Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine's Day is now

The sun comes out, the day sparkles!

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I don't care what's underneath that beautiful white blanket! (Hint: it rhymes with nice.) At the moment, that stuff's hidden. We crunch along paths of snow.

When we have a large snowfall (it does not happen very often), everything looks lovely the next day. Each tree looks regal and splendidly bedecked. (Most would agree that the tall pines look most regal and splendid of them all.)

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With sunlight come the lovely blue shadows. Blue skies, blue shadows, yellow farmhouse: perfection!

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(Morning visit with the cat and her kittens.)

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Breakfast. Pink is fitting for this day.

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Why? Well, call it Valentine's Day for me!

How so?

Perhaps you remember sweetheart celebrations that I have dragged Ed through in years gone by. They were very nice, very sweet. They involved coaxing him to a card stand, typically conveniently positioned in a chocolate shop where he would buy chocolates, though I would be there walking him through the ritual and of course, we'd share the sweet candies afterwards.

But a few days back, I mentioned to him that someone we knew had just had a massage. I must have seemed wistful because Ed asked -- do you want a massage?

A Valentine's Day gift was born!

I hadn't had one in a dozen years. They're beastly expensive and when I do the calculation, it always seems that the benefit is too short lived to be worth the cost. Still, this winter, I have had my share of sore backs,  wrecked knees and who knows what else. On a February day, a whole body massage seems heavenly.

I pick everything carefully, spending hours on selecting the place, the person, the type of massage and perhaps most importantly -- the date for it. The massage would have to be at a time when the afterglow can stay with me. A stress free day. One when I can take lots of little breaks and remind myself how wonderful I feel (after the massage).

I chose today.  I selected a hot stone massage and no, they don't just take hot rocks and throw them at you! You get your massage and incorporated into it is a working of heated flat stones across your body, allowing them to kneed you before being placed in key spots where their warmth feels especially welcome.

I did not just go for my massage: I prepared for it. I did yoga beforehand. I savored my breakfast, and then I tried hard not to rush to the studio. All morning long I moved with care, with anticipation.

And it was an incredible hour! The sense of physical well being during a massage is so complete that you truly believe every muscle in your body is revitalized and ready to spring back into action.

I wonder if wealthy people who have massages on a regular basis continue to appreciate the wonderfulness of the experience. Possibly it becomes just a thing to check off, like drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. But for me, that hot rock hour was otherworldly!

Happy Valentine's Day to you, too, Ed!

In the afternoon, I pick up Snowdrop. That is, I appear at her school on time, ready to take her to the farmhouse. But she is in the middle of an art project. She needs the little bits of paper, carefully colored and cut up to be safely tucked into an envelope created by her, or rather by us, because she can't quite get the envelope to emerge out of scant pieces of paper.

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Many, many minutes later we head out into the cold. At least I think it's cold.

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Today, we are a little in a hurry. Still, you surely can't help but love the utter prettiness of the landscape as you crunch along (to warmer spaces).

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A quick play, read, snack...

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And then it's time for ballet.

Snowdrop does love going to class, though without question, it is the "story" part of "storybook ballet" that most excites her.

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She'll do the dance positions, the steps, the moves.

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But it is the reading of the day's story and the dance that follows that really draw out her inner joy.

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Happy child, relaxed grandma, beautiful snow scapes, warm farmhouse. What else does one need to make a February day shine?!


(Here's why you should not put away your holiday lights after the holidays: their color on a snowy landscape is magical!)

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