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Love is in the air

During your lifetime you meet many people who profoundly affect your life. Some are casual relationships while others are lasting ones. Years ago, I read a book about the people you will meet in heaven. Some of them you have met before while others are new relationships.

I read with interest about the people this man met. I realized that some of those people were only casual acquaintances yet they profoundly influenced the life of this man.

It got me thinking about the people I meet or have met. A young teacher who I admired was one of my favorites. What was it I liked about her? I liked her because she cared for her students. I mean she really cared. When I spilled a jar of paint on my almost new dress, she sent me home in her painting smock. She did not yell at me nor did she ridicule me for the spill. She just seemed to understand. Perhaps when she was young there was someone in her life who was kind to her when she had an accident. I will never know, but it made me a more caring teacher.

Another lady who I cared deeply about, incidentally was also a teacher, but I never was in her classroom. She was retired by the time I went to school. I liked her because she had so many interesting stories to tell. She eagerly shared them with her Sunday school class. That was where I met her.

Kindness goes a long way with making people like you. You ingratiate yourself to others when you show that you care for them.

I often wonder how people will remember me. Oh, I have former students who keep in touch. I have people who read my column and contact me regularly. The column I wrote about Don’s lost ring was a favorite I have found out. People were relieved at the outcome.

Don is very patient with people who recognize me when we are out. Frequently people stop by our table to talk. Some of them I know while others are strangers who merely recognize me from my photo that is in the newspaper. I try to be pleasant to all of them and listen about the column that they related to. The other side of writing is that you must have readers.

Recently, I waited in the outpatient room at the hospital.

I watched a pair of mallard ducks. Their relationship was evident. The male tailed the female everywhere. He seemed to be watching out for her. I imagine there will be a flock of little ducks this spring.

Have you ever seen a mother duck and her young?

She will carefully line them up for an activity. If she needs to cross the street, the little ones will follow in a straight line. If she is going for a swim, they follow her there.

No one tells them what to do. It is nature at work. I used to read a book to my class about ducklings. They were amazed at their formation for activities.

I believe that ducks mate for life. If something happens to one of them, the other remains on his/her own.

Human relationships are not as stable as that. Couples marry and separate with little regard for their partner.

How many couples do you know who are with their first spouse? For many of you that may be the case, but Hollywood stars and powerful athletes certainly are not monogamous. They float in and out of relationships sometimes not even bothering with the marriage part. Many have one or two children before they marry if they choose that route. That does not mean that they will stay together though.

In my mind marriage is the tie that binds. If that tie is not secure the family flounders. In today’s world the day of the wedding is the highlight with many brides and grooms. Many of them spend upward of $50,000 on the event. I think that is foolish.

A dress or food does not make the relationship stronger. They could have spent a lot less and had money for a down payment on a house or money to pay off college loans.

This being Valentine’s weekend there is a lot of love being expressed. Cards are being exchanged. Gifts are purchased.

Engagements will be announced. Does it really mean that the couple will stay together or is it just love for the moment?

My method of showing my love means that I will cook and bake. I will make a dinner that my spouse really likes. I will bake something for dessert. I may give a card, but that is it. My love is expressed through the things I do and not just on that day! If we all behaved in that manner just think how much better the world would be!

Happy Valentine’s Day. May your love be as strong tomorrow as it is today. It is hard work to maintain a relationship but it is very worth it!

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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