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Monday, 14 February 2011

Some Valentine-ish Thoughts

I went back to my old broken blog to see whether or not I'd blogged about Valentine's Day.

Last year, no mention of it, but this photo for Photohunter  -  theme BROKEN

The year before, missed Valentine's day but wrote this:
One minute I was fine, the next I was whammied by a headachey, boneachey, sniffling, coughing, feverish winter cold. Thank goodness, my white knight insisted I take some cold medicine and sleep, and here I am….rednosed, boneweary, sniffly, coughy but standing on my own two legs and almost able to string two words together.
Emma and Julia were here yesterday and made beautiful Valentine’s cards and helped Dave schlepp soup to the sickroom and were careful not to get contaminated, although it’s always so puzzling about when you can be harmful to others, when you don’t want to be. If you do want to be, of course, you can choose your own schedule.

Back one year, I was in the spirit:

Could I resist the Valentine’s Day Merriam-Webster word?
I think not:
mash \MASH\ noun
: an intense and usually passing infatuation; also : the object of infatuation

Example sentence: I think Daisy has a mash on you — you should ask her to the Valentine’s Day dance.
Did you know? Those shot by Cupid’s arrow know that love can spur a desire to hold one’s beloved tightly and never let go. Perhaps that embracing feeling of love is why “mash,” originally a word for an act of squeezing and crushing, became a term for an intense infatuation or the object of it in 1870. The more popular “crush” showed its loving side in 1884, and “main squeeze” had begun crossing the lips of sweethearts by 1926. “Mash” itself is not widely used today, but the compound “mash note,” referring to a love letter, has enjoyed many happy years since its union in 1890.

May you have many acts of squeezing and crushing today. No, I’ll qualify that. May you have many pleasant and wanted acts of squeezing and crushing today.

Before that, lots of chatter, Valentine's Day gets the last word:

Vacations, when I was a kid, were these stretches of time where I tried to get in some reading, bookended by long crowded drives in the family car. In those days, before seatbelts, we actually used to get all 8 of us in a sedan—my youngest sister had pride of place on the back windowsill, and one of my brothers loved to sit in the space where my mother’s legs should have been. I don’t know how they managed to share that little place below the glove box, but they did. My other sister was always carsick, so she had to sit near the window on the passenger side in the back, the better to roll the window down. Usually after it was too late. Despite what seems horrendous now, we looked forward to these trips to Shediac in New Brunswick, my father’s home, where we stayed in a big old creaky house with a woodburning stove, an orchard, an attic and a croquet set, within walking distance of a sandy beach.
Vacations, when I was a young adult, were all about getting my kids and my parents in the same place. Again, there were long drives but this time with coolers and pillows, stops at McDonalds and Tim Horton’s—the coffee and donut haven of my dreams. They were lovely times, a little harried, but manageable and my folks would often give me and Dave a chance to have a movie and dinner date.
For this vacation, we seem to have cherrypicked the best of all the other vacations of our lives. The drives are at our pace, and don’t necessarily take us anywhere; the coffee can be Timmy’s or Starbuck’s or exotic or from the kitchen; the food has all been wonderful, and I’ve only cooked once; we’ve slept in and got up early; gone to bed with the sun and stayed up late playing board games. We’ve seen sun and rain and rivers and streams, mountains and oceans, wilderness and quaint villages and tomorrow we’ll be in Vancouver, one of the most cosmopolitan, multicultural cities in the world.
And on top of that, today is Valentine’ s Day, and we’re staying with people who think dark chocolate is extremely healthy. Could it be better?

2006, not a mention:

I’ve never been able to figure out how to be a woman of my age. And it just gets harder. This isn’t about looks, although that probably comes into it, but about how to determine how much of the accepted values, of the stereotype, of the expectations, I can live up to or want to live up to.
You’re as young as you feel. That is, and always has been, totally inaccurate. Within the space of a few seconds, I can go from feeling strong and lithe to feeling scared and shaky, just because I put my foot down on an unstable piece of concrete or encounter somebody with attitude. Your children make you feel young when you’re able to laugh with them as contemporaries, and make you feel ancient when you see the responsibilities they’ve shouldered; your friends make you feel carefree when you’re having fun together and careworn when you see them in a clear light and realize how weathered they (and you) are.
Age doesn’t matter. Whoa! or Woe! that sure isn’t so. Try being a very young person waiting to get service, or a very old one trying to maintain your dignity. Try ignoring your birthday, your thinning hair or your age spots; try getting carded at a bar or automatically included in the seniors’ discount. Try encountering, at any age, your mortality.
The one sure thing about trying to figure out how or whether to act your age is that it makes you cranky.

And the first time I had the opportunity, I almost missed it:

It’s strange to be in your mother’s house when you live full time elsewhere. My mother lives in a house she and my dad acquired after I had moved out, so this was never really my family home, but I brought my kids here for holidays, Dave and I got married here and I spent a lot of time in this house when my dad was sick. I know its nooks and crannies but I wasn’t part of making them—I had no say in the disposition of the rooms or the yard, and although it’s welcoming and familiar it’s not exactly home. That is never so evident as when I brush my teeth in the bathroom. Something about the light in the room, and the mirror that’s been there forever always surprises me by fading my blotches, smoothing my wrinkles and shining my hair—I never look as good in the real world, ever, as I look, always, in this mirror. So the older I get, the more seductive this mirror is—one of these times I won’t be able to bear going back to Ottawa. And to think I wrote this on Valentine’s Day!! 

I really, deeply, am a hopeless romantic, I'm apparently cautious about letting people know. 


  1. It was nice to see your blogging flashback.

    I think this is the first year I had a positive post on my blog. Well, if you can count a song about the day :)

  2. Lovely post!!!!!

    I'm a romantic, too! I'm still waiting for my 'happily ever after'. No surprise there -- I've always said that when my ship comes in, I'll probably be at the airport. Sigh.

  3. Nice reflection on past posts mom. you are so interesting, funny, sentimental and genuine.

  4. I love the reflections which I perhaps misssed as I have not been blogging really long. And it is OK to be out of ORDER. So was I and in the Dr. Office most of the day with bronchitis.

    Much better today. That is worth a Valentine to me.

    Hope you get much better soon.

    By the way your long vacation in Europe was very romantic, too, in my opinion.

  5. Fun review of past posts. I felt like I was sneaking peeks in you diary. :)