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Just Outside My Door 02/14/13

February 20, 2013
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

This week began with our thermometer reading zero degrees. Nevertheless, as the sun came up, the temperature began to slowly rise, and by sunset it was 40 degrees. What a wonderful way to begin Valentine's week. I hope today you all will express your love and thankfulness to the special folk in your life, for today is Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day celebrations have existed for many years. I recall the fun we had on that special day in the Dewittville country school when I was a child. We exchanged Valentine cards with the teachers and other students. I don't remember for sure if the teachers also gave us treats, but I think they probably did.

I don't know if all schools celebrate Valentine's Day nowadays, but I do know the younger classes still exchange cards, and often some students bring special treats on that day in Sherman Central School. Also the yearbook staff makes cute little Valentine's cards and sells them for $1 to the older students. The money received goes towards the cost of the yearbook.

Speaking about Valentine's Day, it is often known as "Lovers Day," but it is not necessarily just for one's sweetheart or hubby. Many people give cards or express their love in some other way, for there are several kinds of love such as the love we have for children, special friends, neighbors and more. One might even wish a stranger on the street, a "Happy Valentine's Day," but be sure to do it with a smile on your face. It might be the only encouragement they get on that day.

Recently I learned about the "Sweet Heart Town," located in Loveland Colo., via the Internet. It originated years ago with people who thought the Loveland postmark added something unique for Valentine's Day. One could send their cards to Loveland where it would be resent to the recipient.

In 1947, Postmaster Elmer Ives and President of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce Ted Thompson expressed a desire to expand the spirit of Valentine's Day in Loveland. They added a crimson cachet, which included a verse on the card with four lines. The author of it was chosen through a contest. Cowboy Cupid and a red heart with an arrow through it was added to the card and has been in operation for the Loveland post office which still welcomes letters they will resend to the recipient.

The project of the additions has been in operation for over 33 years and continues to be strong as it receives more than 8,000 Valentine's letters and cards yearly expressing one's wishes for their loved ones. Currently there are 30 or 40 retirees who give of their time to help the post office get the all the cards sent. It is a real "labor of love" on their part.

I never got a Valentine's from Loveland, but the most special one I ever received was from Bill in 1946. I've received one from him for 62 years, and I have most, if not all, of them today. You might think I'm sentimental, and I am.

The Loveland post office still welcomes letters, which they will resend, but it's too late for this year. If you want to send one or more next year, you can get all the information about it on the Internet at



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