The Source of all Love

The Source of all Love

Young and new in love, I unpacked the English stoneware dishes that my mother had helped me pick out at Jordan Marsh years before in anticipation of this day – the day when I would furnish my own home. She didn’t call it a hope chest. Not wanting me to put all my hope on getting married, she called it a “home chest,” for the day I would furnish my own household, married or not.
Yet there I was, newly married, as flush with love as the petite cranberry flowers printed on the cream colored dishes that I carefully set in the cupboard of the tiny apartment that my husband, Dana, and I had rented on the third floor of an old Victorian, halfway up the coast of Maine. Setting up our first home was among the happiest times in my life. Shopping for our own groceries. Learning to cook. Coming home to each other and sharing dinner each and every night on those delicate floral dishes.

Sharing the love

My first Valentine’s Day with a sweetheart looked like it was going to be a lonely one. I was 18 and living in a dorm at a Rhode Island Bible school. Over the course of the day, girls walked down the hall, giggling as they clutched a card or flowers or box of chocolates. But I had nothing. My boyfriend, Dana, and I had been dating for a year, but he was going to school in New York. It seemed he’d forgotten all about me. Later that long afternoon, someone knocked on my door. A delivery person was waiting outside. And there was a lovely bouquet of roses from Dana!

Love always finds a way

Love always finds a way

When I was growing up, my mom often sang in church. It was the late 1970s, and even in our small Oregon farming community, most of the other mothers wore lipstick and high heels and pantyhose on Sunday mornings. Embarrassed, I scrunched in my pew when my sheep-farming mother walked up the center aisle with her bare legs and Birkenstocks.

Love that lasts all year long

Love that lasts all year long

The first Valentine’s Day flowers I received were during my freshmen year at a small Bible school in Rhode Island. All day, floral delivery drivers crisscrossed the school grounds, delivering bright bouquets to triumphant classmates. I’d been dating the same boy for...