Pre-pre- and Pre-Valentine’s Day

Posted February 13th, 2010 by Candice

Yesterday I got outside and actually drove my car for the first time in one solid week.  I had a zillion errands to run but I’d also decided I was tired of living like a refugee.  We needed pink tulips, lots of them, and comfort food, lots of it.  I bought the tulips and comfort food at Wegman’s.  The errands were completed with me only nearly falling down twice and getting my Honda hung up on a snow boulder once (the parking lots are still awful).  

At home I pulled out this gorgeous vintage transfer print tablecloth, a gift from one of my Hollins students, and my Desert Rose dishes, usually reserved for summer.  We ate our ready-to-heat dinner as if it was a special occasion.  And it was.  We celebrated getting through a most trying week and pre-pre-Valentine’s Day, which is also our anniversary.

When we were married 31 years ago, the blizzard of ’79 blanketed the roads in about 3 feet of snow.  I wore galoshes and wondered if I would have enough stuff to talk about for a whole marriage.  Despite my natural shyness, I’ve managed to hold up my end of the conversation all these years. 

Today we went to our favorite tea shop, Pinkadilly.  We didn’t know it would be open tomorrow because it usually isn’t on Sunday.  But our pre-Valentine’s Day celebration was wonderful.  You can see some of the goodies from the photos, but here’s what the Queen Elizabeth tea consists of:  quiche of the day (Vidalia onion-Swiss), soup of the day (creamy cheddar potato), pot of tea (Smooth Earl Grey), and a tower with two scones (vanilla cream and cranberry-orange) with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, chicken salad sandwich, bruchetta, cucumber/cream cheese rounds, bacon/onion tart, shot glass packed with chocolate caramel bread pudding, homemade truffles, frosted raspberry cake, and an edible chocolate raspberry mousse cup.  We order two of these bad boys.

When we were married, we went to an Italian restaurant where I picked at my food because I was thin and nervous.  At Pinkadilly, I ate my everything on my side of the tower plus my husband’s cake and bread pudding.  Clearly my German ancestry is showing.

The mails have been backed up or nonexistent for a few days.  But this card arrived today.  Isn’t it wonderful?  My friend Linda Shute, children’s book author/illustrator, painted the "Let Love ‘Rain’" card.  Her cats Mollie and Lily are the models.  I love the way Mollie (who has the same big-cat bulldog stance as Winchester) looks out at the viewer while Lily is looking at Mollie as if to say, "Uh-huh.  Today I’m getting to the food dish first." 

My sister sent us a hilarious card of Lucy and Desi.  "I Love Lucy" is a totem for me and my sister.  Whoever we married was doomed to play Ricky to our Lucy. 

When we came home from tea, my husband went out to hack at the ice on our back deck and gutters.  I threw a load of laundry in the washer and an allergy pill down Winchester’s throat (much harder than you think).  My husband will come in a little while, ready for a cup of coffee.  I’ll sit and chit-chat about the weather, the cat’s daily pill struggle, a book I’m reading . . . the daily-ness of our lives that adds up to years, passing more quickly than we think. 

8 Responses to “Pre-pre- and Pre-Valentine’s Day”

  1. jamarattigan says:

    I love this post! Happy Anniversary and Valentine’s Day. Wow, what a scrumptious tea spread. Is that Old Country Roses I see? And what an adorable card. Frank’s looking good, as usual :).

    I had to smile because Len’s been hacking ice like crazy too. Our kitchen ceiling is dripping. Bad ice dams. I’ll take some of that frosted raspberry cake . . .

    • Candice says:

      Thank you! I am still stuffed from that tea! They use a mix of vintage and new china–I actually swapped the settings from other tables so we’d have the prettiest dishes! Our shrubs are ruined from the ice and frozen snow. And today Frank will climb to break the ice loose from the highest gutter.

  2. tamra_wight says:

    Happy Anniversary Candice! What lovely tulips you have there . . .

    Happy Valentines Day too. ;0)

    • Candice says:

      Thanks, Tami! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too. I love tulips–so easy to arrange, just stick in a vase. I’ll be buying tulips and daffodils for the next few months. Anything to get us through this endless winter.

  3. Gosh, you sure know how to celebrate valentine’s day! I’m impressed you got your husband to dine where the walls are pink, but of course there is all that chocolate. And while mine might balk at tea, Jama gives him her virtual thumbs up for giving me a pot of lavender and reading Dickens through this winter. I do appreciate the dailiness that has added up to close to almost thirty years now.

    • Candice says:

      Frank is often the only male in Pinkadilly but he doesn’t care–the food is wonderful! And our waiter was a young guy with tattoos all over his arms! Clearly *his* manhood isn’t threatened! I think men secretly appreciate the pretty stuff girls have–it’s comforting and fun. Congrats on closing in on 30 years!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Happy Anniversary. 31 years: isn’t that the “All The Tea in China” anniversary?

    But I joke: China tea is too thin for such a celebration. You two are Darjeeling people if ever there were.

    from Vivian

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