Valentine's Day in Maine Means Many Things
Ah, Valentine’s Day: that’s a favorite of mine. As a cashier down to the A&P, I get to see firsthand all the nice stuff folks are buying their sweeties: cards, red roses, and them heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates. Love is in the air! Plus, I get to wear red, which looks good on me (it’s in my color wheel). And, of course, it’s a chance to give Charlie a mushy card in exchange for him taking me out to the Sky Lodge for dinner.
Valentine’s Day also signals that we only have about six more weeks of winter. That’s encouraging ‘cause we haven’t seen snow like this in Mahoosuc Mills since I was a kid! I mean, we’re running out of places to put the stuff! Why, the snow banks are so high, you have to kind of ease out of the driveway while saying a little prayer to St. Christopher because it’s impossible to see what’s coming down the road.
Valentine’s Day also means that Groundhog Day’s behind us. This year Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, so I guess we’re supposed to get an early spring. Up here, we take that with a grain of salt!
But lest we forget, Groundhog Day is the cut off for all Christmas decorations. OK, some of you may have been diverted by the weather, but I say strap on the old snowshoes and take down those lights. Get rid of the “greens” in your window boxes and pry them toppled-over reindeer out of the snow. It’s been two months. You’ve gotten your money’s worth out of the wreath you bought from Rotary and that kissing ball the Boy Scouts sold you. It’s over, folks. Give ‘em a proper burial and move on.
As my niece Caitlin says, it’s high time to “manifest” spring. I just love all those little daffodil, crocus, and hyacinth plants we got blooming down to the A&P. They really perk me up. Listen, they’re only about five bucks a pop. Splurge, why don’t you? You’re worth it!
Remember Valentine’s Day when you were a kid? Those little Valentine’s cards you’d give everyone in class? I loved the tiny candy hearts with the messages on them. And Valentine parties where we had chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting and red sparkles on top. This is before lactose intolerance and allergies to gluten, before we were so concerned about our weight. How wonderful, a chocolate cupcake, no strings attached!
When I was a junior in high school, Charlie gave me a necklace for Valentine’s Day, a sterling silver heart with a single diamond chip in the center. God, I wore that thing to bed, in the shower. Still have it in my jewelry box.
Then there was our first Valentine’s Day married. I tried to cook us a roast beef dinner. I mean, I must have spent half our grocery budget for the week on that supper! And I didn’t know what I was doing. The vegetables came out mushy, the meat was overcooked, and the gravy pasty. Poor Charlie! What a sport he was: chewing that leather-y roast beef, diligently working his way through that god-awful meal. Charlie kept reassuring me, telling me it was delicious. He even asked for seconds. That’s my guy!
Well, I got to go bake Charlie his favorite cookies before I leave for work. They’re your basic oatmeal raisin, except I use Raisinettes, so you get the chocolate and raisin thing going. Try it. They’re delicious!
See, we went to Sky Lodge Saturday, but Charlie and me are marking the real Valentine’s Day tonight with a quiet dinner at home. I asked him what he wanted, and he insisted on his favorite: baked Spam, mashed potatoes with plenty of butter, and that green bean casserole with the canned onion rings on top. You can’t go wrong with that!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Remember, if you don’t have a Valentine at the moment, be your own Valentine and treat yourself to something special.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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