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Harriet’s World


Since Feb. 14th is Valentine’s Day and it always creeps up on me and I never have enough time to get all my love thoughts sent or addressed in just that one day, I have often thought what it might be like to just make the whole month of February, love month. That way, I would have enough time to get everything said and done.
Now I know that some of you are going to say that every day should be considered love day, that we should not need a special day to tell those we love how we feel. I agree. However, just for the sake of argument, play along with me.
In our house Valentine’s Day was always a very special day because my mom and dad were married on Valentine’s Day so we celebrated their anniversary too. It’s a great time to have an anniversary. I loved it.
The day always started with Mom doing something special for us like hearts made out of toast or pancakes or something. In those days we didn’t have special tools to make pancakes with. We had to make the pancake and then cut out the shape.
The night before was spent making and decorating our valentine boxes for school. The boxes were usually about the size of a shoe box and on the top of the lid we put a slot. The slot was so we could easily drop in the valentines. Then the next day we took them to school along with our valentines that we had for everyone in our class. We always had a valentine party at school with homemade sugar cookies frosted and decorated along with some kind of red punch to drink.
When it was time to hand out our valentines, the whole class had to put down their heads on the desks and not peek. The teacher would pick two people at a time. Those two people would take their turn and go around and put their valentines in the boxes of people they wanted to give valentines to. We each got a turn. Some peoples boxes would be fuller than others. I used to worry that I wouldn’t get any valentines and be embarrassed, but that never happened. My box always seemed to be full as did all the others. Then while we were eating our treat, we would look at our valentines.
The fun didn’t stop there. After I got home, we would then take our special cards and candy treats to our family and neighbors. In our area we had a special way of giving them out. We would put our valentine surprise down in front of the door and knock on the door or ring the doorbell and then run away so the person opening the door couldn’t see who was the deliverer. It was a lot of fun. Especially when my dad or mom would let me deliver their special presents to each other.
At the end of the day when it was time for dinner, most of my friends had finished with their celebration. However, in our family we were still going strong because that was the one night of the year when my dad took my mother out to dinner.He only took her out to dinner that one night a year. He always said it was because he liked my mother’s cooking so well and he just didn’t enjoy eating out.
However, my mother loved it. Who wouldn’t. Of course in those days one cafe in town was all there usually was. In our little town of Reseda we had a Chinese restaurant and my mother loved Chinese food. My dad didn’t like it but he took her there to eat and he would eat off of the American food side of the menu, if there was one.
While mom and dad where having their special night out, the kids were at home baking a special anniversary cake for them to come home to. I was the baby sitter and chief cook and bottle washer on this occasion. As I think back over some of those cakes that I made. My poor parents.
As I grew older and more experienced, the cakes were better and looked better. I was always so excited to see their faces when I surprised them with my special treat. I remember one time in particular when I ate so much of the powdered sugar frosting that I was really sick and missed school the next day.
It was indeed one of the best holidays for me. I loved going to the store and picking out the special anniversary cards that they had for mom and dad. I would read all the sentiments until I found just the right one.
I have tried to carry on the tradition but found it getting harder and harder to keep it going. It is awfully hard to knock on someone’s door that lives a far away from you. Now I use the telephone and call and wish my family and friends a happy day. Sometimes I send homemade Valentines to my grandchildren or sentiments to my friends. I’m just not consistent.
That is why having a month would be better. I always seem to be a day late and a dollar short. Now that I think about it, if I had one month I would probably want another. I guess it is just best to leave things like they are. Even though I am late sometimes I still say I Love You whenever I have a mind. That makes every month February.
Well, that is my world. Until next time, according to my City Sanitation calendar, remember,”Be generous with your love. It’s never wasted.”

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