Valentine Days I Remember

As a child in elementary school Valentines was a big deal. We decorated shoe boxes with red and pink hearts and lots of paper Lacey doilies. We carefully shopped for books of Valentines to cut out and give to our classmates. Picking each one that would be the right one for each friend. We also spent hours making Valentines for special friends and family. The ‘Children’s Friend’ magazine would sometimes have Valentines to share with parents and family.

Red and pink construction paper could be in short supply around that time of year and so supplies needed to be procured early. Advanced planning was important.

Growing up surrounded by cousins and family Valentines needed to be ready for each cousin. Planning how to get the desired card to the desired recipient also took planning and strategy. Place the card on the door step, ring the bell or knock and run and hid as fast as you can before the door opens and your caught.

As the recipient trying to get to the door and catch someone was always fun. It was a game. It was exciting. Being outside in the dark and cold. Whispering and trying not to laugh too loud.

One memorable Valentines we heard a knock at the door, rushed to catch the perpetrator. All that was found was a large white box.

A treasure. Everyone gathered around.

“Hurry, open it”

“Who is it from?”

Lid is off.

A trick.

Just a piece of paper saying every word had to be read before going any further.

We started to read and as we picked up the first page another page was attached to it, like an accordion. It was a poem about Valentines Day, it was funny and we laughed as we read. After several pages a piece of cardboard and when we lifted it up the treat was revealed.

The box was full of candy and treats.

We never really knew for sure who sent the box but we all knew it was most likely from our Father. He was the one who wrote poetry and he was the one who was creative and full of surprises.

My regret is that no one saved that poem. I have a little book with my Dad’s poems but that one is not there. All I have are the memories and as everyone knows memories are not always reliable.

September 7, 1982

I found this entry in an old Journal I had started. Since I wrote this back in 1982 and very little since then it was kind of nice to look back and see that there were some good times during my marriage to Ted.

It is hard to say what prompts one to write about their life, but the perhaps this time for me it was the very unexpected crib death of Ted’s nieces little baby boy who was only two weeks older than my own little girl Lydia. His parents had gone to the temple in Ogden and left the 2 year old and the baby with a baby sitter. When they got home everything seemed to be fine until they checked on the baby and found him cold. He had been dead for about 2 hours. I felt so sad for those young parents. I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if that should happen to me.

Since being married three years many wonderful things have happened. Through our marriage we have brought two more daughters into this earth life. Rebecca born July 1st 1980 and Lydia, May 27th 1982.

Rebecca is now a typical two year old. She is learning to talk and displaying a very definite temperament of likes and dislikes. As she was learning to crawl, instead of gong on her hands and knees, she would push up on her hands and feet and go on all fours. It was very comical to watch her go around the house that way. Sometimes she would put a favorite toy in her mouth and  go from room to room. We called it her Elephant walk.

She has always held a special place in her Daddy’s heart. He delights in feeding her at dinner time. If he is late getting home I will try to feed her but she will have none of it. She has to wait for Daddy. Now that she is walking and talking when he comes home the first thing she wants to do is go outside for a swing. He likes to walk around the yard telling her about the plants and trees.

When She was just one year old, Ted was doing some painting around the out side of the house. I was inside and Rebeccawas toddling around out-side. Soon Ted came in with Rebecca in his arms. She had climbed up to the top of the ladder and was picking rocks off the roof. No one knew she was there until a neighbor boy called to Ted that our baby was on the ladder. She always seemed to have an adventurous spirit and she is not a bit shy about exploring the neighborhood and beyond.

She had developed a great love of books and loves to have me read to her. One of her favorites is ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish’ by Dr. Suess. In the book a “Sad Fish” and a “Glad Fish” are pictured. When I read it to her I always show a “sad face” and a “glad face”. One day when I was in the bedroom feeding Lydia, she came in looking very serious and dejected,

I said “Rebecca what’s the matter Honey?”

She looked at me and said “Sad” and then she brightened up and said “Glad” and smiled and said “Sad” and then “Glad”. I laughed and laughed, she had looked so serious, I really thought something was wrong.

She is very good at repeating and her older brother and sister, David and Patricia love to read to her and have her repeat after them. David is particularly fond of Rebecca and he even took her and Lydia to Seventh Grade to show them off as “His most precious possessions” as part of an assignment for his class in communications.