Happy Valentine’s Day to our readers, friends, family…Have a lovely day!…

Photo of us in January 2018 while we were in Buenos Aires, Argentina, only days before we left for Antarctica.

We started our day lounging in bed, laughing, talking, and reminiscing. We have so many unforgettable memories over the past 12  Valentine’s Days we’ve celebrated since we began traveling the world.

The Valentine’s Days before traveling are but a blur of memories that all jumbled together in our minds; I recall baking a heart-shaped cake each year using a heart-shaped pan I purchased at a yard sale for $1 over 40 years ago. I always gave Tom some romantic-type gift, and he always appeared with a bouquet of flowers and a sweet card.

We were never disappointed, and when his work schedule allowed us to be together, we often went out to dinner at a fine restaurant, or, on a few occasions, I made a gourmet-type dinner to enjoy at home. Once we began traveling the world in October 2012, we both agreed to forego buying gifts and cards for one another. In many countries, there weren’t readily available shops with cards and gifts and…they took up room in our luggage.

Neither of us has ever been disappointed not to receive cards and gifts from one another. Instead, we made the special day all the more special in one way or another.

On this date, February 14, 2014, I wrote the following post found here. For today, I decided to repost some of the text from that day’s post, since ten years ago seems to have added significance. I wrote the following:

“So, today, I give this online card to my husband, lover, friend, and traveling companion. I offer these words, which is all I can give as we carry on with our travels. This will make sense for our readers who have followed along with us. For new readers, some of my corny poem may be confusing.

How We Share Our Love

Romantic notions, views of oceans, is how we share our love
Birds singing, church bells ringing, is how we share our love
Ships that sail, a stormy gale, is how we share our love
Security checks, broken steps is how we share our love

Power’s out, endless doubt, is how we share our love
Centipedes, constant needs, is how we share our love
Guards with guns, your silly puns, is how we share our love
Gluten free, a sight to see, is how we share our love

A flight delay, a humid day, is how we share our love
A lion roaring, a movie boring, is how we share our love
Outdoor living, kindness giving, is how we share our love
Broken PC, doesn’t blame me, is how we share our love

WiFi trouble, fees are double, is how we share our love
Memory making, pleasure taking, is how we share our love
Our stuff is gone, we continue on, is how we share our love
We don’t know when, it will ever end, is how we share our love

Happy Valentine’s Day to my love, our family, old and new friends, and all of you.”

Photo from ten years ago today, February 14, 2014:

Honey, if I can’t make your favorite butterscotch pie for Valentine’s Day to celebrate, I present you with this photo of one that I had made many moons ago when we ate sugar and flour. For more, please click here.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our family, readers/friends…

Not us, but indicative of world travel. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our family, readers/friends.

It’s that lovely, romantic, seemingly Hallmark card-generated holiday of Valentine’s Day. This special day of observing love began in the 14th century, as follows from this site:

“Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across the United States and other places worldwide, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the meaning and history of Valentine’s Day, from the ancient Roman ritual of Lupercalia that welcomed spring to the card-giving customs of Victorian England.

Saint Valentine, according to some sources, is two distinct historical characters who were said to have healed a child while imprisoned and executed by decapitation.

Saint Valentine, who according to some sources is actually two distinct historical characters who were said to have healed a child while imprisoned and executed by decapitation.
Fototeca Gilardi/Getty Images

Where did Valentine’s Day originate from? The history of the holiday—and the story of its patron saint—is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still, others insist that Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting after he fell in love with a young girl—possibly his jailor’s daughter—who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and—most importantly—romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.”

We thought the rain may have ended, but it rained off and on all night, and then, this morning, when Tom left for his haircut, an indescribable downpour practically shook the house. I was awake several times during the night listening to the rain and overslept this morning, awakening only after Tom had left.

I bolted out of bed, wondering if we could get to Komatipoort today to go grocery shopping. We haven’t done so in almost two weeks, and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is looking quite bare. We’ve decided that as soon as I was done with this post, we could head out. But, with the sun shining, it might be a good time to go. So we are off and will return in a few hours, hoping to be able to get there with the roads open.

What are we doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Nothing special. We’re staying home for a nice dinner and evening on the veranda. Hopefully, many animals will come to visit, but with all this rain, the vegetation is lush, and they’re happily enjoying Mother Nature’s bounty.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate, and for those who don’t, may you have another day of love.

Photo from one year ago today, February 14, 2022:

2015: Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

This parent and chick sit close to one another until the chick becomes more confident, and the parents feel more at ease. In time, the chick will likely be left behind on its own in June or July. Although Cathy, the docent from the Las Angeles Zoo, explained that on occasion, a fledgling won’t leave the nest until August, at which time she can go on her vacation. She won’t leave until they have all left the area, and her job of overseeing them for the years is over until next November when many will return to the sea. See the post here. For the year-ago post, please click here.