Pipi’s Pasture: Looking forward to Valentine’s Day

Diane Prather
Pipi’s Pasture

When my siblings and I were growing up on the Morapos Ranch, winters were long and cold, and there was plenty of snow. To get an idea of what it was like, just take a look out through your windows because the scene then was a lot like the winter we are experiencing this year, except that there was a lot more snow at the ranch.

We didn’t leave the ranch much during those winter days because, as I remember, the county road was often drifted shut, and it didn’t get cleared off as often as now. However, the Morapos School was just down the road from our house, and we had plenty of supplies to get through winter days. January was not our favorite month. After all the excitement of Christmas, “blah” old January seemed at least 60 days long. So we looked forward to February when we could celebrate Valentine’s Day.

There was always a party at school, we had fun making out our Valentines and, weather permitting, our family often hosted a Valentine’s Day/birthday party (because there were at least three birthdays close to the Feb. 14 for family and neighborhood friends).

If the weather and roads permitted, Dad and Mom drove us to Craig for a shopping trip around Feb. 1 so we could buy Valentines. Boy, did I ever look forward to poring over the Valentine’s Day displays in the drug and variety stores—especially the drug stores. After all of these years, I can still remember the scents of the perfumes, soaps, and sachets and the red and pink colors of all the heart-shaped boxes of candies that were decorated with ruffled fabrics and artificial flowers.

Dad and Mom were patient as we checked out the boxed Valentine cards and envelopes, trying to choose “just the right” assortment. One year we found books of punch-out Valentines (similar to paper doll books) with envelopes which were intriguing, indeed.

The trip to Craig was a highlight of Valentine’s Day activities, but I can also remember what we did at school in the days approaching the holiday. We made decorations to hang around the classroom, and when we were finished with book work, we all made Valentines. It didn’t matter that we had just purchased some; we made others as well, using construction paper and red and white paper doilies.

We put extra effort into making Valentines for our family members.

All the students helped make a Valentine box. After finding a box that was the appropriate size to hold student Valentines, we made a slit in the top and then decorated the box. A lot of thought was put into this project, and we were proud of it.

It’s hard to say what we looked forward to most at our school Valentine’s Day party, attended by our mothers and younger siblings—the cupcakes and sugar cookies and punch or opening up the box of cards, but at the end of the day we all took home sacks of cards, candies, and sugar cookies that we dumped out once we got home, cookie crumbs and all.

I still look forward to Valentine’s Day.

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