Forget love—I’d rather fall in chocolate!
[Sandra J. Dykes]

Valentine dollI have recycled some of this post from 2007 and 2009, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about my loved ones. When a person lives in solitude, she sometimes feels like the kid, in the back row in the third grade, who looked in his shoe box and found an old eraser instead of Valentines. Not this year. I’m thinking I might get chocolate. Last week, I joked with my friends at the cafe that I needed to find a sweetheart by Monday since I was in dire need of good chocolate. One called last night to make sure I’d be there for dinner tonight. That can only mean chocolate, right? Nobody can accuse me of being a gold digger, but I’m might just be a chocolate digger.

This paper doll was my mother’s and is more than a hundred years old. The doll always reminded me of a Valentine. She has other dresses and hats, but this one fits today’s weather.

It is an odd thing that Valentine’s Day always makes me think of Mama and Aunt Esther instead of the men who have populated my life. Colored paper and scissors were all those women needed to capture my imagination. They cut out paper hearts and wove them magically together into cards. We made dozens over the years — all different sizes with a variety of weaving patterns.

And to the gentlemen who sent me dear and loving thoughts, thank you for looking past the silver hair and sagging chin to see the young woman who still abides within.

P.S. (on February 15th) I did indeed receive chocolates from my dear friend Rufus. He, our friend Ron and I shared dinner time at the cafe last night and laughed about our favorite comedies. Laughing with friends is almost as good as chocolate.