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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine, Valentine

My mom was the queen of construction paper cut-outs. In fact, it's a craft I inherited from her at a young age.

I remember these posters she made for the kitchen at our church when I was little. Basically a reminder to wash and put away all dishes, and another reminder not to leave food in the refrigerator. She'd made little rhymes for each, and cut-out "graphics" of plates and glasses on one and ketchup, mustard bottles and a pickle jar on the other. They hung in there for years, getting all faded the way that only construction paper fades. (In spite of those posters, there was a bottle of Tabasco sauce in that fridge for at least a year. Our Sunday School teacher would start every lesson off by passing that around our class and having us "take a whiff." He was a college kid.)

One of my mother's construction paper masterpieces was a box covered in red and decorated with intricately cut out white and pink hearts. It had "Be Mine, Valentine" written in beautiful script with a red maker. We had the same one every year. (Mom was nothing if not thrifty!) But it was kept well and gorgeous. Inside were a couple of Hershey bars, broken into their little lettered squares, each placed in brown candy papers. It was probably an inexpensive way to give my brother and I our Valentines, but I always thought of it as quite elegant, even as the critical teen-aged girl that I was.

The chocolates were not all. Every year Mom created new bright and colorful cards. They usually contained some poem she'd written on the theme, of course, of how perfect and wonderful we were. That's how she generally saw us. She loved my brother and I more than anything else in this world, and she made sure we knew that.

Cards creations continued for her grandchildren. They were usually included in a mailed box full of heart-shaped cookies. I found one set of those hand-made Valentines, from the year that #4 was a newborn. A poem for each child, in construction paper and marker. I put them into the kids' grandma memory boxes.

I wish I'd kept more of those cards over the years. Hopefully more will turn up over time.

2 fishy comments:

2busy said...

Homemade gifts and cards are the best. The put Hallmark to shame, truly. They mean more than any silly store bought card. Who keeps those?

Jenn said...

Aww... how sweet, and what a treasure. I hope you find more!