Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yee Haw, It's Valentine's Day

Although I tried to find some history of what this day might have been like in the old west, I could only find the history of Valentine's Day as it came to be.  Seems back in the triple digit years A.D., some priest guy named Valentine was executed for defying the then Ruler by continuing to perform marriages despite a decree that single men made better soldiers.  Later on down the road he was granted Sainthood and this day became synonymous with love and romance. 

Of course you realize, this is case of history perpetrated by two other huge personalities, St. Hallmark and St. FTD

Now, don't get me wrong...I love mushy cards and flowers as much as the next gal, and once the chocolate industry got involved, this immediately became one of my favorite holidays, but I can't help but wonder what this day would have been like back in the old west, say...out on the Rockin C Ranch, miles from a mercantile and long before boxed chocolates and fresh flower delivery were available.  Let's imagine together, shall we:  Note:  For the sake of saving brain cells, I'm going to use Frank and Mariah from my time-travel, Sisters in Time as the characters, since they lived on the Rocking C in old Denver territory.

Bacon sizzled and spit grease onto the cast iron stove.  Mariah took a step back to avoid the splatter.  The smell of baking biscuits wafted in the air.  All that was needed for a special breakfast she'd share with just her handsome husband were eggs and she was about to break them into the pan.

  The children were spending a week with their grandparents, and fresh coffee perked on the back burner.  She wore her best gingham, and had foregone pulling her hair into it's usual bun and left it down around her shoulders--Frank's favorite look for her.  Although not practical for chores, today would be about him.


Frank curried his stallion while it munched oats from the feedbag.  All his other chores were done, and the boys from the bunkhouse were already out on the south forty, moving the cattle to the north pasture.  Earlier, he'd washed up, put on a clean shirt, and dusted off his black Stetson.   Storm finished his meal, and Frank's stomach rumbled in anticipation of his own.  He removed the bag from the animal's head, stowed it and the curry comb on the back wall, and gave his black beauty a pat on his hind quarter as he left the stall.

Outside the barn, he breathed in the fresh air.  The aroma of alfalfa mingled with the smell of cooking bacon drifting from the open kitchen window.  He caught the occasional strains of a song his wife hummed, and his heart quickened with love for her. 

He crossed to the water barrel at the corner of the house and washed his hands.  The back porch screen squealed open.  "Frank, breakfast is ready."

He glanced in Mariah's direction.  Her red hair hung loose around her still smooth and beautiful face. Her trim waist and curvy figure belied the birth of two children nearly grown.  He was indeed a lucky man.   "Be right there," he called back.  She stepped back into the kitchen.

On his way inside, he paused in front of the flowerbed running along the porch.  Stooping, he picked a small, colorful bouquet of pansies and concealed them in one hand behind his back.  He opened the screen and walked inside, his smile wide and his head filled with thoughts of the desert he craved....

Okay, that's it for my creative talents on this special day.  The point is that even without today's conveniences, I'm sure something as simple as Mariah leaving her hair down and Frank pausing to pick a few posies would mean something to their mate.  Even if you don't have money or means...show someone you love them today...in a special way.  Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.


Marie Higgins said...

Oh yeah! Must have chocolate with this day!! heehee You'll have to visit my blog, Ginger - because I did research for when VD first started. Too funny! http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2012/02/be-my-valentine.html

lionmother said...

Ginger, I loved this little slice of western life and also enjoyed the characters. Thank you.

Karen Cote said...

I love this! What a special reflection on how the west was truly won! Through genuine-thoughtful gifts of love. Thanks Ging and Happy Valentine's Day! Love ya.

Margaret West said...

I love to have been a cowgirl for a day back then. Great post.

gail roughton branan said...

Loved it! (And man, I love that cowboy at the top of this blog!)

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

I was thinking of doing a blog on Valentine's Day in the west, or as Marie did, the history of Valentine's Day, but I was too lazy (thus the one I did on cooking on the western trail). But I see between your blog and Marie's there's not a lot of info on either one of those subjects. It would interesting to know what they did do! Loved the example.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Lordy, I laughed my way through your blog today. I like the guy who picks the flowers by the door--not a lot of trouble to go to but still...
Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

Janice Seagraves said...

Nice except. Very sweet.

Happy Valentines day to you too, Ginger.