Valentine’s Day 2018

And it rolls around again, another year, another Valentine’s Day.

As a romance writer, I love writing those touching scenes with hearts, flowers and beautiful gifts. Valentine proposals are a favorite of mine. It’s fascinating that everyone chooses to celebrate in their own fashion. I’ve heard of couples returning, year after year, to the vacation destination where he proposed. Others dine at the same restaurant each year.

Dinners, dancing, or mountain hikes, there are endless ways to celebrate your love for your partner. Some are grand gestures, others are small, touching moments of intimacy. That’s the beauty of Valentine’s, you can do it your way. When times are tough, you can keep it simple or save your pennies in anticipation of buying the perfect gift. When money flows as freely as the love between you, you can go all out.  No matter how it unfolds, it’s about your love and your relationship.

For my husband and I, this year marks our 41st Valentine’s Day together. We’ve been doing this a while. For us, Valentine’s isn’t about candy, wine or chocolate.  After one unfortunate incident, it no longer involves overpriced flowers either.

This morning, on one of our three daily walks together, we discussed the Valentine’s Day tradition.  Around our house, Valentine’s doesn’t come once a year. It comes around everyday. It’s not in grand romantic gestures, but in the little things I can do for him and that he does for me. Take those walks for instance.  I’m in the midst of retraining myself and building a healthier lifestyle.  I’m not much for walking alone, so he gently reminds me (forces me really) to get my shoes on and we head out the door.  Since the new year, he’d helped me drop close to twenty pounds.

He’s my personal assistant, my cook, my chef, my laundress, my mechanic, my web guy, my chauffeur, my lover and my best friend.  He’s fully dedicated to my health and my career as an author.  He does everything else, and I write stories. It’s not a one-way street, although right now it might seem that way. For years, he worked his ass off and I stayed at home caring for the kids and keeping the home fires burning.

Now, he’s retired and he’s working for me and doing what he can to support my career. It’s working! Our roles have flipped and we’ve found a new balance.

There was a time when we bought cards and gifts for Valentine’s. That time has passed for us.  Once, he stopped on his way home from work the bring me Valentine flowers. You don’t even want to know what those cussed blossoms costs when you factor in the expenses of a parking lot accident that wasn’t even his fault. I don’t believe he’s brought me flowers since and it was perhaps the beginning of the end of the formal event.

The best gift he ever gave me for Valentine’s day (or any other day) was a matched set of Ruger Vaquero single-action revolvers. Beautiful handguns that shot 45LC (long Colt) ammunition. The next year I reciprocated by giving him an 1866 Yellowboy rifle.  It’s a reproduction of the 1866 44 rimfire rifle that was similar to those used at Custer’s Last Stand (and for you purists, 44 rimfire hasn’t been made in over 100 years so it used 44-40 center fire).  Years ago we used to do a lot of shooting and hunting together. We also participated in Cowboy Action Shooting: a test of speed, accuracy and agility with old west costumes and guns. Best fun we ever had. Dang, I miss those competitions and those guns.

Traditions like Valentine’s, Christmas and anniversaries are what you make of them. Hubby and I have our daily blessing of helping each other. How do you celebrate? Simple or complex? The same each year or bursting with spontaneity?
Happy Valentine’s Day!