Monday, February 13, 2017

It is almost Valentine's Day!

January sure has flown by! There is no use in wondering where those 31 days have gone. They're history.  When I look back at my calendar entries, I can see the activities I participated in and appointments I kept; but, in between, I enjoyed a prolonged holiday spirit.  I loved our Christmas decorations this year. We kept them simple and with the snow falling throughout January and early February, I've felt too sentimental to take all of the decorations down. I've been removing a few at a time to lessen the blow of having an undecorated abode.

Luckily, here comes Valentine's Day to my rescue! Call me old fashioned, please. I'm a hopeless romantic born to the wrong century. I long for the days when Valentine cards were exchanged with family and friends, and were often elaborate handmade beauties. I have some lovely antique postcards. Several are lithographs from Germany with rich colors and detailed artful images.

The artwork on this postcard is so pretty.
It is dimensional.
I have noticed that forget-me-nots were often used on postcards . . . a fitting sentiment.
The colors and the gold ink are still vibrant after 104 years!

My father received this Valentine from his cousin Estella Hawker, who lived in Chittenango, New York.
It is postmarked Feb. 13, 1913.
Notice the 1-cent stamp is turned upside down.
When I was a little girl, I was told an upside down stamp meant "love",
 but I was instructed never to turn a stamp with an eagle or the flag on it upside down!

I love to read the messages on old postcards.
Note the antiquated spelling of the word "tonight". It was hyphenated, as "to-night".

Estella on a picture postcard from 1911.
I am not sure how old she was when this was taken.
My father was 13 in 1911.

Like most of us, Stella (or Estella) was not fond of the photo of herself.
The Grandma and Grandpa Hawker she mentions would be my great grandparents, Joseph and Henrietta Hawker.
They lived in Alexander, New York.
It looks like she hinted at wanting an answer from my father by writing the slanted "ans" after her signature!
My family and my primary school teachers carried on the tradition of making and exchanging Valentines.  When I was a little girl, I couldn't wait for the Saturday morning in February when my mother would give me some red construction paper, white lace paper doilies and some old magazines to use to make my own cards. Those handmade cards were just for our own family, and the cards we made in school were proudly carried home from school and given to our parents. We also decorated shoe boxes in school with big red and white paper hearts, crepe paper, glitter, ribbons, and paper doilies to collect the Valentines from our classmates. The teacher cut a slot in the top of the decorated box where  the cards could be inserted. I picked out boxes of cute little cards at the 5 & 10 on Main Street, and on Valentine's Day I'd bring my cards to school, already signed and addressed, to place in all the boxes that were atop of each child's desk, including a special card for the teacher.
It was so much fun to bring the cards home and look at all of them, with the names scrawled in pencil on the backs. Of course, there were always those few favorites that would make my little heart beat faster!   ;-)   To  celebrate the day, my mother would make a heart-shaped cake with pink frosting and individual heart-shaped red Jell-O molds. Sometimes there was also a big fancy red heart-shaped box of candy. I'm not sure, but I think it was probably a gift to my mother from my father. ♡ It was a fun event in our home.

Thinking back on those days, I believe that must be when I first fell in love with pretty paper and paper crafting. I used to pour over the wallpaper books that came in the mail...remember them??...and pick out my favorites,  wishing I could re-paper my bedroom every year! Somehow, it's already February 13th! It's time to get out the red construction paper!  ;-)

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog post. I hope you will enjoy Valentine's Day and some special memories. 

Until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hands.