Snow day …
My husband Dave and I traditionally celebrate Valentine’s Day by spending a day at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 2015, a winter storm made the roads nearly impassable, completely ruining our plans. It ended up being one of my favorite Valentine’s. Instead of hopping on the highway, we crawled the car a few blocks through a snow squall to Angel Falls Coffee Co. in Akron, the site of our first date and where Dave had proposed the summer before. We spent the afternoon drinking hot chocolate while Dave tried (in vain) to teach me how to play chess. We decided to keep our dinner reservations in downtown Akron and made the treacherous two-mile drive on icy roads. We arrived to find the place almost empty—nearly ever other reservation had canceled. We had a private, romantic dinner as the snow swirled outside.
Theater performance …
One of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories was getting to perform in a musical that was part of a dinner-and-a-show package at Glenmoor Country Club. I got to spend the evening with people I loved doing something I loved—and, as an added bonus, I didn’t have to worry about finding a date. After the show ended, the chef had a special dinner set up for us performers in another room. It was a really fun night.
Childhood card …
My favorite memory of Valentine’s Day is hanging on the front of my family’s refrigerator when I was a child.
Years after I last brought to my mom a classroom-made Valentine’s Day card, it still hangs beneath a magnet in my mind. It hangs above a similarly crudely crafted card made by my brother, if during my recollection I can move mine up when he isn’t looking.
Perhaps the card is one of the first I ever made, drawing the outline of a heart on a piece of paper with a red crayon, folding it over and then printing loving words on the inside. Or, maybe it is a card from later in my childhood, with red paper actually cut to the shape of a heart and the sensitive words inside written in cursive, which somehow seems more heartfelt.
Whatever the technique or the time in my life when the card was made, it was constructed years ago. And yet I still can see it in my mind. I can see it hanging below my brother’s now, instead of above it. Obviously, he got to them while I was telling you about them. This sort of competition for a mother’s affection can happen when you share a memory. Pardon me while I switch mine back to the top.