The Love Project

I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day, although I try to show my loved ones I love them all year round. It was harder when I was younger. So much emphasis placed on couples and dating and well, I was single. Even after I started dating, I still rebelled against the idea. My first year of college I celebrated Valentine’s Day by wearing all black… What can I say? It was an experiment. Now I’m older (and hopefully wiser), and I’ve learned Valentine’s Day is so much more than a day to celebrate that special someone.

I came across the Love Project a few weeks ago before February first. The idea appealed to me, especially after coming across a line in a parenting book. It said to tell your teen often, “There is nothing you can do to make me love you more, and nothing you can do to make me love you less.” (Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston, Harvest House Publishers) After making that comment to them, we talked a bit more, than I decided to try the month-long project.

The directions are simple. Cut up enough cards so there’s one card for every day of the month (or you can use sticky notes). Every day write one unique thing you love about that person on a card. It can be a physical attribute or something special inside you love about them. Then stick it in a place where they’ll be sure to see it.

I did this with my two girls. I made a list of all the things I loved about them. Some were the same (their beautiful smile) while others were very different (one is calm and cautious while the other is full of energy). When I started placing them on the door of their room, I explained what I’d be doing.

“Why?” my older one asked with a suspicious squint.

I shrugged. “Just because. It’s February, the love month, right?”

In reality, I just wanted to let them know all the ways I thought they were amazing. My youngest has allowed all the notes to accumulate, like a Door of Affirmation, while the older takes some of them off and squirrels them away in her room. But however they deal with these love notes, I never want them to feel we don’t notice and appreciate their differences.

This idea is versatile. It’d work for any month or any special person. You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day. Who wants to wait for a special holiday to tell someone how much they’re loved? Or maybe do a month of I love you’s–tell a different person each day how you feel about them.

It’ll be interesting to see the results from this, if any. I’ve already had a few interesting conversations with my oldest daughter.

If you try it or a version of it, let me know. I’d love to hear how your Love Project progresses!

Just Another Blizzard

Today is a snow day. Snow started falling yesterday afternoon and by 5:30 this morning, the school called to declare a two-hour delay. Two hours later, they called again to cancel. So I slept in. This is my typical response to a snow day, because most days I’m up by 6:00. I like sleep and will find excuses to indulge. The snow’s been lightly falling all day, a soft blanket of beautiful white, decorating bare branches and pines with a fleecy white veil. My last check revealed a total of six inches—and it’s still coming.

Yesterday when the snow started, I was at a doctor’s appointment about twenty-five miles from home. After lunch with my husband, I drove home, noting the blinking highway signs reading, “Caution: White-out conditions.” In the distance, the valley looked fuzzy—a sure sign of snow, rain or other precipitation. Still, I continued on. After all, how bad could it be? Not more than a mile down the road, I encountered the white-out. It was like someone drew a line, and that was where the mayhem started. Blowing snow, decreasing visibility, gusting winds. Fun, fun. In our area, we’ve had multi-car pile-ups on the interstate in similar conditions. At the next exit, I drove to the old mountain road which everyone used before the interstate went in. It’s longer, but the trees block the wind and reduce the blowing snow that make I-80 so dangerous. Instead of a white-out, I faced untreated roads and slush-filled tracks. I followed the twists and turns up the mountain while my traction control engaged and disengaged. I’m blessed I didn’t get stuck. After a quick stop at Dollar General for the requisite milk and water (we already had enough bread), I hurried home.

If I had to do it over again, I’d make the same choice. But it made me remember why I hate driving in snow.

I’ve lived in Pennsylvania my whole life and in this small town for most of it. I’m not sure how I’d handle living in another part of the country where hurricanes or tornadoes or earthquakes are the norm. Blizzards and heavy snowfall seem easier to handle. Our preparation checklist looks like this:

  1. Buy enough gas for a generator, if you own one.
  2. Make sure your vehicles have full tanks.
  3. Check your pantry for a stash of canned goods.
  4. Cancel any appointments that may have been scheduled.
  5. Buy milk, bread, and water and “hunker down.”

We’re hunkered down now. I’ll let you know when we get out