The Sweetest Thing – Valentine Surprise from the King of My Heart

February 18, 2017



{valentine’s day}

I’ve always LOVED Valentine’s Day! I have the fondest memories of construction paper hearts of pink, red, and white cleverly glued together to form dogs, caterpillars, and birds. Does anyone else remember how cool it was to learn that, by folding a piece of paper in half and cutting a teardrop shape on the fold, you would end up with a perfect heart? That changed my life!

I especially loved it when our elementary teachers would guide us into creating a giant envelope, decorated with one of those animals made of hearts, to hang from the front of our desks, ready to receive the delivery of tiny Valentine cards from our classmates. Oh! And what fun it was to make out the cards for my classmates! I’d always pick out the best ones for the kids I liked, saving my least favorites for kids who were mean to me. That’d teach ’em to be ugly to me!

Those cute, old-fashioned Valentines will always be my favorites!

They don’t make ’em like they used to!

{my forever valentine}

I’ve been married to the mailman for almost 33 years, but we’ve spent 36 Valentine’s Days together. Can you believe that?!? One of the early V-days I remember was 1984. Todd had moved into his own place – an old, two bedroom trailer house located on a lot behind his dad’s body shop. I planned this really “romantic” meal for us, complete with steak, baked potatoes, and candles. I’ve gotta admit, it was a setup. At the age of 17, I was chomping at the bit to get married, and I was setting it up perfectly for a proposal.

Funny thing about my man…you cannot force him to do anything he doesn’t want to do. Needless to say, the night was ruined when he called me out on my plot after I revealed my irritation at his not taking my bait. That was the precise moment I learned that if I wanted him to do anything, I had to somehow make it HIS idea. Lesson learned…

{a juicy surprise}

This year, the mailman insisted on coming to Abilene to pick me up at work and take me out to eat. This was in spite of my many attempts to just stay home and grill the beef tenderloins I’d purchased at Sam’s. “It’ll be alright,” he assured me as I whined about how crowded the restaurants would be. “It’s just about us being together.” (swoon, right?)

So, at around 4:45 that afternoon, a handsome man with a single, long-stemmed red rose stepped into my office with a big ol’ grin on his face. So precious!

He loaded me up in his pick-up and started driving toward the restaurant I had picked, but we ended up at the coliseum parked in front of the marquis. In an empty parking lot. Within a matter of a few seconds, I figured out what he was up to…an evening with Juice Newton!

Juice Newton

I know some of you might be asking, “Who the heck is Juice Newton?” To which I say, “She’s been with us since the very beginning.” I’ll close this post with the prologue to a love story. The story of how a hot-rodding rebel met the girl who would someday tame his wild heart.

{queen of hearts}

It was a hot evening in June. A fourteen-year-old brunette and her girlfriends were hanging out near the Little League field because that’s where all the action was in Smalltown, Texas. She rolled her eyes as the white Chevrolet pickup turned down the street, AC/DC blaring from the Spark-O-Matic speakers. She knew who this guy was. He was a wild one. He was an older guy, about to be a senior she was pretty certain.

The pickup rolled up beside her, and she knew he was trying to get her attention. The music was playing softly from inside the truck now, and he slowed to a stop, window rolled down, and asked, “Hey! Aren’t you the new cheerleader?”

“Yeah,” she replied, attempting to seem completely unaffected by this attention from a high school guy.

“I saw you at tryouts. You did good,” he said as the girl inched closer to the pickup. She was cautious but curious about this notorious “bad boy.”

“Why do you listen to that?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.

“You don’t like AC/DC? Well, what kind of music DO you like?”

“Country,” she drawled.

The boy flicked the latches on his “suitcase” of 8-track tapes and began skimming the spines until he found it. “The only country I’ve got is Juice Newton,” he announced. “You like Queen of Hearts?”

She nodded enthusiastically as he ejected the AC/DC and replaced it with Juice. They continued their awkward first conversation as Ms. Newton belted out Angel of the Morning, The Sweetest Thing, and finally Queen of Hearts.

Although she didn’t know it, she became the queen of his heart that very night. That is precisely where we (Todd & Missy) began.

Awwwwww! Ain’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever known?

The King of My Heart




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