I must have felt a bit lost as a child, seventh of eight children, I imagine I got lost in the shuffle at times. On Valentines Day 1959 my mother was able to remind me that I was special. We lived in yet another small rural farming community in Washington. Orting– I loved Orting and remember this day fondly.You may have noticed since I began my blog, I am somewhat effusive and maybe even ebullient on the topic of my mother. She died almost a year ago today. This blog is about food and all the beautiful experiences I have had through out my life and the relationships developed,cultivated, nurtured with food at the heart. For better or for worse, I loved my mother deeply and her gift to me was her love of life and her curiosity. As this was kindergarten I had no precedent for what Valentines Day in the classroom was supposed to look like… Previously to celebrate various occasions I vaguely remember construction paper turkeys in brown, orange and yellow, cutting out green holly with red berries and using paste to attach one of my first art works to a construction paper frame. My class consisted of probably 20 children ( small compared to public classrooms today, I suppose). Unbeknownst to me my mother had arranged to be the Valentines Day parent. I was awestruck when my mother arrived making a spectacle of herself. She had dark brown hair and bright, intelligent blue eyes. She was a thirty-five year old woman dressed as was the style in purple pedal pushers and boat neck t-shirt, in one hand she had a plate piled high with Valentines cookies which appeared to be as big as my head, iced with royal icing in pink and white. In the other hand she held the leash of a small frightened spider monkey she had agreed to babysit at the last-minute. His eyes were bulging out of his tiny head and he chattered and clung to my mother’s pant leg. Luckily before any calamity befell us the cookies were distributed among my admiring classmates and my mother whisked off to attend to the monkey, while I basked in the warm afterglow of being remembered. So my word to all the parents out there, the moments you take on those extra special days can warm a heart for a lifetime.