Friday, February 14, 2014

My Valentine Box...by Mary Hazlett

I have been thinking about Valentine's Day... and what I remembered most about it.  I can't say that I remember much about romantic escapades, chocolate, or roses (this is only because my husband dotes on me weekly), but I do remember making Valentine boxes for grade school.

Oh, remember those grade school Valentine parties?  Do you remember making sure that you got the right Valentine to the boy or girl you thought was cute? (Probably something like, "I like Moo", or "You are Gr-8".)  Valentine's day was always fun for me.  I enjoyed the sour candies and the making of my Valentine boxes.

My mom was also a very key part to the making of the boxes.  She was the one that came up with the most exciting and creative ideas. Sure, I made the usual shoe box covered with construction paper and hearts, but then Mom added a strand of pink blinking lights and...Viola!  MAGIC!  Especially my fifth grade year in Mrs. Judy's class... AMAZING, AWESOME, SPECTACULAR are the only words to describe my Valentine box that year.

The fall of my fifth grade year, my mom and the kids, experimented with some super starchy recipe for cheesecloth ghosts.  We mixed up this concoction of corn starch, baking soda, and a few other ingredients I cannot remember... and dipped the cheesecloth in it and then draped it over some balloons.  In the morning the cheesecloth was stiff enough to stand up on its own.  Looked very Martha Stewarty!  So, with this in mind, Mom and I decided to starch a pair of long johns for my Valentine box.


The long johns were bright red in color and kid size.  I first stuffed the legs with newspaper, which Mom helped to shape...let's just say mine looked like elephant legs. Then we blew up balloons and put them in the bum of the pants and sponged on the starchy recipe and waited... In the morning the long johns were stiff enough to pound in nail and looked quite realistic.  So the balloons were popped and removed and then a trap door was cut in the bum.  We affixed a small ribbon handle to open the door for the Valentines to be deposited.  Then came the final touches of felt hearts, tube socks, and my bright pink high-tops (after all it was the 80's).

My Valentine box was the hit of the school.  I am truly not exaggerating, because my Valentine long johns box was featured on Channel 3 News that evening.  It might have only been like a five second clip of it, but I was famous.  I only wished I would have kept it!  Oh, well... Hope you Valentine's Day is out of this World!

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