Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - Feb. 14, 2002

Hearts and flowers and bears, oh my!

I don't claim to have Martha Stewart's flair for decorating or knack for organization, but I try to decorate my house to fit the season or current holiday that's being celebrated. Nothing elaborate or time-consuming - just a few touches here and there. My Mom, an elementary teacher for 31 years, always took time to decorate her school room and our home for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kansas Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter. I must have inherited my need to do the same sort of decorating from her.

I wish I could say I got our Valentine's Day decorations out the first weekend of February, but I didn't. Just last Sunday, I brought down the box containing the girls' Valentine cards from past years, a couple of stuffed Valentine bears, some heart-shaped doilies, and some worn cardboard velvet-flocked bears, blue birds and hearts.

Some day I plan to make laminated place mats or collages out of those Valentines, but that probably won't happen this year. This year, I plopped a Christmas cactus into a red and white basket that I found on the shelf downstairs and put it on top of an old-fashioned Valentine hanky on our dining room table. I gave the stuffed bears to the girls to put on their beds. I taped the velvet-flocked bears and blue birds onto our living room windows.

I'll probably wear red on Valentine's Day, and I'll attend my third grader's Valentine party at school. I doubt that I'll have time to bake a heart-shaped cake or cookies sprinkled with red sugar. And, although I had every intention of having my girls make elaborate cards for their grandparents, I'm afraid the Hallmark ones will have to do this year.

I know it isn't that big a deal, but everything is geared to make me feel that I should be doing more. The stores are decked out in heart shapes, brilliant reds and soft pinks - candy wrapped in red and silver; cute bears, frogs and monkeys with red ribbons tied around their necks; pink and red pajamas, lingerie and boxers; heart-shaped jewelry; red and pink flowers; and perfume in heart-shaped boxes. The ads I've seen reinforce all those images and add more - golf course passes, candlelight dinners for two, Valentine books, romantic CDS and special deals on manicures and massages. Massages? Now that's something I could use!

2002 Index