Every Saturday afternoon the neighbors would see Carl, the neighborhood old man, walking along the sidewalk at a steady pace clutching a bundle of flowers. They all knew how he gave his wife flowers each week and had been doing that for probably all the sixty years of their married life. They were the oldest residents in age and term on the block. It was thought they had built the first home on this block over fifty years before.
But today wasn't Saturday. It was Thursday and instead of colorful bouquet, the old man carried what appeared to be more than a dozen beautiful red roses.
The vision brought smiles to many of the women who noticed him and some had wet eyes of admiration for the devotion the man showed. Today was Valentine's Day and he was going to bring his wife, Evelyn, red roses.
A few minutes later, the old man stood proudly and offered the flowers to his wife. As he stood there in front of her, he visualized her the way she looked that Valentine's Day church dance where they met over sixty years ago. His mind's eye saw the beauty that had made him tongue tied to the point he almost didn't ask her for a dance.
They danced most of the evening together and made arrangements for him to visit her at her home the next evening after supper. Some would say they had a whirl wind romance as just a year later to the day, Valentine's Day 1952, they were married.
It was 1951 when Carl had just returned from Korea having suffered his million dollar wound that he had met his bride to be and was able to find work quickly. The young married couple settled down as people did at that time and soon were expecting their first child. As their family grew, they bought their lot and Carl built his own home with the help of their parents and all of their siblings. That was the way people did things back then. Carl was still handy and performed many tasks for the families in his neighborhood. He considered it an honor to teach the young men how to do those simple tasks you have to do to keep your home from falling down around you.
Now, these many years later he saw in his mind's eye that beautiful woman he had married and lived happily with for all of these years.
Carl sat with his wife and talked to her as he always did discussing what he had done that day and what he was planning for the weekend. It was so easy to relax and be close with each other as he talked with her.
Today Carl reminisced with Eve about the many Valentine's Days of their wonderful marriage. Carl remembered how he had saved his bus fare by walking the four miles to work everyday for two months to save up enough money for a heart shaped box of chocolates.
He always joked with her about the way she had tried to plan her babies to be born on Valentine's Day. The girls had come early and the boys had come late. All were born within a week of Valentine's Day but not on it.
Each year the kids had cut out and made Valentines to give to their friends and to each other. Both parents had always been so proud to receive those home made Valentines. There was a drawer in the dining room chest that still held all of those treasured Valentines.