A Meaningful Valentine.

It is a beautiful Saturday morning. And unique its own way. Amy lays in an Ivory color sofa in the living room with Charlotte Bronte’s novel ‘The Professor’. She is amused with the delightful descriptive plots of the secret love  between prof. william Crimsworth and his pupil lady Frances. Amy is fascinated by Bronte’s first novel displaying her supreme creative imagination.Then the chirps of the birds, the  buzzing sound of the lawn more, harmonic play barks of the neighbor’s dog distracts Amy’s attention. Amy drops the book on the end table and walks lazily across the room and stands by the large bay window. She lifts her eye to the sky and sees the beautiful  golden sunbeams that trickle through the branches and  dazzle on the grass. All the tree branches and the brown grass laced with sparkling,glittering frost. Today she notices hearts everywhere; big heart shape red and pink balloons in front of the neighbor’s door, a flower delivery person with beautiful red roses in a heart-shape vase standing close to someone’s front door, and, even some dogs have cute pink and red heart bows and collars on them. ‘Hmm, so today must be the valentines day’ Amy says adjusting her long soft black hair in a pigtail and, walks into the kitchen.

There on the counter top she notices  a pink envelope with her name on the top in big letters. Curiously she reaches out, opens the top flap of the card. ‘wow such a pretty card,’ says Amy.The greeting card is white with hand painted  soft pink flowers on the two sides, and inside in a big heart shape picture of a red balloon and in the middle it says in blue ink ‘Thank You, Grateful and Love.’ Those are  only three words, not a romantic poem or quote,  but those words hold very special meaning for Amy. Joy flashes in her heart , with a big smile she looks around  for Paul.

 Amy did not find Paul inside the house. So she walks on the Golden Teak hardwood floor of the kitchen and peeks through a glass window in one corner of the kitchen.’May be he is in the backyard’,says Amy and decides to make Paul happy with his favorite tea. Amy stands near the counter, cups her chin in one hand and trails her fingers on the card and thinks, It has been so amazing thirty-three years of marriage. She remembers the wonderful  romantic first years of marriage with dinners, gifts, movies. Quickly they got bored with these  artificial, meaningless material things.They wanted to live a  more meaningful life. Afterwards there was not  any gift exchange. Amy and  Paul both are in favor of a simpler life style. They sit in their living room on their favorite sofa  close to each other.Paul reads to Amy a few interesting articles from the newspaper and Amy recites to him her favorite poems of William Blake, Lord Byron, John Keats and William Words worth. Some days  after  a busy work Amy chooses to play light  classical musics as Beethoven’s Sonata in B major, Lestoreadars, on Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini on piano in the cozy living room while, Paul closes his eyes softly and listens to the music leaning on the couch. On other days they sit in front of the fire-place with warm mulled cider in big mugs and talk about their children, parents, friends. In one valentine’s day  both decided to make their Valentine’s day more colorful and fulfilling by doing something special . Amy is not that a good cook but she tries her best to  bake delicious  cookies , cup cakes and to create hand-made  greeting cards. And Paul has been helping her in delivering them to the homeless center and  in the community senior care home, to charity events , just to bring smile on their faces.

 Amy wanders across the room to the big glass window,slightly leans against and looks outside. She notices Paul with a Blue shirt and jean pant with few of the neighbor’s kids in the yard. Paul loves small children. He teaches some baseball tricks to the kids. Even their eight years old German Sheppard runs around after them wagging her long tail with soft barks. Amy held her chin between her finger and thumb and thinks, I am so thankful of having Paul in my life. He is perfect with his sense of humor, intelligence, compassion and love. Amy smiles.

Amy makes two cups of ginger tea with a hint of honey and cardamom, pours into her favorite two white fine china tea cups which are decorated with deep pink small hearts in one corner. She pulls out a pretty white tray and arranges the cups and in another plate two Blueberry ricotta pancakes with two forks on one side. Amy twists the polished brass knob, opens the back door and walks into the porch. After the kids left, Paul sits on a hand-woven, Tawney wicker in the yard and the dog sits close with a ball in her mouth.

“Thank you for the pretty card”, says Amy and hugs Paul  with one hand holding the tray on the other hand.

” You are welcome. I am glad that you like the card because from last two days I am trying my best to draw the pictures”, he says with a smile, tipping his head back slightly. Then Paul leans close to Amy and says softly” today you look more lovely”. Amy blushes.

She slides down on the wicker with Paul with the tea-cup, raises the cup savoring the aroma with each sip. Her dog lifts her head, looks at Amy with her brown eyes and makes a plaintive yelp wagging her tail.  She stretches her paw and moves closer to Amy. Amy scratches her around the ears to show her affection and she likes that. She puts her front paw on Amy’s feet rests her head.  Three of them sit there  enjoying the beautiful deep pink and white Camellia flowers, Red-Orange unusually fragrant Cinnamon Cindy in one side of the yard and the double Yellow and Red prince Hellebore flowers in the other corner. Amy leans against Paul and listens to the melodious  voice of the Long-billed Thrasher and of Black- crested Titmouse birds on their trees.

In the afternoon, Amy decides to bakes Valentine sandwich cookies: Engaging heart cookies with half white and half chocolate frosting, and lots of chocolate filled peppermint heart cookies with pink frosting.She leans against the dining table and flips through her baking recipes, then she remembers how last year some of the ladies enjoyed her special cupcakes. Amy walks into the pantry and pulls out all the ingredients. She bakes vanilla cupcake with Maraschino Butter cream and,Red velvet cupcakes with  cream cheese frosting. Then Amy carefully arranges the lollipop sticks on the cupcakes as the cupid arrow to give a special touch. The scent of the cup cakes travels across the kitchen in soft, heavy waves filling all the spaces with whispers of the kitchen. Amy turns her head to see both Paul and her dog at the kitchen entrance. Both want to taste the cupcakes. She takes out her blue apron, bends down and gives one peanut butter cupcake with yogurt topping to her dog. Amy opens the cupboard and brings out a small  white porcelain carved with deep blue vines on the sides and gives a chocolate filled peppermint cookie to Paul.Paul helps Amy in carrying them to the car and to the Senior care center. From there they drive to the ‘Star Of Hope’ to help their for few hours. Paul knows how Amy loves long walks so in the evening they go for a walk in the trail with their dog enjoying each precious moments in a beautiful Valentine’s day. All three of them are happy, thankful and grateful in each other’s company.

“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.“- Jennifer Smith.

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