think I have a bit of that quality in myself. I’m hoping my children will too.
I’m also hoping my children will continue the tradition of buying chocolate on the 15th. You can never have too much chocolate.