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Love is infinitely powerful

February 13, 2012

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was lovely, really, and even lovelier was the light fall of snow we had Monday night, just right, where these tiny sparkly flakes fell, three or four flakes deep, over the land. And when the light returned on Valentine's Day, everything sparkled for a while.

Mr. Sundberg is away this week, in Nashville this time, giving a presentation about quality of life and failure to thrive and how each day ought to include laughter. Well, I agree with that one. It's Valentine's Day, year three spending it alone, and I've managed to keep my own spirits up. I got up this morning and called my neighbor Simon, 72ish, whose wife is not well and who loves a good piece of chocolate. He agreed to a road trip with me to buy a gift for his wife and we visited two local chocolateries (I know. Not a word. But I like it.) Though the chocolates weren't cheap, we went ahead and bought truffles and raspberry cordials and mint crèmes and something called a "Columbian Hotsy Totsy." That was the first place, and on our drive to the next we ate some chocolate with almonds and it was so good. We didn't buy much at the next apart from the colorful ten chocolates he chose for Violet, his wife. On the drive home, more chocolate consumed, and laughter shared.

I don't know how I'll spend the rest of the day. The kids will be home soon, and there's a plate of heart-shaped cookies waiting for them on the counter. I gave them each a sack of chocolate this morning, with a Valentine card and a rhyming poem I wrote myself for each. "Mine doesn't rhyme," one of them said, and when I read it aloud, I got a bit choked up. "I guess it does. Thanks Mom," she said.

We're having boneless pork chops with wild rice and sweet and sour sauce for dinner. I thought about shaping the pork into hearts and then rolled my eyes at myself. There will be homework, and chocolate malts, and a call from Mr. Sundberg. I'll remind him how he gave me gas station roses, a handmade card, and some blaze orange underwear the first Valentine's Day we shared, and we'll laugh, long-distance, and whisper, "I love you so much."

Yes. A perfectly imperfect day. I may watch, late in the night, Romeo and Juliet for the 27th time. I love that story. The lesson being we really should all just get along, and that love is infinitely powerful, and that there are people out there, should we choose to seek them out, who might enliven our lives in a moment. And others, all round, who bring light to the moments in our lives. Hold them close, those people. Hold their hands. Take 'em on a road trip, or make pork for them, or dial their numbers and tell them, "I will always love you."

Here's about the easiest amazing treat I could find. A cake mix, some cream cheese, and chocolate chips and you'll send your loved ones into orbit.

Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Chocolate cake mix, any variety

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

6 oz chocolate chips

Dash of salt

Mix cake batter according to directions. Set aside. Combine cream cheese and sugar. Add egg, chips and salt. Mix.

Place cupcake papers in pan. Fill each about 1/3 full of batter. Drop a spoonful of cream cheese mixture in center. Cover with batter til paper is about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake according to mix directions.

Frost with your favorite frosting. Cream cheese or chocolate is good.

Enjoy!

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