Valentine reflections

I’ve been sick for one week.  I have too much to do to be sick.  My energy has been zapped by some huge suction bigger than my life.  Every time I go up to the camp to get something done, my body zones in on the couch, and next thing I know, I’m snoring.  Same thing at home.  Even the shot I got didn’t help.

After finally pulling myself out of bed this a.m., I decided to have some tea.  While the kettle was boiling, and while preparing Miah’s favorite biscuits, I heard his husky voice, tinged with his thick-tongued accent, behind me,

“Good morning, Mom.  Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Valentine heart

“Zis is for you!”

“Thank you, Miah.  That’s so beautiful!”

I fixed his breakfast and sat down with my cup of tea.  The hot liquid helped soothe my sore throat.  As I sat there staring at the worn tabletop covered in papers needing to be filed, the dogs Butch and TiDu tussled under the table, their fur warm to my feet.

Big sigh.  Where do I start with all that I have to do?  My house is a wreck, and that is no lie.  The boys’ clothes need to be sorted, inventoried, and washed in preparation for their trip to Disney next week.  I need to figure out what to do about the concrete slab.  And all I want to do is go back to bed.

I looked up and saw the UPS truck in front of my house.  What in the world?

Valentine gift

A black box.  Long and slender.

Roses and Godiva

Containing a notecard, Godiva sampler, and flowers.

Valentine Card

In the past, fresh flowers would not have been appreciated.  That’s right. It’s not that  I was ungrateful, it’s that frugality reigned supreme–if you’re going to spend that much money on a “plant”, then buy a fruit tree or something that can be planted and will grow and give back.   I know–not romantic, but practical.  That’s just how it was.

Valentine flowers

But today, I crossed a threshold.  The Captain is out on a boat working.  To get this gift here on this day took a lot of planning on his part.  And for the first time, I can appreciate both the gift and the thought.

And the effort comes at a time when I am having a hard time with recent events.  So with my tea I had one piece of Godiva chocolate, which has never crossed these lips before, and I savored it like I used to do with the Whitman’s Sampler chocolates Mother used to give us on Valentine’s Day when we were kids.  I let the pleasure wash over me and bring back fond memories of when chocolate really tasted like chocolate but didn’t have to come in gold boxes with fancy names.

It reminded me of how Daddy used to talk about going to the corner store and buying a Baby Ruth for a nickel.  I remember paying a dime for the same candy bar.  But today, when I taste those childhood chocolates, they’re not the savory sweets of yesterday–more sugar now than darkness.

Today, the richness of the Golden Godiva took me back and reminded me of Daddy telling me, Remember who you are and where you came from”.

Awash with the frustration of being taken advantage of, the worry over how to let go of the lost money,  the fretting over finding a way to get the slab redone correctly, all the while being sick, I have forgotten who I am and where I came from.

Thank you, Captain, for sending me this gift, the memories it sparked, and the reminder I so badly needed.

Maybe I can move forward now at more than a snoring snail’s pace.


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  1. Sounds like the Captain was remembering who you were and showing his appreciation for all you do. Have a wonderful Valentines day weekend. Rest and recover so you can get back to your pending matters.

  2. Ya ya ya get back at it. What’s all this mushy stuff? Get out there and find out what Bayou Fabio is du_ing?

    Well what I stopped by for was to say, Happy St Vee Day to ya’ll….

    I had a cap come loose so hoping the tooth fairy don’t come calling.

    I hear the sacaulait are biting too.

    Cheer up. PMA. You are starting to act like me again.


  3. HVD to you, Deb! Thanks. I am trying to rest and recover, as you suggest!

    And Blu, why don’t you just cut me some slack, huh? Bayou Fabio is gar fishing now with the warm spell we’ve had. Hope you don’t see the fairy either. I need to go catch some of those beauties! And I still don’t know what PMA is. And oh the chocolate is so gooooood!!! LOL!

    Dotter, I thought of you when I saw the cala lilies! It really is a beautiful boquet.

    Steffi- I made chicken/andouille gumbo this evening. It’s gonna be good tomorrow when Dotter comes down. Mmm mmm good!

  4. Those are beautiful flowers and Godiva chocolates are to die for!
    I hope you get to feelin’ better this next week.
    Have a good weekend and rest up.

  5. Money comes and goes, BW. Mostly goes. It’s a manmade hassle that I wish was never invented.

    Family is there forever and you’ve got a family to treasure. What caring sons. You must feel blessings wash over you.

    I was like you–cut flowers were wasteful; I preferred something I could plant because it made sense. Now I realize that gifts don’t have to make sense, they are a g-i-f-t. Duh. Took me most of my 57 years to learn that.

    And I remember when candy bars and Cokes were a nickel…boy, does that make me sound old!

  6. I too remember nickel Cokes and candy bars. Heck, I remember when Cokes went up to 6 cents. It seemed like I never had a penny for the machine. That’s about all I have in my wallet now. BW, I’m pretty sure you were in the nickel “time frame”. BTW, “B.F.s” go hand in hand with “power surges”. LOL

  7. Mmm mmm yes! Gumbo was yummy! And I’ve been wondering, what does “FTD” stand for? Obviously the “F” is for flowers or floral, but I can’t figure it out. Seems this is the blog for acronyms!

  8. Dotter, FTD in this case stands for Florist’s Transworld Delivery. I sure am glad I planted the Gumbo idea in BW’s brain. I hope it clears up all the illness around there. I made Turkey w/ Andouille and okra Fri. night. Leftovers in about 30 minutes!

  9. I remember scanning the ditches, backporches, etc for “empty” popbottles to return to the store, use the refund to buy a dr. pepper and a butterfinger, or a nickle bag of lays potato chips. I used to know EXACTLY how many bottles I had to find to fill my cravings or what I had to settle for. I still think the beverages taste better in the glass bottles. Thats one thing that hasnt changed!. Speaking of cravings: BW & Sisters should know what the significance of 4:00pm in Shreveport means.

    1. Oh my goodness, Deb! Heather and I were just talking about how we used to ride our bikes with coke cartons hanging on the handlebars collecting empty coke bottles. I think we used to get two cents each? And then the price went up to a nickel each? We thought we were in hog heaven. Then we’d ride to the Pak-a-Sak and get our money and buy candy bars for a dime (not a nickel!!). I think 4 p.m. is the time that Southern Maids, as Dotter said, are HOT HOT HOT, right? Man, that is a doughnut that will melt in your mouth and if you’re not careful you can eat 3 before you know it! Great memories, is right, Dotter Dear!

  10. Oooo! Can I guess? Was 4:00 the time that Southern Maid doughnuts were available hot and fresh?? Southern Maids are one of my favourite memories of my Shreveport grandpa… he’d buy them for us when we’d come to visit and stuff one in his mouth in one huge bite! Last time we were in S’port I had to take “Muzicman” to get some and prove that they are wayyyyy better than Krispy Kremes! (He promptly agreed!) Now that I think about it though, 4:00pm is a very odd time for doughnuts… Ah well, nice memories all the same.

    Steffi, thanks for the info!

  11. Yep dotter & BW, 4pm in Sport means that the Southernmaid Donuts are HOT HOT HOT!!! In bright red neon!!!! My dad would always order extra, cuz the original order never made it home…complete, LOL. I remember when the main shop was across from WKMC and they had the 2 black minor birds!! & OMG, I didnt know anyone else remembered the ol Pak-a-Sak’s!! Prior to those, we had a Fill-a-Bill, then the Pak-a-Sak, then 7-Eleven…we were getting up there then!! all before Circle K was out of diapers!!! OOOhhh my, need to go color my roots, my gray just stood straight up! Thanks for the memories ladies!!!

  12. Aww how sweet! Looks like you had a great Valentines, even if you were sick. Me…..I went to 4 basketball games. Yippee. LOL, I am glad other people had a great time though and you really deserve it after the last few weeks you’ve had! Hope you feel better today!!!

  13. You and Heather rode bikes to Pak-A-Sak?? We weren’t allowed to do that from Aunt Alice’s house. I want a BBQ pork sandwich with coleslaw on it from Cobb’s. THEN I’ll have 3 Southern Maid donuts. Yummy.

  14. Just returned from a trip to Houston where I sat beside my Dad’s sister who had a massive stroke on January 14th. No tv, no internet, no news. But many great hours of sharing with my cousin’s and my aunt.

    In 1960 Annie Miller paid me a nickel an hour to sit by her while she was typing up stories to be published in the Dixie Roto Times Pic Sunday Magazine. She paid us ten cents a pound for non-poisonous snakes and 50 cents a pound for the deadly ones. A penny a piece for chamelions. My job was to look up words in dictionary and Thesaurus. Although I felt honored to being sitting beside Annie and her typewriter, there were moments when because of a typo or decision to make the last senetence the lead…which meant ripping up the entire page and starting over. There were moments when it occurred to me that catching snakes was more lucratrive…even though I hated touching them.

    a nickel bought a coke at Louisiana Feed Store and Bayou Black school…as well as a candy bar.

    Wendy, the Valentine your Captain sent you touched my heart! And the one your son sent you.

    Hope you are feeling much better soon!

  15. I’m glad to hear your Vday presents brought back a bit of life into you. Sorry to hear that things are still on the rough side for you.

    Sam and I are in sunny FL enjoying some crystal clear, spring fed canoeing streams.

    I’m thinking about you!

  16. BW, I hope you’re feeling better. Things are still busy in West Texas tho slowing down a little. I keep reminding my man that we’re coming to see you. He wants to know if you need any electrical or electronics work done and want to trade for it. He’s good at it. Spring’s on the way!

  17. I am a wee bit late in reading this post (been a little chaotic recently), but you know, it was worth the reading, even late. I read it several times, and savored it again and again. Miah’s Valentine is so sweet, and I know reflects the simple and pure love he has for you. I loved your Captain’s gift. It was perfect, wasn’t it? A little decadent, and hugely romantic. And encouraging that he was thinking and planning ahead for the day to celebrate you and your love for each other.

    And you know, I am so proud of you for just accepting the gift in the spirit it was given. I know that has been hard for you in the past with the thrifty mindset.

    A truly lovely and inspiring post, BW…honestly!

    Love you!