If ever there is a turning point in winter, surely it is Valentine's Day.
By Feb. 14, the days are longer and there is a perceptible shift in the angle of the sun. Sunsets are vivid again, as they are in December, and on warmer mornings there is a feeling of spring in the air.
It is, of course, a boon for florists and card companies and jewelers and it really isn't a holiday, but nonetheless, I think it might just be my favorite special occasion.
I remember the fun of getting valentines at school, and bringing them home in a small tissue or construction-paper-covered "mailbox" and usually also finding something special on the table that night, like chocolate cake or cutout cookies.
My mother would get roses and one year, my father got one for me, too, a pretty pink bloom with a tiny fake pearl heart on a stick, also pink.
I especially loved Valentine's Days that fell on Fridays as they added something special to the weekend. I could reread my cards, savor the scent of my rose, and eat more cookies.
I became engaged around Valentine's Day, and most years, my husband remembers with a dozen roses. This has been especially fulfilling at times when I've worked with many women, as I often get the largest and deepest red arrangement. Ha! Mine are bigger than yours!
This year I gave my husband a new snow blower and a box of chocolates and a list of things I might enjoy.
I'll make him a special meal. Salmon perhaps. Surely something heart healthy.
What are your plans?