is not only a day/time for expressing
Valentine's Day is a perfect time
many of my dear friends and retired colleagues
responded to my pleas for help
with the Regional Academic Decathlon Competition
that I coordinate.
Long story, but due to an unexpected
realignment of the schools in each region,
I found our region had lost over forty of our usual volunteers
to help conduct the contest.
Many of my friends stepped in
to fill the slots for lost volunteers, and helped
to organize materials, to provide food for hospitality, and
to judge the speech event.
The contest was a huge success.
Now I am preparing for a
to show my love and appreciation to them.
Perfect timing for the week of
to use hearts and flowers.
This week I have been busy cleaning and decorating,
the first step for preparing for a party.
The pine chest at the end of the fireplace that separates
the living room and kitchen
will be very visible during the party.
Valentine's Day and French-inspired touches
set the tone for friendship love.
Flowers, pink, France, beloved books, and a heart-shaped ivy
portray a feminine, romantic theme.
The ivy heart, an early Valentine's Day present
from my sister, reminds me of family love.
The beautiful magnolia-decorated gift bag
was part of my birthday present from her last year.
All the details on the bag bring wonderful memories.
she and I have traveled there together many times.
A lavender-edged wire ribbon bow...
her favorite color is peach.
a traditional southern flower that filled the
window ledges of the church at my wedding.
A fleur-de-lis stand holds what could be a Valentine's card.
Another symbol of friendship...
The trio of silver-plated forks was found
at a small neighborhood flea market in Paris
during one of those trips my sister and I shared.
Tied with a two-tone silk ribbon, the forks are left unpolished
to reflect their vintage heritage.
Since the chest will be viewed from three sides,
a little glass jar of French-script
sits behind the stack of books.
There is still more decorating to come,
invitations to create and to send,
small favors to make,
tables to set, and
food to prepare.
What fun it is to show
others how much they are appreciated.
What fun it is to share
the party preparations with
all of you,
allowing you to be a
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