I’m glad I’m not the only one who is sentimental about old valentines. Here are four sweet samples!
1. Denise Woodyard of La Grange, Texas, prizes the elaborate over-sized valentine her 19-year-old dad, Jack, sent his mother from Fort Knox, Kentucky, in 1944, years before she was born. At the time, he was a U.S. Army private undergoing 17 weeks of tank corps training before leaving for World War II in Europe. Don’t you know Denise’s grandmother, Vallye Darringer, prized this fragile paper link even more after Jack landed at the battlefront in Normandy on D-Day plus one?
2. Gayle Newkirk of Bastrop, Texas, has fond memories of Valentine’s Day observances when she was an elementary student in Corpus Christi. Leading up to February 14, she and her classmates would decorate white boxes with construction paper hearts and doilies and then a slit was cut in the top of each one. Gayle says there was never any thought about leaving a classmate out of the exchange. On Valentine’s Day, she recalls how exciting it was to open her box and read the cards while munching on special treats. For years, Gayle kept her boxes and occasionally revisited all those sweet messages.
3. Back in the days when farmhouse back doors were never locked, Jo Lynn Petras of Mullins Prairie, Texas, came home from high school one February 14th to find a giant heart-shaped box of candy that was so big it practically covered her bed. Her new beau had been audacious enough to enter the Petras home, find her bedroom and lay that box of chocolates on her bed. Thank goodness, Jo Lynn says, she had made her bed that morning! That beau made quite an impression on the pretty high school girl.
4. And then there’s the handcrafted valentine I made for my older sister, Shirley, in 1960. It was long on love with a wide array of crayon colors, but short on correct spelling. What’s ironic is little has changed. Shirley proofreads almost everything I write and finds I’m still often challenged when it comes to spelling.
Valentine’s Day dates back to the 5th century and, at first, had nothing to do with love. It wasn’t until the 18th century that couples began to express their love with mementos such as flowers, candy and handcrafted cards. By the 19th century, valentines were mass-produced and, over time, became a fun symbol of affection and friendship that were shared by children and adults alike.
I’m glad we still celebrate Valentine’s Day. How about you?
I’d love to hear your comments – scroll down to leave yours. I’ll blog on the first and third Fridays of each month. Thank you and let’s stay in touch!
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Lovely images and stories, Elaine!!
When I was teaching elementary school, Valentine’s Day was very important to my students. A few days beforehand, as part of their art class, they made a heart-shaped envelope or decorated a Kleenex box to hold the cards they hoped to receive from their classmates. One year, I had a student who struggled in many ways, including making friends. When it was time to pass out the cards, everyone got out of their desks to give their classmates cards and little treats, except for him. He stayed at his desk watching the action….and a pile of cards grew and grew in front of him. His face lit up, his eyes shined. He was so happy. This is the one Valentine’s Day I always remember — and I believe, he does, too.
Lovely memory, Anne! I can see why it is dear to your heart.
Anne, I also taught school and it seemed that the Valentine’s party was loved more than any other. I do think it was because for just that one day, every kid felt loved!
What a treat! I so enjoy your creativity.
Thanks, Cindy! I appreciate your feedback, always.
I’m so excited as I know my dad would have been too, to be able to share his Valentine to my grandmother, his mom. I look forward to reading the blog every other Friday. Elaine, you have a way of bringing stories to life!
Thanks for sharing such this beautiful message from your Dad to your Grandmother. It tells so much about the kind of man your Dad was. We are still learning and appreciating him!
Dear Elaine, I enjoyed your musings on Valentine’s Day, especially the card you once made for Shirley and the accompanying photo! Thank you for sharing! -Deb
Thanks, Deb. Can’t you just see the six-year-old Elaine holding her crayon tightly in her little hand and coloring away? Finding that old valentine really made me laugh.
I can relate to Jo Lynn’s comment about being glad she made her bed the morning of Valentine’s Day.
You never know.
Isn’t that the truth! When I was a child living on the farm, we didn’t have a lot of company, so when we dropped a knife or spoon we always said, “Company is coming!”
This post brought back some precious memories. Happy Valentine’s Day, Elaine!
Glad this post jogged your memory! Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day to you, as well.
Howdy Elaine, I, too, like Gayle covered a box in white paper every Valentines in grade school! No less, in Corpus Christi, at St. Patrick’s Catholic school! I saved one for years that held old Valentines and cards from my youth. It was decorated with red heart shaped paper doilies.
Enjoyed your blog! Happy Valentine’s Day!
What a great memory! I had forgotten about the red heart-shaped paper doilies. They made an impression on me, too, because back in the day, there weren’t lots of elaborate Valentine’s Day decorations. Hope you come across those treasures when you open a box one day. Thanks for sharing.
What a sweet story and a beautiful picture of two special and very beautiful Aunts! Valentine’s Day was never special to me, until we had children. Every Valentine’s Day they have made me a card or picture, and I will forever hold onto those sweet and treasures items. Happy Valentines Day Auntie!❤️
Thank you, my dear niece! I can’t wait to hear how the Wright men celebrate you on Valentine’s Day.
I loved reading these stories and seeing your picture, Elaine, as a young girl. One of my favorite Valentine’s was crafted by my daughter on behalf of her dog. It was addressed “To My Family” and signed “Paw-ever yours, Sunny Boy”.
Your daughter’s witty valentine words made me smile! Thanks for sharing that memory and commenting on these valentine anecdotes in this post.
Thanks for sharing and bringing back many nice memories!
Glad you enjoyed these memories, Lemae. As a longtime teacher, I bet your mom had lots and lots of valentine stories. I wish I had jogged her memory on this subject.