February 14th, 2009



One of the best things about elementary school was the preparations for each holiday as it approached. I shudder to think how many trees elementary school children go through in the form of construction paper. The whole school would be transformed by the new decorating scheme each month: orange & black for Halloween, orange & brown with gold buckles for Thanksgiving, red and green for Christmas, green for St. Patrick's Day and of course, in February the brightest colors to cheer up the blah-est month: red & pink for Valentine's Day! All the kids would bring shoeboxes from home and we'd wrap them in colored paper and decorate the heck out of them with glitter and the edges of doilies and little-cut out paper hearts.

Mom would let us pick out a box or two of themed Valentine's Day cards, the die-cut kind that usually had figures from some popular cartoon or Disney or superheroes or little baby animals or small children in inexplicable outfits and terrible puns. Of course, there were always kids who made their OWN cards, or maybe like me, made special cards for the special people and used the store-bought kind for the masses. Even back in the days before political correctness, it was considered de rigueur to write a card for every kid in the class...and so I did:

Carrie: Seeing you so much more at peace and so happy with the way your life is going warms the cockles of my heart! Heather: It's been fun getting to know you this past year! Jennifer: It's so nice to see you so happy with your family. I miss your art, though. Dave & Ann: How exciting about your adoption! I hope things go smoothly in the process. I have every confidence you two will make great parents. Sheryl: You're an inspiration for me, plus you crack me up. Win-win! Mel: Glimmers of joy and baby steps, baby! I love your pixie self! *smooch* Pam: Glad to see you writing more again, I hope this year is good to you. Eimi Where the heck ARE you? You're missed! Ellen: Every chance you get to share, even if you feel it's infrequent, is meaningful. I'm glad we're friends. Kitty Sue: Hope this year will see you illness-free! Kim: I'm glad you've found someone that treats you right, I hope it only gets better. Gale: Even if you hate where you are, and life has taken some awful rough swerves for you of late, I still think the one big good thing must outweigh a lot. Geena: It does my heart good to know you are so happy with your life. Heather: It's not just your hair that is beautiful about you. Verian: I hope you are at least using your creative talents elsewhere. I miss your writing, though. Esther: Thank you for being a friend! I really enjoy your comments. Joy: You're getting stronger every day and I'm glad to hear it! Marie: The joy you take in your child radiates through everything you write: I'm so glad your dream came true! Nina: True love is out there, waiting for you. Get out there! Jackie: Every post you write makes me smile. Kathey & Russell: I hope things are getting better. I miss you both so much! Janine: Everything about you and your life seems so wonderful in so many ways. If my kids turn out even half as great as yours I'll be damn proud. Shelagh: You have such an eye for beauty, I'm glad you share it! Sharon: I wish you lived closer and not just so I could make you help me with all those great kid birthday party theme ideas! Rée: You know exactly what I hope for, for you, don't you? *smooch* Nan: You don't post enough, woman, but your comments always brighten. Kisha & Magnus: You guys and your ducky daughter are too adorable for words. Mom & Sarah & John: If only you all lived closer, my life would be complete. I love you! Carolyn: Life seems to be going really well for you right now, I'm glad. Karen: The beautiful stuff you find and make is amazing. Marie: We can't wait to see you in April! Your friendship means so much to me. Ivona: I so enjoy your provocative and interesting posts. Elizabeth: There are truly no words to describe what your presence is my life means to me. I hope I will get to see you this year, too! Natooke*: You've dropped off the face of the planet! Hope all is well. Sandy: There's something so comforting about having you as a friend :) Trish: You are an inspiration in so many ways, and your life is amazing to me. Fiveandfour*: I hope you have a great year! Thanks for being a friend. Christina: I hope you are okay, it's been way too long since you posted. Melanie: It seems like things are going well for you, and I'm glad! Sharon: Quit with the twitter posts and give us some real blog fodder! You're such a great writer and twitter really cramps your style. Womaninawindow*: So very glad we found each other online! I look forward to getting to know you better! Breana: Sometimes I swear we were separated at birth but then I remember you are so much cuter and funnier and SMARTER than me. *smooch* Helena: May this year bring you only good things—you deserve them! Gloria: Miss your presence online and hope you'll come back again soon. Dawn: It's understandable that you're no longer daily with your busy life & family! Jenny: Cut yourself some slack and relax: you are amazing! Julia: I love reading about your life and getting a peek in. I'm glad we've found each other online and I hope we meet someday! Joy: Thank you for being a friend. Jessica: Love your beautiful photographs, you have a real talent! And I hope your home situation improves soon. Anna-Lena: Enjoy what you have, it's really precious. Beverly: It's great knowing such a down-to-earth fellow expat! Erin: Hope you don't follow through on your plan to close down, I'd miss you! Emma: It's great having a glimpse into your marvelous life. Bethany: Hang in there, things will only get better. I hope we get to meet someday soon! *smooch* Ally: You keep it all together in such a great way! Sari: Post more! I so enjoy your photos! Jessica: The exotic jet-setting life really seems to suit you :) Shana: It's been great getting to know you better through your writing. Percy: You're a wickedly good Scrabble player, it's fun to try and beat you! Susan: Baby, come back! I miss you! Darci: I wish you'd write more about YOU and not so much about techy stuff :) Carrie & Mike: You guys seem like you have good things going on and such a full life! Kirsty: I hope this is the year you find the perfect love, but I hope you don't settle down regardless...at least not too much. Deirdre: May this year bring you only good things :) Katrina: I miss you, get writing again, willya? Lotta: It's been fun getting to know you better online! We'll have to drag you out for sushi again sometime soon. Helen: I'm flattered you want to be a friend: welcome! Jacqui: Things really seem to be looking up and going well for you! I hope the new place is wonderful :) Kathryn: So close and yet so far! But online is awesome, isn't it? Carol: I don't know how you do everything you do: you're incredible, woman! Heartsong: I'm so glad that you're my friend. Some day we'll meet, I just know it! *smooch* Christina Rosalie: You're a true kindred spirit and my inspiration in so many ways. *smooch* Amy: Congratulations! Enjoy every moment with your baby! I can't wait to see how your new incarnation as a mom develops. :) Jeanine: Your beauty and generosity blow me away—every word, every image. Chele: Thanks for reading, it's nice knowing I have such a dedicated fan. Chuck: You never comment, but I'm glad to know you're out there. Chris: Thank goodness for Facebook or I'd NEVER hear from you! :D Sam: Your friendship means so much to me. I'm so looking forward to meeting you someday! Marilyn: Have I told you how much I miss you? I MISS YOU. Meg: I don't know if you're reading, but I'm so happy for you about the love you've found! Laini: Your recent news made me squee with joy! I think you're amazing! Molly: You share so many beautiful things, thank you. Elemmenope:* Thank you for being a friend, I enjoy your posts & comments! Tracy: I miss you and your photography. Mia: I love your love of music and cats and the insights that you share, and I think you can do anything you set your mind to. Rearviewmags:* I hope your grad school dreams come true!

Karin & Martin & Anders: You bring me joy every single day. I'm a better person for having you all in my life. I love you.

Hopefully I haven't missed or forgotten anyone...but if I have, my apologies in advance! A very happy Valentine's Day to ALL my friends, family and lurkers!

*I don't know your real name or if I do, I can't remember it. DOH!
**Title from a quote by Judy Garland