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Every Day is Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day and while you will be reading this the day after, it was suggested to me that I share my own Valentine’s Day surprise.

First, a little background: 40 years ago today, my husband asked me to marry him. While I was pretty sure he would ask at some point, I didn’t know when. I thought he might ask at Christmas when his entire family kept smiling and making marriage comments, but no ring showed up in my stocking. Being in love, but only 18, I let my slight disappointment go and figured maybe he wanted to wait a while longer.  I never gave Valentine’s Day a thought since he had told me many times he thought it was an overblown holiday. Sigh…such a romantic; and here I was, coming from a family that celebrated all holidays.

When the day arrived and he came to pick me up, he asked me to get him something from the glove compartment. There was my ring! Rubies and a diamond! And him grinning the whole time as he asked me to marry him in the car in my mom’s driveway. Of course I said yes and jumped out of the car to go show my mom. And how was he was going to beat that each year? He said it would have to last me the next 50 years! Wait! What? 50 years?  And so we began our lives together and I learned to accept that every day with him was Valentine’s Day and he has shown it in many ways, but never made a big deal of the actual day.

Today, however, when I woke up there was a GIFT! The biggest box of candy and a beautiful card. Once again, he managed to surprise me.  Now who is going to help me eat all that candy?

By the way, for his gift that day 40 years ago I got him a Tina Pocket knife. This was the kind my grandfather, Albert Behnke, used all the time for working at the nursery, and since my husband also worked at a nursery I thought it might be perfect. It was, and he still has it!

I hope you had a marvelous day, but just remember that Valentine’s Day can really be every day if you just look around and see all the blessings in your life. Although a box of chocolates sure is nice.

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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