Valentine’s Day is Thursday, and millions will be running around this week to get flowers, cards, chocolates, plan a dinner date, or whatever they think their loved ones will like.
Something that says, “I love you,” or “I’m thinking of you today.”
Children will be buying Valentines for their classmates.
I remember in grade school, everyone would decorate shoe boxes at home with a slit on the top so we could give and receive cards from each other in class. I really enjoyed decorating those and going to pick out the cards.
There’ll also be the “I love you” kisses and hugs, and everyone qualifies: moms, dads, children, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends ... and for many, forget the people, the dog will get the kiss, the hug and the treat.
So, when it comes to kisses, most of the Sun City Grand residents at the Village Center, remember their first kiss with their husband or wife and talk about what is special about their significant other.
Kathleen Power and her husband, James Marochino were enjoying a soft-serve ice cream. The couple has been married 25 years. James didn’t remember where the first kiss took place. “Because we went with each other for 10 years before we were married,” said James.
Kathleen remembered, “On our first date to the Springfield Exposition,” in Massachusetts.
“He takes care of me, and took care of me before we got married. He’s really gentle and very caring,” she said of James.
James said, “She did take care of me too. Because I was an alcoholic. I probably would’ve been dead if I didn’t meet her.”
Jane Connors who has been married 35 years with Mike said their first kiss took place in a market in Seattle, Wash. It wasn’t the first date. “He tried to kiss the first date, but I wouldn’t do it.”
She said of her husband, “He shows his love for me by the way he does things for me. Little things that I don’t have to ask him to do.”
23 years is how long JoeAnn Posey has been married to Floyd and doesn’t remember when the first kiss, but remembers the first handshake “when he tried to kiss me” on the first date. She said Floyd is 82 years old and still ski races in the Senior Olympics in Flagstaff.
In her mother’s kitchen is where Ann Ward’s first kiss took place with Bill on their third date. “He is just a great guy. We have values in common.
“Our courtship was mainly by letters because he was on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War and I was teaching school. He was deployed three tours for nine months at a time, so we just corresponded.That is really how we fell in love. Mainly through letters,” Ward said. They’ve been married 46 years.
It’s 16 years for Mike and Alice D’Ambrosio. He said their first kiss took place on the first date. “He’s very kind,” Alice said, and Mike said, “She’s also very kind and she’s got a good sense of humor, good temperament.”
Rose Marie Perkin has been married 26 years with Jim. “By the Clackamas River in Oregon,” is where the first kiss took place and it wasn’t a date. “He is my second husband. My first husband passed away and he has been very, very special to my children and family,” Perkin said.
Almost 40 years of marriage for Mary Lou Burns and her husband Carter. She said their first kiss took place in her apartment, at the door. “Carter was waving and he kissed me goodnight. I believe it was our first date.
“The thing that I like about Carter is that he just is so sensible. He always tries to look for solutions to problems without escalating them,” Burns said.
Nancy Yee has been married 47 years with Wally and doesn’t remember when the first kiss took place. “We were in high school.” She said, “He’s fairly easy going.”
The first kiss took place at a dance for Jerry Whitton and Joan, who have been married 49 years. It wasn’t the first date. He said, “She’s probably one of the most generous and unselfish people I’ve ever met.”
“Our very first date, we went for a walk and he stole a kiss from me,” said Lynn Hubick, who has been married 17 years with Mike Smith. “He’s a gruff person, but down deep, he’s a sweetie,” she said.
Lynn’s mother, Shirley Hubick, visiting from Kelowna, British Columbia, has been married 54 years with Ralph. “We had gone to a hockey game and I think that was the first kiss.” She said, “He’s very thoughtful and considerate, kind.”
“I love that I make my own happiness,” said Barbara Ferguson who is happily divorced. “I’m free to do what I want to do. I can travel, I can do just anything I want to do. And, that’s what I do.
“It’s been a wonderful life. Having new friends. It’s all about just being the best person you can be and enjoying life. And spirituality is a part of it too. Growing spiritually and developing to be a more whole person.”
She was married nine years, doesn’t remember, nor cares to remember her first kiss. Ferguson’s been single since 1974 and she loves it. “It’s all about having friends and meeting new people and enjoying your old ones and visiting them wherever I travel.
“It’s really about making connections with people and enjoying life. That’s Valentine’s Day,” Ferguson said.
Tina Gamez may be reached at 623-876-2528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.