Happiness Is...

My Furry Valentine
It's Valentine's Day, the most commercial of commercial days. A day when love seems to become a competitive sport. Hallmark meets high school prom. I think this year's Valentine's day is a great way to explain "my love life."

As I type this on my cellphone, Diego and I are lounging on the sofas. The fire my husband built warms us.

Lots of people celebrated Valentine's day last night. I did, too. My dad and I drove to my cousins' home and ate a fantastic dinner. My aunt is famous for her cooking, and last night didn't disappoint! We talked family lore and politics. Everyone's favorite subjects.

This morning I thought I would have a quick breakfast with my mom's cousin. We couldn't stop talking, and hung out for three hours. Heaven.

Valentine's Warmth
Last week I was having a particularly challenging day, and I texted my husband. He had just the right advice, "Help your dad. It will make you feel better... And he needs you." So after leaving my cousin, I spent an hour helping my father set up online billing. Not your idea of romance, maybe, but definitely an act of daughterly love on Valentine's day.

Driving the four hours that separates my father's home from ours, I had a long heart-to-heart with someone very special. Talking to her made the miles go by so much faster. We don't have to remind each other that we're valentines - we just are.

Finally at home, I made the dough for pulla (Finnish cardamom bread) which is rising in the oven. Also in the oven are the chicken breasts that I stuffed. I'm looking forward to feeding my loved ones with a favorite treat for Valentine's. 

As I wait, I'm texting friends, reminding then that I love them. Sometimes, with corny lyrics from Beatles songs for good measure.

Soon C will return from her celebration. (If need be, I'll lure her home with pulla). We all be home, under one roof, in a house warned by a fire, good food and family.

That's what happiness is. Happy Valentine's day.

"PS I love you!" Emoji hearts for all-y'all.


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