It's Valentine's Day! I'm not big on worrying about celebrating this particular holiday because, of course, every day with Jim is like Valentine's Day (little murmurings and oohs and ahhs can be heard in the background, soft music playing, butterflies are flittering and all is right with the world). Ok, ok! Back to reality.
Jim is my best friend and we don't get our shorts in a knot over man-made holidays. We have fun together and our relationship has only grown stronger over the years. Tonight, Jim will be at church and I will be at the "BIG" 8th grade dance for my kiddos at school. So instead of a romantic evening together at dinner or such, we spent a very romantic breakfast together with members of the high school wrestling team at IHOP. All you can eat pancakes were ordered by all. Yessiree, we know how to do it up right! Now, don't be jealous. Actually, this is one of my most favorite things to do---spend time with young people. Every weekday morning, Jim gets up at the crack of dawn to work out with these guys at the high school. The real coach can't be there because of his job, so Jim fills in. He loves building relationships with these kids. In the long run, it's all about building relationships, not building muscles. This only makes me love him more.
A few years ago, Jim had to officiate at the funeral service for one of three volunteer football coaches/statisticians killed by a drunk driver on their way home from a Friday night game. One of the things he charged us all to do was to "be tender with one another". That struck me and it's one of the things that I have grown to love most about him---he is tender with the young, the old, the hurting. What is not to love about that?
Happy Valentine's Day, Jim. Jim and Steve with Dahni in the DR. Dahni is a Haitian who put the decorative finish on the church floor. His shoes were four sizes too small for him. Jim and Steve left him their workboots and some sneakers. Love, Jan
Pouring a cement floor at the church in Hato Mayor.
Totally pooped after a harrowing ride to Sosua, DR.
I write for me.
What's up with those shoes, you may ask? After driving 30 minutes to work one fine day, I looked down as I got out of the car and saw this. Good thing I work with middle school students! I used it as a teachable moment to show them how one could survive something stupid and laugh at oneself in the process. Invariably, whenever I wear the "giraffe" shoes, a student will comment that, "Hey, you're wearing the same shoes today!"