My sweetie surprised me with roses for Valentine’s Day. Yellow roses.
Red roses are common for the day. But yellow roses are our special roses.
After his heart attack many moons ago, I brought a yellow rose to the hospital every day. We lived in Connecticut and finding a yellow rose wasn’t easy. But, not any old red rose would work, it had to be a yellow.
I was his rosebud from Texas, and the only girl for him.
By the first anniversary of the heart attack we were back in Texas. I sent a dozen yellow roses to his office. Imagine his co-workers’ surprise when they learned the anniversary they celebrated.
My yellow roses for Valentine’s Day were a surprise. Double special with their sweet history.
If you’re not familiar with the song have a listen.
And, you can read about the historical Yellow Rose of Texas here.
Some of us will remember when February had holidays for only two presidents—George Washington on February 22 and Abraham Lincoln on February 16.Their actual birthdays.
These days we pay tribute to all presidents on one day in February.
To honor the two presidents with birthdays this month I’m sharing the stories of their marriages.
Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln
“My wife was as handsome as when she was a girl,” Lincoln once told a reporter. “And I, poor nobody then, fell in love with her, and what is more, have never fallen out.”
Mary Todd, the daughter of a successful merchant and politician, attracted the attention of up-and-coming politician and lawyer Abraham Lincoln. They shared a love of politics and literature and a deep love for each other. Unfortunately, her family did not approve of the match.
When he won his Congressional seat in 1846, she followed him to Washington. Something unheard of at the time.
George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis Washington
The romance of George and Martha was not a passionate romance by today’s standards. In the eighteenth century marriages were made to ease circumstances and build a good life.
She was the wealthiest widow in Virginia, with a 17,500 acre estate to manage and two very young children when they first met. He was a general who had just retired and needed a job. At the time of their engagement, they merely liked each other a great deal.
Eight months into his marriage, George wrote, “I am now I beleive fixd at this Seat with an agreable Consort for Life and hope to find more happiness in retirement than I ever experienced amidst a wide and busthng World.”
George and Martha chose their partners wisely, perhaps more than they realized at the time. According to historians, the couple shared forty years together during which they grew to love each other with true devotion.
In February thoughts turn to love in a special way. Personally, I think love is meant to be shared year-round, but there is just something about this month that causes us to focus our thoughts on LOVE.
Years ago I created a series of graphics for my Wednesday blog quotes in February. This has been the most popular.
About the quote
The full quote reads:
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
Shakespeare’s words are said to explain Cupid:
winged because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds
boyish because love is irrational
carrying an arrow and torch “because love wounds and inflames the heart.”
blind or blindfolded because, while the sight of the beloved can spur love, it’s also arbitrary
I never paid much attention to Cupid until I read Shakespeare’s words. Now I see how Cupid symbolizes of love.
Christmas is long gone. January 2020 is fading fast, finally. Why is it January seems ten times longer than the rest of the months? But I digress.
A former schoolteacher, I love decorating for holidays. I guess it’s a holdover from all those bulletin boards I had to do. I have boxes for Valentine’s, St. Patrick Day, Texas Independence Day, 4th of July, and, since I live in Texas again, boxes of Fall décor. Then comes Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and there are several boxes of those.
Anyway, I’m getting out my February decorations box for Valentine’s Day and what do I find? Leftover Christmas.
I’m surprised guests who’ve been to the house didn’t notice.
Maybe not the counted cross stitch Merry Christmas heart, but the guest hand towels were pretty obviously leftovers. I guess they pretended not to notice.
I appreciate the kindness.
The leftover discovery was really disconcerting. I believed I had all Christmas tucked away by Epiphany. That’s January 6, my yearly goal though it doesn’t always happen. Oblivious.
This year I honestly thought I’d aced the put away Christmas. Then this discovery.
I’d feel badly except I still see Christmas clearance items in stores next to Valentine’s Day merchandise. Unlike those retail stores who will hang onto leftover Christmas until it’s reduced to practically free, I’ve stuffed my two little leftovers in their boxes to come out again next Christmas.
The picture was taken by my photographer daughter on Christmas Eve many years ago. The two grandsons are almost grown now. One in college, the other a senior. Fine young men who exhibited their loving hearts early as you see in the picture of them sharing cookies from the treat table.
About the quote
Dale Evans, Queen of the West and my childhood idol, passed away in 2001. These two grandsons didn’t even know her or that she sparked my young girl longing to be a rodeo barrel racer. I did frequently sing “Happy Trails to You” and “The Bible Tells Me So,” though. Evans wrote both songs. Her quote is a great thought for this holiday season.
This will be my last blog post for 2019 before we head to our holiday break. May your holidays be filled love. See you in 2020.
The Coca Cola Santa – sleigh driving, gift-giving, plump with a white beard and distinctive red suit trimmed with white fur and sipping a Coca-Cola – created by illustrator Haddon Sundblom for their advertising campaigns of the 1930s and 40 may be the Santa most of us recall when we think of Santa Claus.
But Santa’s image was not always of a red suited, jolly man. That image morphed through a variety of different looks.
He was first St. Nicholas, celebrated on December 6th.
In his Dutch form he’s Sinterklaas. That figure made its way across the Atlantic in the early 19th century and the Americanization of Santa Claus began.
The Victorians’ Father Christmas was the emblem of ‘good cheer.’ His appearance was varied. One famous image was an illustration from “A Christmas Carol.”
Thomas Nast’s illustrations immortalized Santa Claus into his current look. This is his “Merry Old Santa Claus” published in the January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly. Nast is also credited with incorporating the North Pole, Santa’s workshop, and the big book with names of children noting naughty or nice.
Norman Rockwell further the evolution with his many Santa themed covers for the Saturday Evening Post.
For me, my Santa is the red suited man in the Coca Cola ads.
This two minute video explains how he became most people’s Santa.
This meme was created by Edie Melson. She is a fellow member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an outstanding photographer, as you can see, and one of the most generous, loving individuals I know. She posts memes on her blog for others to share and use. This is one of my holiday favorites.
About the quote
I’m not sure who the Charlotte Carpenter of the quote is. Sir Walter Scott’s wife and a UK singer came up with a Google search. I’m going with Charlotte Carpenter, wife of Sir Walter. What do you think?
Whichever one said it, it’s great advice for this time of year as we hustle and bustle shopping for the perfect gifts in anticipation of Christmas Day, don’t you think?
That means hearing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and Christmas hymns like “Carol of the Bells.” Don’t get me wrong I love Christmas songs—in December. I love Christmas hymns year round and wish we sang those more throughout the year.
But Christmas songs? We’ve been hearing them now for two months.
Hallmark Christmas movies started in October too. Granted most were reruns of older movies, but I was slow to Christmas movies bandwagon and many have been new-to-me. But I’m getting kinda sick of Christmas movies too.
I sense others may share my feelings and be on the verge of Christmas overload with three weeks still to go.
For December blogs, I’m not doing tradition Christmas topics. I’m going to talk blog statistics for 2019 instead.
I’m a cynic about statistics because numbers can be manipulated. Think about it margins of error are rarely disclosed and those margins can change the stated statistical results.
So why am I talking about statistics? WordPress.com offers statistical data about our blogs and looking at that data helps me determine the course of my blog for the next year.
I learn some interesting things. July and August had the most blog views and March was a close third. November doubled the views for all three months.
Curious, I checked to see which November blogs received the most views in those months. Overwhelmingly, Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day received the most views.
The topic: “Irish Blessing for Thanksgiving.” I offer that Thanksgiving blessing every year. I guess this year more folks wanted an Irish blessing for their turkey.