Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sweetness for Valentine's Day

         Poetry Friday is hanging out with Laura Salas-Writing The World For Kids

                                                        If you love Valentines
                                                   and the sweetest of rhymes,
                                                please read these poems today  
                                                written in old fashioned ways!

      I had a wonderful mother-in-law named Helen.  She warmly welcomed me as a new daughter into her family.  Through all the years and visits, she and I had fabulous talks about just everything:  raising children as well as politics, people’s behavior along with town events, the virtues of hand-mixing batter or use of an electric mixer.  I never heard her say a bad word about others, nor did she complain about anything.  As they say, she kept a stiff upper lip, even in the most sorrowful times, like when her husband of many years died suddenly of a heart attack soon after he retired.  Broken dreams.  She was a kind woman who helped out at the church nursery well past seventy and continued to play the piano for church when needed until the last year of her life.  I loved her and still miss her.  She just made it into the 21st Century, after having lived almost all of the 20th.

My dear mother-in-law Helen was one of those teachers who, after leaving high school, taught in a one-room schoolhouse in the 1920’s.  She rose early, saddled a horse, and rode to the country building where her first duty was to start the fire.  Like that story told so eloquently by Charles Portis, she had grit.  And, as a true woman of her generation, she saved everything!  I am the proud recipient of many old-fashioned Valentines given to her (Miss Helen) by her students, probably about 1928.  I thought since we will celebrate St. Valentine’s Day next Tuesday, I would share a little sweetness with all of you. 
Here are photos of some, and the rhymes found inside are beneath.  Many are intricate, lacy, and pop out.   A few have been altered like little hearts have been cut out in them, and it’s clear that it was hand done.  You may be able to see which are the pop out ones, but photos did not show that very well. 

                                              Happy Valentine’s Day!

To my Valentine
      Your voice is like a
              song bird
The sweetest thing I’ve
         ever heard.

May you be always happy, gay,
And joyous, as you are to-day,
Is what my ardent hopes express
For you, my Love,
           and nothing less!

The whole world
   loves a lover
So they say—I hope
        it’s true,
‘Cause then the world’s
     in love with me
‘Cause I’m in love
           with you.

Dear Teacher,
Don’t overlook
This One
You’re my Valentine
‘Cause you’re sweet
as you can be.

I hope my heart will
     reach you
And be there right
       on time,
It’s just chock-full of
     loving thoughts
For you, dear Valentine.

Oh let’s make life
a jolly lark
A picnic if you
And it will be just
this for me
If words you say
are these:

I Love You!

The Valentine I’m sending
Is sealed with kisses two.
Which I trust will reach you safely,
For both are meant for you.

Of all the girls I know
You are the very best.
To me you seem much brighter
Thank any of the rest.

Postman, handle this with care!
I’m sending my heart to a lady fair,
Who is an old sweetheart of mine
And I want her to be: My Valentine.

I think that I shall try a line,
I hope to catch a Valentine,
There’s only one I want, ‘tis true.
Oh! Can’t you guess that one is you?


  1. Wow! These are so beautiful...nearly as beautiful as your words about "Miss Helen." I, too, am grateful to have a loving and wise mother-in-law. In this post, you brought yours back to life for all of us - I love imagining her saddling up her horse to go to school! There is such an innocence in these valentines. I love them. Thank you. a.

  2. Boy, Valentine's today sure don't look like that. Or at least, not the ones I see in the stores. Nor do they read like that either. Thanks for sharing them and your family. What a lovely trip to a different time!

  3. The last one, by far is my favorite.
    "I think that I shall try a line,
    I hope to catch a Valentine,
    There’s only one I want, ‘tis true.
    Oh! Can’t you guess that one is you?"
    - Aww, classic 'line' indeed.

    I also loved that you shared about your mother in law. My own mother in law was a public school teacher in the Philippines - and so was my father-in-law (before they moved there to the States). They also have lots of stories about teaching during the late early 70s to 80s.

    And yes, I agree with Greg, Valentine's does not look like that anymore. *Sigh* Now, I shall dig up old Valentines. You have inspired me through your post. :)

  4. These are just. beautiful. What special family treasure- thank you for sharing them.

  5. So wonderful. She sounds like an amazing woman and I love looking at those beautiful Valentines.

  6. A far cry from Sponge Bob and Spiderman and Barbie! I remember as a kid agonizing over which Valentine to give to which person and being delighted to read the sentiments in the ones received. Now, not so much.
    And what a wonderful story about your mother-in-law! Such a sweet soul!

  7. Wow - such treasures. Thank you for sharing, Linda, and for sharing the story of such an incredible woman with us as well. A lovely way to start the morning! (And Happy Valentine's Day to you.)

  8. Love these vintage valentines. Thanks so much for sharing these beloved treasures and introducing us to your mother-in-law. What a special woman she was -- I, too, liked picturing her riding to that one room school house. Happy Valentine's Day to you, Linda! ♥

  9. Linda, what a treasure trove your mother-in-law left you! The one with the silhouettes is my favorite. Thanks for sharing these love notes from another era.

  10. What a wonderful tribute to your mother-in-law, Linda. And beautiful valentines! Wow. Although I've gotta say...these wouldn't be considered appropriate teacher valentines today:>)

  11. There's sweetness here beyond the valentines. Thank you for making me smile.

  12. Thank you for sharing these beautiful valentines. I have a small box with some of the cards my grandfather sent my grandmother and I love every single one. I must admit the last one here is my favorite.

  13. Loved that last one, too. What a great store of memories you have, Linda - your mother-in-law sounds like a woman who went about her life with great purpose....she must have benn a remarkable teacher, as well! Thanks for sharing these old-timely , Valentines!

  14. What a treasure you have in these Valentines and in your memories of your mother-in-law!

  15. I love these vintage Valentine's... and love your Helen story too. I had my own Helen.. .my mother in law Bobbie. I miss her so much, and your post reminds me to share some Bobbie stories with my children on Valentine's Day.

  16. These Valentine's are precious. I enjoyed reading them. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story about "Miss Helen" with us!

  17. Thank you for the inspiration, for these lovely valentines and for sharing your memories. What a beautiful tribute. Is there someone in your family you plan on passing these beautiful tributes on to?


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