Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Pat’s Bits and Pieces: A Day at the Office

Well February over a week old already. Only 19 more days to go…
I haven’t had time to complain about my least favorite month much though. I’ve been pretty sick with a reaction to an antibiotic.
One more allergic reaction to add to what seems like a never-ending list…
So, I haven’t even been able to get outside to enjoy this week’s “January thaw” or should I say “false spring.” I do love seeing the sunshine though.
Instead, I have been going through boxes of Kleenex and living on broth mostly, with Jack encouraging me to eat, eat, eat.
I have been enjoying the view from my recliner, eating crackers and watching old TV shows – that’s when I’m not sleeping.
Not getting much of that at night, so I tend to doze off during the day.
We do have a few fun things going around the area to take our minds off the fact that winter can’t possibly be over.
Harrison’s answer to the “winter blues” is going on this week, with the famous Pub Crawl tonight and tomorrow being the big day for the annual “Magical” Frostbite Winter Festival. It doesn’t look like Harrison’s City Park will have much snow for snowman toss or golf on the snow, which seems to have gone missing.
I’m sure that loads of fun events will still be happening at the Harrison City Park. Theres the Polar slide into icy water (fun), Chicken and Turkey Bowling, Plinko, Tic Tac Toe, and refreshments -Hot Chocolate and Food Trucks.
Snow or no snow, the Frostbite Festival is always FUN!
One big plus this month is Valentine’s Day.
It’s only five days away and one of my favorite holidays. I have always loved the fun of this “sweet holiday.”
I was nearly 19 before I got my first heart-shaped box of chocolates from a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. I was totally thrilled.
Of course, I got loads of elementary school style “Valentines” (which were required – one for each of the kids in your class whether you liked them or not) from classmates from Kindergarten days until we all outgrew that phase in Middle School when the boys rebelled and usually substituted snarky and sometimes insulting poetic sentiments.
Do they even still do that Valentine exchange in Elementary Schools?
I also remember those little candy hearts with the sayings on them… “Be Mine, Kiss Me, Cutie Pie” and more. They are still around although it might be hard to find them. I’m told.
These days I’m happy with a sentimental card or, occasionally, flowers to celebrate that sweet holiday in mid-winter, and BTW, Jack still is my favorite Valentine…
Did you know, Valentine’s Day is the fifth largest spending event in the United States, after the winter holidays and Mother’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF)?
St. Valentine’s Day became much sweeter when Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized it in their work, with it gaining popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became tokens of love during the Middle Ages.
By the mid-19th century, February 14 had become the day in Britain on which people expressed their affection by exchanging lavish cards decorated with lace, ribbons and plump, bow-and-arrow-wielding Cupids.
Eventually, the tradition made its way to the New World. Factory-made cards showed up in the 19th century and by 1913 Hallmark Cards began mass producing valentines.
From at least the time of the Aztecs, chocolate has been seen as an aphrodisiac, but it came into the Valentine’s Day traditions when a chocolate drink was said to have been served at a banquet during Cortéz´s conquest of Mexico and then taken back to Europe, where, In 1847, the British chocolate maker J.S. Fry & Sons produced the first modern-day chocolate bar.
The heart-shaped box of chocolates is credited to Cadbury, who in 1868 reportedly created a fancy box in the shape of a heart for the romantic holiday. Once the chocolates had been eaten, the boxes were deeply prized by sentimental Victorians, who stored love letters, lockets of hair, and other treasured mementos inside.

Leave a Reply