I can’t believe it’s the second week of February. Mother Nature is either pulling a cruel trick on us Idahoans and we are about to be dumped on with snow… OR …we are having the most mild and warm winter I think I ever remember having! It’s no matter because whether it’s warm, or cold, I don’t think the temperature will ever stop me from enjoying Valentine’s Day! I don’t love Valentine’s Day because of things I’ve received; I love Valentine’s Day because I love…LOVE! …And believe you me; I know what REAL love looks like!
My parents shared fifty-one years of marriage together. They enjoyed the first year of firsts and made the adjustments necessary to compromise and forgiveness that allowed them to get through the many accompanying years of compromise and forgiveness! They made it through the years of successfully raising eight children: the scheduling, financial coordinating, and task of trying to keep a united front in the face of possible mutiny! My Mom and Dad loved each other in their finest of form and later recognized the beauty of fine lines and grey hair! They experienced the financial success that comes with hard work and dedication…then stood shoulder to shoulder while they lost it all. They built beautiful houses with surrounding barns and wood working shops…and together watched in disbelief as flames consumed the shop they knew they’d never have again. Through the ups, and the downs, my Mom and Dad battled against contemporary odds and loved each other, in spite of the fact that things were not ALWAYS…perfect.
Reflecting on my parents time together, and the REAL love they shared, reminds me of the lyrics of one of my favorite little love songs, “Endearing young charms.” Written by Thomas Moore in an attempt to remind his wife that no matter what happened in life, or in their personal circumstance, he would love her forever! Due to the disfiguring effects that smallpox left to her skin, Thomas Moore's wife refused to let herself be seen by anyone, even her husband, because she believed no one could love her after they viewed her badly scarred face and skin. Despairing at her confinement, Moore composed the lyrics of this song to reassure her that he would always love her regardless of her situation OR appearance. He later wrote that after hearing him sing this song to her from outside her bedroom door, she finally allowed him inside and fell into his arms, her confidence restored. The Moore’s, just like my parents, knew what REAL love looks like…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
“Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Were to change by to-morrow and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will;
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.
It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear.
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close
As the sunflower turns on her God when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose.”
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