In the late 1800’s, young Fred left his home and family in Sweden and journeyed across the ocean to a new land. After arriving at Ellis Island, he immediately continued his journey, travelling west to find land to homestead.
In Iowa he discovered a community of other Swedish immigrants and wonderfully rich soil to farm. He also fell in love with Emma, daughter of another immigrant. On October 6, 1910, Fred and Emma married. They stuck together through storms, drought, and sickness, and raised corn, cows, chickens, and four children.
On their silver anniversary, friends gave Fred and Emma this plate:
Fred & Emma’s children (as grown children are wont to do) married and raised families of their own. When their oldest son celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary, they passed the plate on to him, who in turn gifted the anniversary plate to his oldest child in 1988. On my last anniversary, the plate was given to me. What a heritage.
On Valentine’s Day we might tend to think of cute little hearts, and picture dreamy kids gazing longingly at one another, but true love is so much more than those starry-eyed feelings. It’s a man and woman teaming up, sticking together regardless of what life throws their way. It’s the husband and wife sitting at Children’s Hospital today while their 15 year-old son has cardiac surgery. It’s the octogenarian couple holding hands in the doctor’s office, silently supporting one another as they wait for the verdict. It’s the twenty-somethings about to welcome their first child. Warm fuzzy feelings are nice, but they don’t pay the bills or mow the grass or put meals on the table. Love is a decision to stick together come what may.
I had high hopes for today. Pick up a ham so I could cook my husband’s favorite meal, and follow it with a homemade apple pie… Life got in the way. We started the day with a 600 pound calf still down (it lay down yesterday and couldn’t get up). I waited for the vet to come figure out what’s wrong and if it could be saved, then picked up the calf — no small feat — and got it warm & dry and some food into it. A run to the feed store for special grain and some medicine, and my day was shot. I placed a phone call to say, “Dear husband, I love you, but that calf will be food for 8 months if it grows up, or $1,000 toward someone’s college fund; you’ll get your special dinner another day.” I could hear his smile over the phone, “That calf is important. Love is more than a date on the calendar. Let’s clean up leftovers tonight.”
Hoping you had a terrific Valentine’s Day with your loved ones.