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Give your Valentine more than flowers and chocolate

So everyone is talking about romance and love as Valentine’s Day approaches, but what about the other 364 days a year? Are we making time for romance — or at least the occasional night out without the kids — in our marriage on a regular basis? In honor of this holiday (which I don’t particularly like, by the way), here’s a column I wrote in the spring (obvious by the fact that there is no picnicking in Albany at this time of year!). It seemed like a good day to share it again. Here you go. And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Prescription for a better marriage? Start dating.

About eight or nine years ago, my aunt gave me a lovely picnic basket backpack, complete with cloth napkins, plastic wine glasses, everything you’d need for a romantic al fresco meal in a park or on a beach. And every year since then I have considered donating it to a school garage sale because, quite frankly, romantic picnics just weren’t on our “to do” list.

But something stopped me from throwing that backpack into the Hefty bags along with old puzzles and board games bound for the bargain bin. I had a tiny glimmer of hope that some day we would dust off that backpack and take it for a spin. Read more

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A Lenten Valentine: How do I love thee?

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day, never have been. Not sure why. I guess it’s mainly due to the commercial craziness of it and the push from retailers to give extravagant gifts as an expression of love. I’ll take flowers for no reason over roses on a forced holiday any time. Can I have two Ash Wednesdays instead? I know, weird, right? That’s why you love me. I’ll be expecting an extravagant gift by lunchtime. Read more