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Valentine’s Day is a Comin!

Valentine?s Day

Flower Therapy

Valentine?s Day is one of the most important holidays for many women. Some men just don?t get it. For them it?s like trying to get women excited about Super Bowl Sunday. There are many guys who have this one figured out. Some guys though think it?s just another day for them to mess up. Many think it?s just another Hallmark holiday, a conspiracy by the card and flower folks.

One year, during the week of Valentine?s day, a guy was in my wife?s office making repairs. The gals in the office asked him if he knew what important holiday was that week? He did-n?t. When they told him, he said, ?Yeah, I know, Valentine?s Day is between Christmas and summer.? He said, ?I would have known in a day or so anyway because I?m on a guys? hotline. We have been in so much trouble in the past that we formed this guys? phone hot line. If one of the members becomes aware of an event of importance, he calls the rest of the guys.? This could have national significance.

If you want to see a pathetic sight, go into a florist after 3:00 p.m. on Valentine?s Day. There will be a hoard of men milling around bumping into each other, completely out of their element. They waited until the last minute again, charged in, waited in long lines, paid a high price, and probably did not get their first choice of the flowers they wanted because they waited too long?again. But these guys know if they don?t go home with flowers, their sweetheart is going to have the oven door open, the gas on, and her head inside.

My fire engineer friend, Gene, told me a Valentine?s story from last year. A couple of days before the special day, his wife Sharon said, ?You bought me flowers last week; you don?t need to get me flowers on Valentine?s Day.? That?s not what she meant. Because when Gene came home without flowers, Sharon said, ?All my girl friends got flowers.? Gene stood there like Forest Gump and said, ?Well, you told me not to do it.? He went right out and got some flowers. Of course, then it was too late.

We celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary by going by train from Vancouver to Lake Louise, Canada. When I tried to order roses for the occasion the florist asked if I knew what I was doing. Long stem red roses in Canada are not easy to get and if you can get them, they?re expensive. Whatever it took, this was part of my plan. Luckily, I was prepared when I got the Visa bill at home the next month. It was worth it. I was considering substituting two of the roses with carnations. I was going to tell Harriet those were for those two bad years, you remember. But better judgment prevailed.

On that magic day I got into a tizzy because the 25 roses hadn?t showed up. A check with the florist revealed they had made an error in our hotel location. Quick on their feet, they asked, ?What restaurant are you going to? Great! We will deliver the flowers there.?

As soon as we walked into the restaurant you could see the huge arrangement of long stem red roses. (I get chills just writing about this.) Talk about Love Bank deposits.

As we started to sit down at our table, those around us stood up and applauded. We received warm greetings all evening from many others in the restaurant. It actually turned out better than if they had been delivered to our room.

We did take the arrangement back to our room. When we left, Harriet gave the roses to the staff at the hotel. Since roses were not available in this area they were a big hit again. Harriet dried one that she keeps with a picture taken at the table in the restaurant.

When I first met rookie firefighter Mike he was dating a true love. But Joyce ended the relationship because she thought Mike was too silly and immature. This hurt Mike deeply.

For the next seven years Mike patiently sent Joyce flowers anonymously on a regular basis.

Finally at a party one night they saw each other again. Not silly anymore (probably more mature), Mike was able to get a date and the relationship was rekindled.

Once the situation started to show signs of getting serious Mike told Joyce that he had been the one who had faithfully been sending the flowers. Joyce emotionally fell apart. They are married and have a son. Love and flowers conquer all.

Flowers always leave a fragrance in the hand that bestows them---Chinese proverb

Tony is a firefighter and friend. He has a great imagination, is creative and he?s a real romantic. When he started dating, they became true-to-life love birds. Wedding bells were sure to chime. When it came time to pop the question, Tony didn?t want to do it in the traditional way. He took Joyce to Kauai, Hawaii. They went out scuba diving. Since Tony was a more experienced diver he went down first to check the area out then came back for Joyce. While on the dive, Tony pointed to a sea shell sitting on a rock. He signaled for Joyce to open it. What do you think was inside? The engagement ring she had been waiting for. She lost her mouth piece when she gasped and took in the whole ocean. Did she accept? . . . Well of course she did.

They married. The next year Joyce became pregnant with their first child. Then three months later Joyce was diagnosed with cancer. She held off as much of the treatment as possible until the baby was far enough along where labor could be induced. Jason was a little fighter and made it just fine. As much of a fighter as Joyce was, she couldn?t beat this one. She passed away six months later.

Firefighters are a close family. Being so close, it affected all of us walking Tony and Joyce through this tragedy. After going through this ordeal, here he was with his emotions and a new child to raise. Friends and relatives pitched in to shore Tony up and help him get on with his life. There was no doubt he was anxious and depressed.

One of those who came forward was an old girlfriend Betty. As the volunteers pared off and got back to their lives, Betty remained. The caring schoolteacher grew attached to Jason. Tony explained to her that he was emotionally in no position to be in a relationship. Betty understood. She was there to nurture. As time went on they did date. Tony repeated his emotional statement. A year-and-a-half passed. Jason was now two-and-a-half. A few days before Valentine?s Day, Jason was sitting at the table eating. He held his little cup up to Betty and for the first time uttered these words, ?Mommy, more.?

Who do you think sent flowers to Betty at her school a few days later? The card read, ?Thank you for being a good mommy to me.? Signed Jason. Wedding bells were sure to chime. They married and have two more sons.

Carol is in charge of a board and care facility where my father lived. She was really kind to my dad. When I was out with my dad one day, I pulled into a florist shop. He asked, ?What are we doing here?? I told him we were getting Carol some flowers. He said, ?Why??
?Just as a gesture, Pop.?
?She doesn?t want any. She doesn?t need any.?
?How do you know, Pop?? When my Dad gave Carol the flowers and the card thanking her for all she had done for him, she was stunned. She said, ?Things are tough around here, and it?s not often someone goes out of the way to show his appreciation.?

In the bouquet was a strand of tuberoses from Hawaii. That night Carol put the arrangement by her bed. During the night Carol kept getting scents of the tuberoses, reminding her of a trip to Hawaii. Right, Pop, she didn?t want any flowers.

Nugget: Use flower therapy often, even if there is no

How: Pick up the phone and order them or pick them
up at a store. Costco is a great place to get great inexpensive flowers. Pay a couple of extra bucks to get the roses (if your lady likes them), not the carnations. If you?re in doubt as to what to `order`, ask the florist. He or she will know what?s fresh and appropriate from the available selection. This is their business. One flower can sometimes be enough. A hand-picked bouquet can create romance.

From the Book Fire Up Your Communications Skills
Fire Captain Bob, Author

This message was edited by captbob on 1-30-05 @ 8:16 PM