Tuesday, February 15, 2011


It wasn’t very extravagant this year, seeing as our past whole week has been disrupted. Having one foot in a cast, I’m unable to be very useful about much, and Sue has been busy doing all the cooking, cleaning, and cat boxes. And much, much more.

But at this point I’m fairly comfortable with my new/old handicap, able to get around okay, able to take care of myself, as long as it doesn’t involve carrying things around or standing up for more than about ten minutes at a time.

But there was no time for shopping for or making cards, or even for hitting the grocery store for special delectable foodstuffs for a “special evening.” And it’s not like I can drive myself anywhere.

But then, it’s amazing what you can do with the stuff in the fridge. Look what Sue made me for breakfast! I had asked for toast.

As she prepared it, she kept calling to me, from the kitchen, asking if I didn’t want any strawberry jelly or anything; “No,” I replied, “just some ‘I Can’t Believe’ is fine.”

In the afternoon, my folks came over, and look at the pumpkin bread they brought us!

Isn’t that nice? (And yum!)

Uncle Richard and Aunt Carole joined us all for lunch, and they brought us some candy and a rose. My only regret is that I couldn't reciprocate, except with a smile and heartfelt gratitude for their thoughtfulness.

Sue’s and my usual Valentine’s treat usually begins on Halloween night, when we stuff all the mini Hershey’s chocolate bars leftover from trick-or-treaters into the freezer. There, we forget about them until Valentine’s Day, when we break them into small pieces and heat them gently (as in a double boiler) and stir in some half-and-half, to make a chocolate fondue for strawberries, bananas, pieces of cake or plain cookies, or whatever. (Hey, that pumpkin bread!)

We’re quite proud of our brilliant idea! Alas, we didn’t have any half-and-half last night, and we weren’t about to drive to a grocery store just for that. But Sue stirred in a little Cointreau, and that thinned it a bit. (Well, not like it was going to sit around for long.)

We also had a bottle of sparkling Catawba grape juice, which we shared—I know Sue would have preferred actual champagne, but she was kind enough to share with my non-alcoholedness—so we sipped that sweet pink liquid out of some beautiful little goblets that had been Grandma’s. Indeed, these were the same glasses we’d used ten years ago on a Valentine’s evening spent at this house, while we were considering buying it.

The only thing to complete our little at-home date night was a movie—and Hulu to the rescue! We found the movie Charade (1963, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, filmed in Paris) on Hulu for free, and naturally that was incredibly romantic and thrilling. We saw some places in that movie, including the American Express office, where we had been when we were in Paris in 2006.

So there you go. Ten years into this homeownership, and a second broken foot, another fondue of melted Halloween chocolate with strawberries and a fun movie, and seventeen years together. Not the most extravagant Valentine’s we’ve ever had . . . but indeed, it was one of the sweetest.

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