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Saturday, January 26, 2013

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day

My husband and I have always found any excuse to celebrate our love. Lovers look forward to Valentine's Day like football fans look forward to the Super Bowl when their team plays in it. They see it as the acknowledged celebration of love. Everett and I have celebrated nearly 60 Valentine's days together so we might legitimately qualify as experts on what feels romantic and what doesn't.

We don't go out to dinner. Many years ago we learned that lesson. Our favorite restaurant had a cozy dining room and tasty soul satisfying food. We made a reservation two or three weeks before Feb. 14th and looked forward to our romantic dinner for two. Imagine the let-down when we arrived to find the parking lot full and a line of people waiting to be seated. The bar had been turned into a dormitory style dining room with tables pushed together and couples seated next to strangers with a challenge to mingle. Service was exceptionally slow. Disgruntled diners surrounded us.

One of my friends shared they go out to dinner before or after Valentine's Day. On Feb. 14th they make valentines for each other and do something together they haven't done for awhile. It might be hot potato soup and a movie or a drive to nearby mountains.

A day set aside for love can provide all kinds of opportunities that most couple can't seem to fit into their busy every day schedules. Here are a few suggestions. Light candles and put on soft music and reminisce about special times you have spent together or warm memories from your childhood. If you are older, drag out family movies or photo albums. If you have young children, spend the evening making valentines for each other. Spend some time brainstorming romantic ideas. Even that can be fun..

Do hang on to something that has become a tradition if it guarantees a jump start to romantic feelings. For the past few years Everett has gone to a fish market to buy fresh clams. He learned how to steam them in a delicious sauce. I set up the table with fresh flowers, candles, a special table cloth and dishes. We chill a bottle of champagne and fill two glasses. We bought the glasses two at a time every anniversary until we had eight. We had to drive to an interesting gold era town, Nevada City, to get them. Lots of memories fuel the romantic feelings. Everett is retired and I am still working so this celebration fits nicely. The disappointing dinner has become one of our favorite stories. We laugh when we remember our mutual let-down feelings. Clams and garlic bread may not work for you, but find what does and Valentine's Day will become a day to remember.

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