The End … Trying Again!

Your long awaited questions shall be answered at last in this ongoing saga of ” A Mama for Anna”. Thanks for enjoying the ride thus far.  Hope you enjoy “The End!” If you missed the most recent story in this saga, here is the link. The Finale?? Maybe … Maybe Not!

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Luke was out in the barn in the early morning hours, sitting and milking sweet Betsy with thoughts swirling around in his brain. He hadn’t known that his heart was capable of loving again, but Julia had broken through with her sweet love. The nights that they spent out on the porch swing looking at the stars, after Annie was in bed, were some of the favorite moments of his day.

Sometimes they would talk, sharing whatever was on their heart, and laughing about something Annie had said, and sometimes they just sat in the silence. A comfortable silence, arms wrapped around each other as they looked into the sky. with moments of their lips speaking without words.

Yes, life was really going well for him, he could get lost in his daydreams about Julia. the softness of her skin and how her hair looked when she let it down at night. When she would have that look in her eye meant only for him, and all he wanted to do was …

“OUCH!” Betsy had just kicked him with her leg. He knew she didn’t kick as hard as she could have, but it still hurt!

“Sorry girl!” he said, he realized he had pulled a little too hard, while lost in his daydreams. He finished up with her, before letting his thoughts drift again. He didn’t need bruises on both legs!

Once he finished up he went over to the little white cross to take care of his other job that he needed to do. He had to deliver a special package to the Fluffer Nutter Shoppe. No one knew what he had buried under the cross, it was the best hiding place that he had ever thought of.  Not many were willing to take their chances of digging under a cross, they didn’t want to risk finding a body!

He dug up the box and put it in his wagon. Now he just needed to eat breakfast with Julia and Annie and he would be on his way.

The Chicken Man was in the Fluffer Nutter Shoppe bright and early again. He had been out on a morning hike with Charlie and Tucker, and now needed to rest while enjoying some coffee.

“Is Luke here yet? ” the Chicken Man asked?

“Nope, haven’t seen him. I still can’t believe what he had under the cross all this time, who would have guessed!”

“You thought it was a dead body!” said Mr. Fluffer to Mr. Nutter.

“I wasn’t the only one who thought that! You let your imagination go too and Chicken Man over here, thought for sure something was up because of Tucker sniffing around the cross before.”

“Guess we were all duped!” said Mr.Fluffer, as they all nodded their heads and they went back to rocking in their chairs.

“Crack!” “Thud!”

The Chicken Man was sitting on the floor in a daze, while his buddies were trying not to laugh.

“Well next time you decide to flop on the floor, let us know, and we will put a cushion down for  you.”  said Mr. Fluffer.

“Guess we need a new rocking chair now! And add a coffee cup to his tab as well.” said Mr.Nutter, as he looked at the broken cup on the floor.

He gave the Chicken Man a hand to help him stand up.

Mr.Fluffer brought him another cup of coffee. This one is on the house, being that you already are paying for the rocker and the coffee cup.

“Thanks, you are too kind”.

“Don’t mention it!” Mr. Fluffer and Mr. Nutter said.

The bell jangled as Luke walked through the door. They all greeted each other and Luke was carrying the box in his hands. He set it down and they all gathered round to watch him open it.

Just then the door swung wide open as the bell jangled loudly! Miss. Jill came dashing in the store.  “Hey guys, there is someone out here who wants to meet you.”

They all looked at each other wondering what she was talking about, but momentarily forgetting the box, they ran out the door with Miss. Jill.

“Anna!” the Chicken Man called out. She turned to him and smiled. She walked over to him and thanked him for the kindness he had shown her in the woods. She told him that she lived in the orphanage, but often ran away from it to go in the woods.

Her parents had died on the train long ago, they had been very sick, and were traveling to see a special Doctor, but it was too late.  Anna was little and scared by all the people milling around her parents at the train station and so she had ran away.

She turned to Luke and said that when she saw his little white cross she thought that maybe her parents were buried there, so that’s why he had seen her there at times.

Their hearts were warmed by how sweet Anna was and they wished her the best as they walked back into the Shoppe. They sure hoped that she would be adopted soon they said to each other, as they gathered around the box once more.

Luke opened the box and they all oohed and ahhhed over what was inside. Gold, precious Gold!! Luke had generously offered to share it with them, if he could help run the “Fluffer Nutter Shoppe” too. He wanted to add some ice cream to it, he thought the kids in town would love that. He thought perhaps they could have sweet potato ice cream.  The others looked at him like he was crazy, but he was the one with the gold! He also was really hoping that the Chicken Man could get him a talking chicken, Annie would love it!

Luke smiled. yes, life was good, very good indeed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Finale?? Maybe … Maybe Not!

Why the question marks after my title?  If you have been following my story ,A Mama for Anna  you will understand. Is this really the End?  Will it become a series?  Your guess is probably as good as mine! With this story my  “followers” have had a large say in it, so I am just taking a deep breath, diving in, and waiting with baited breath to find out.

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“Cock a doodle doo!” The rooster was loudly greeting the new day, but Julia sure didn’t feel like it. The baby had been kicking her all night long. Now it had finally decided to take a break from it acrobatics. Julia may be tired, but she couldn’t help but smile, while rubbing her stomach.

“Have I told you how much I love your smile, my sweet Buttercup?”  Luke said, as he put his arm around her and Julia snuggled her head against his shoulder.

“Only about a hundred times, but whose counting.” she quietly said, with her eyes still closed, breathing out a contented sigh.

They laid in bed for a little while longer, until Luke gave her a soft kiss. “You do make it harder to get out of bed in the morning.”

She gave him a little nudge, saying, “Oh but you have to go, for sweet Betsy and the other cows are calling your name. Plus, now I can spread out on the bed”, and she gave him a little push.

“Oh, I see how it is!”, laughing, he got out of bed and got dressed, as Julia sprawled out in the middle of the bed.

“Just remember, I like my bacon crispy, not my toast!” he quickly went out the bedroom door, dodging the pillow that Julia threw.  Julia smiled as the door shut, she would just close her eyes for a few more minutes and then start breakfast. Yes, poor Luke had to put up with several burnt offerings in the beginning, but she had greatly improved! He just couldn’t resist being a tease!

Meanwhile back in town, Miss. Jill, the fabric store owner was having quite the morning. She had spilled her coffee on herself when she went to sit down. Then she couldn’t find the salt to put on her scrambled eggs.

She also wasn’t looking forward to dealing with Miss.Delaney today. Jill had her dress all made for her. She knew though that  Miss.Delaney, she would find something wrong with it. The lady was so hard to please! Jill had to bite her tongue several times around her. She let out a sigh and then spied the salt shaker and shook it all over her eggs.  Took a big bite and her eyes got watery.  What was red pepper doing in her salt shaker! She smacked her head!

The Chicken Man was on his 3rd cup of coffee at the “Fluffer Nutter Shoppe”. He had just successfully beat Mr.Fluffer at checkers for the third time in a row.  “We need to play poker”, Mr.Fluffer said. The Chicken Man smiled, leaning back in his chair.

“Hey, I never told you guys what happened a couple weeks ago when I was in the woods.”  the Chicken Man said. He went on to explain to them about meeting the young girl, whose name was Anna, and seeing her a few times after that, among the trees

His friends listened intently, and Mr.Nutter shook his head, not seeming surprised.

“Have you guys never heard about the legend that has been told over the years?”

The Chicken Man and Mr. Fluffer, both shook their heads “No”.

Mr.Nutter leaned began to rock as he shared the story. “Legend says that long ago there was a little girl at a train station looking for her Mama. Others had seen her, but as quickly as she came she disappeared. No one knew her story. People have seen her in the woods from time to time, but just like your experience, no one has been able to talk with her long enough to learn much about her. She just runs off.”

Mr. Fluffer spoke up, “That is intriguing, never had heard about it,  but I did hear the mystery surrounding the little white cross.”

The Chicken Man and Mr. Nutter, nodded their heads, that was a mystery that everyone was aware of, but people were split on what they thought.

There was a little white cross in the fields where Mr.Luke Shadow lived. He was known to all as a gentleman and people felt very sorry about what had happened to his wife, but no one quite knew for sure what the little white cross in his fields was for. They had heard that it was a memorial to his wife, but some didn’t buy that explanation. They thought there was more to the story than what he was telling, even though he had repeated the story often. Were their actual bones buried under the cross and if so, who or what did they belong too?

“I went to see Mr.Shadow once, and had Charlie with me. He couldn’t stop sniffing around that little white cross. Mr.Shadow watched him closely out of the corner of his eye and seemed nervous to me as we were talking.” the Chicken Man said.

There was silence as they all wondered about the two mysteries for a little bit.

” Well, I know one thing we all can be sure of…. I bet that I can win another game of checkers.” said the Chicken Man.

“No, we are playing poker this time, get the chips,” Mr. Fluffer said.

“But I ate them!” replied Mr. Nutter.

Mr. Fluffer smacked his head with his hand and the Chicken Man rolled his eyes.

Mr. Nutter laughed as he went to get the chips and they all started playing.

While everyone was going about their day, no one seemed to notice the shadow of the little girl, with the chestnut brown hair kneeling beside the little white cross in the field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words from the Heart

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A memory has been in my mind the past couple days, and when I saw this quote I thought how well it fit with it.

My memory is woven tightly into my heart from something that happened when I was in the hospital back in 2012.  It was a rather scary time for all of us, because no one quite knew what was wrong and the possible diagnosis being thrown around wasn’t something we wanted to hear.

My family and friends wanted to take away my pain, but they couldn’t! They wanted to fix me, but even the Doctors didn’t know how to fix me. What they could do though and what they did do, was let me know I wasn’t alone.

That is the best gift you can give someone who is hurting. As one friend shared with me when I was going through a hard time, they would be holding the light for me.  I can’t remember the whole quote they shared, but I know those words about holding the light warmed my heart, they let me know I wasn’t alone.

So what is the specific memory that tugged at my heart and inspired this post? It was one night that my husband and children had come to visit. My hand was having a spasm that I couldn’t control, it kept hitting my leg. My 10 year old was sitting beside me on my bed and he was watching without saying a word. Then he gently took my hand and put it over his leg saying, “Hit my leg Mommy!”

Those 4 little words will forever be one of the most powerful “I love you” statements that I ever heard!

The END of the Story!

Sometimes when one writes what they think is the end of the story, it turns out not to be the end! So even though you read the conclusion to my series of stories about Julia, Luke and little Annie, there is still a little more to come yet! I was strongly encouraged to write an Epilogue and since I like to keep my followers happy, here you go. I hope you enjoy it!

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“Mama, Mama, he is here again, can I go pet the chicken please?”

Annie tugged at Julia’s arm as she pointed to the man with his pet chicken. They only came to town twice a month to stock up on all their belongings and Annie always loved the trip. She got to visit the candy shop and spend the pennies she had saved up and she also loved seeing the chicken man. He was the only man who she had ever seen walk his chicken on a leash. At times they would even see him put the chicken on his shoulder and bend his head towards the chicken like it was talking to him!

After they visited with the chicken man they went to Jill’s fabric store. She always had the prettiest fabrics to choose from and was often heard singing to herself. Sometimes she would get so caught up in singing that she forgot what she was doing, but she was a nice lady, even if she was a little crazy.

Julia wanted to make Annie a new dress and may even make herself one. She had noticed the way Luke looked at her when she wore her jade green dress. His eyes sparkled, and it made Julia feel warm all over. It was amazing how quickly in the past year that the love between them had bloomed. The color still rose in her cheeks, as she remembered the very first time his lips had brushed against hers. The magic she had felt that night under the stars. Oh she had to stop daydreaming now and concentrate or they would never get done shopping.

Finally they made their purchases at the fabric store and Annie  was skipping with joy, she been able to pick out some pretty coral pink fabric.

“Mama! Could you make a little dress for my Lulu too?” Julia put her arm around Annie and drew her close, “Yes, I think we could do a matching dress for Lulu.” Julia said and  Annie squealed with delight.

They had one more store to go too and than they would start the trip back home. The last store, “The FlufferNutter Shoppe”  was the one owned by 2 older gentleman, who often made Annie laugh with their puns and silly stories. Julia would roll her eyes but often couldn’t hide her smile. As Julia picked out some coffee and cornmeal to make grits, she listened to Annie giggle.

They made their purchases and were about to leave when the bell jangled over the door and in walked the chicken man again. He was a good friend of the 2 older gentleman and often would come in to the store to take a coffee break with them. Julia was shaking her head as she and Annie were walking out of the store, hearing them talking about unicorns and gnus!

On the ride home Annie started out chattering, but it didn’t take her long to fall asleep against Julia’s shoulder. Julia’s mind began to wander back to thinking about Luke. She recalled the night he had opened up to her about what the little white cross stood for.

It had been a memorial to his wife.  Three months after she had suddenly left he got a letter saying how wrong she had been to leave and how she was coming home. That she had been mad at him, but now she couldn’t wait to see him and be in his arms again. His heart was full of mixed emotions, for he had been deeply hurt by her leaving, but oh how he had missed her. Was his world was coming back together?

The week that she was supposed to arrive, there had been a stagecoach robbery. He didn’t know at first if it was her stagecoach that had been robbed but his stomach was in knots with worry, until it was confirmed. He saw her name in black and white listed as one of the passengers on the coach. It had been robbed by the Axe brothers. They had killed everyone on the stagecoach. It took awhile but at last they were caught, though it was believed that their leader a woman named Lizzie was still on the loose.

Julia’s heart had ached for him and all he had been through. She had  been determined to make his heart sing again and the way this year has been going she couldn’t be happier. She pulled on the reins of the horses a little harder, she was anxious to get back home and be wrapped in his arms once again, while whispering  her little surprise secret into his ear.

 

A Mama For Anna … Part 4 The Conclusion

In case you missed yesterday’s post here is the link for A Mama for Anna … Part 3

 

Julia was sitting down by the babbling creek, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Annie was taking a nap and Luke was reading on the couch, but Julia was pretty sure he would soon be taking a nap as well. She had seen his eyes grow heavy as they had been having a nice chat. As the weeks passed, he was opening up to her more and she was becoming more comfortable around him. His eyes were shining brighter and she was enjoying hearing him laugh more.

The cool water splashed up onto her feet, as she dangled them from the log she was sitting on. She hadn’t asked him about the little white cross, but it was still on her mind. What was buried there? Obviously it was special to him, for there was a heart on the cross. What did she really know about this man? He said his wife had just up and left them, but was that really the true story, or was there more?

Julia shook her head as a shiver ran through her. She needed to get hold of herself. Luke had been nothing but a true gentleman to her since she had been there, and she was growing more fond of him over time. Her Mama had always said that she had a wild imagination and right now Julia was letting it run away with her!

There was a tap on her shoulder and she jumped. Had she been that deep in thought that she didn’t notice anyone coming? She turned around and jumped again when she saw Luke standing there holding an ax in his hand!

“Are you okay? You are looking a little pale. Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you” Luke said, with a little smile as he sat down beside her.

“You are fine,  I was just lost in thought and didn’t hear you coming.”

“Lost in thought, care to share what you were thinking about?” Luke asked, as he pulled up a dandelion and plucked off its head.

Julia’s cheeks started to flush.

“The color red looks nice on you.” Luke said with a smirk.

Now Julia was definitely blushing! She quickly changed the subject “Where is Annie? Is she still napping?”

“Here I am!” Annie popped out from behind the big Weeping Willow tree, running to Julia with her arms outstretched.

Julia gave her a big hug, as her heart tried to go back to its normal rhythm.

“Well Annie, you stay by Julia now as I cut some dead branches off of the tree, okay!”

“Oh you are going to cut some branches off the tree, of course, that’s why you have the ax, silly me!” Julia said, and then covered her mouth when she realized she had voiced her thoughts out loud.

“That’s the plan, don’t know why else I would have carried the ax down here with me.” Luke looked at her a little quizzically, and then turned to go to the tree. Women could be so perplexing at times, he thought. Then he smiled , recalling her blush. He was going to have to see if he could cause her to blush again, that would be fun. The color red did look good on her, and he chuckled.

Life had a way of throwing you curve balls, and he had been through the dark times when he didn’t think he would make it, but with each passing day he was reminded of how the light can shine again after the dark. He looked towards the happy giggles coming a short distance away. He watched as Julia swung Annie around in her arms, and he caught the glow of the sun shining on Julia’s blonde hair. His heart was warmed, as he turned back towards the tree and hummed a happy tune.

 

 

A Mama for Anna … Part 3

Here is the link to Part 2 , in case you missed it, of a story that appears to just keep going. Thanks for following along.  A Mama for Anna … Part 2

It was a nice day to be outside in the backyard. Julia was planting some purple and yellow lupines while Annie played with Lulu, her dolly. The whippoorwill was singing its little song from its perch on the Weeping Cherry Tree.

Julia had just planted her last flower. She smiled as she heard Annie singing  to LuLu while rocking her in her arms. Standing up and stretching Julia looked around, wondering if there was another place she should plant flowers at. She walked over towards the Weeping Cherry tree, there was a fence behind it , perhaps she could line the fence with some pretty flowers. What was that? It was so tiny that must have been how she missed seeing it before.

She knelt down in front of the little white cross that was under the tree. Why was it there? There was a little heart drawn on the cross, but that was it, no words.

“Mama, Lulu wants some cookies and milk, can we have some>”  Julia looked behind her and saw Annie walking towards her. She stood up to go towards her. “Cookies and milk sound like a great idea”, she said and she grabbed Annie’s hands to walk into the house. Annie was chatting away, but Julia’s mind was still wondering about that little white cross with no name.

Luke’s face was pensive. He had seen Julia kneeling beside the Weeping Cherry Tree. He had been on his way back to the house, and he stopped and watched her. He sighed. Now she was probably going to ask him about it and he didn’t want to talk about it. Why did woman always want to know things, and always chattering? He shook his head. She was great with Annie, he couldn’t deny that. His heart swelled with joy when he saw how happy his little Annie was. She deserved it, for she meant the world to him!

Julia was patient with Annie, she was a typical 5 year old, she could have her tantrums for sure. Luke remembered when she was 2 years old and just the fight it was to put her coat on if she didn’t want it and especially to put her to bed. Some nights he didn’t think he would make it as he would fall into bed exhausted, only to hear her cry out for him 2 hours later.

He would rock her back to sleep and in those quiet times his mind would drift back to the past. In the peace of the night is when the memories would come that would cause his heart to ache.

He turned back, he would go back to the house a little later, he couldn’t face Julia’s curious eyes right now and her questions. Her deep blue eyes, that he felt at times could see right through him. He liked to see them sparkle when she was laughing with Annie. Could he make her eyes sparkle? Did he want to? How would it feel to run his fingers through her hair? The sofa was making his back ache each morning.  Oh where were these thoughts coming from. His heart stirred, but he didn’t know if his heart really wanted to go in that direction, and he dug his shovel hard into the field.

A Mama for Anna … Part 2

If you missed Part 1, here is the link. A Mama for Anna

 

The rooster crowed as Julia pulled the covers over her head. Would she ever get used to hearing the rooster’s call at the crack of dawn, or would she end up making rooster stew some day!

Her mind thought back over the last few weeks and how much her life has changed. How her heart was already gone. The cords of love had wrapped themselves around her heart. She had never guessed that she would fall so quickly for an adorable red-haired 5 year old girl. Little Anna worked her magic and  had her wrapped around her finger.

She was a whirlwind of energy that kept Julia on her toes. Having quite the imagination, she would regale Julia with stories about the adventures that her dolly Lulu and her teddy bear  Butterscotch had together.

Julia sighed, for Anna had been so easy to get to know and warmed up to Julia right away. Her hugs warmed Julia’s heart, whenever she would start to miss her home back East.  Luke though was a different story. He was very kind, Julia couldn’t complain there, He had yellow roses for her when she had met him at the train station. He was a gentleman, but a man of little words.

His letters to her before she came hadn’t contained very much information about him and Anna, besides the basics. It told of how he really needed a Mama for his sweet Anna and someone to take care of the house. Julia had been hoping he would open up more when she arrived. All she knew was that Anna’s Mommy had suddenly left them when Anna was only 3 years old. Luke had come in from the fields one day for lunch to find Anna crying in her crib and his wife nowhere around. There was no note, but her suitcase and all her clothes were missing.

What had happened to her Julia wondered. How could she leave little Anna? How did Luke cope the past 2 years, his heart had to have been so broken. Julia was lost in thought when she heard a knock on the door.

“Julia are you awake? I got breakfast ready, I have to go milk the cows.”

Julia looked at the clock, Oh dear, she was late! She had told him that she would cook him breakfast this morning. Quickly she threw on her robe and ran a brush through her hair before going out into the kitchen.

The aroma of bacon made her stomach growl and the pancakes looked nice and fluffy waiting for her on the table. She smelled the coffee brewing, and poured herself a cup before going to wake up Anna. Her face scrunched up as she tasted it, Luke sure did like his coffee strong! She would have to make sure to wake up in time tomorrow and make her own coffee. She sat down watching the sky change colors as the sun came up.  Breathing in the peace and quiet for a moment, before her day began.

 

 

 

 

A Mama for Anna

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picture of the train that we went on this summer on our trip to beautiful British Columbia! Picture is real, the following story though is fiction.

 

“Clickety clack, clickety clack!” The motion of the train as it rolled down the tracks felt soothing to her. She watched out the window at all the beauty rushing by. Julia had been riding the train for almost a week now, but she still didn’t tire of watching out the window. Though she was getting anxious to finally get to her destination and be able to breathe in the fresh air, for longer than just a few minutes. It would be nice to be at her own house too, a place she could call home.

Swallowing a lump in her throat, she smoothed out her dress the best she could with her hands. Perhaps she should have picked the other dress to wear, but it was too late to worry about that now. Was she dressed too fancy or not fancy enough?  Oh now her stomach started churning. Clenching her hands she took a deep breath in and breathed out as she un-clenched her hands.

Julia tried to remember the sweet words her Mama had said to her, before she got on the train heading into the unknown. Her Mama had pulled her close into a tight hug and whispered in her ear. Her voice was barely audible, Julia knew she was fighting back tears as well, but she was being strong for her daughter, like she always had been.

The train was slowing down, this was it. The time had come. Julia fingered the locket around her neck. The one her Mama had put on her as she gave her a kiss goodbye.

The train had reached the END of the line, but for Julia her new life was just beginning!

Nervously Luke paced in front of the train twisting his hat in his hands. His heart was thudding. Was he doing the right thing?

“Daddy, Daddy?” Anna pulled on his arm. “What will she look like?”

Luke ran his fingers through Anna’s hair as he said, “Remember what the letter said? She has fiery red hair, pretty like yours!”

“Oh Daddy, I can’t wait! I gonna have a new Mama!” and Anna’s eyes sparkled.

Luke smiled as a peace came over him. Yes, he had done the right thing in placing the ad, Anna needed a Mama. He took a deep breath looking at his dear daughter, who was smiling from ear to ear. His heart had butterflies in it, would she like him? Of course she would fall in love with Anna, she was adorable, but what about him? All his questions would be answered in time, for now he did feel anticipation, their new life was just beginning!

 

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

 

I saw an article yesterday that caught my attention. One of those moments when you are touched by the hearts of others. A High School Senior had planned ahead and on Valentine’s Day surprised not one or two or three girls with flowers, but all the girls in his entire school! He bought flowers for 170 girls! He simply did it because he did not want girls to be sad as they watched everyone else get flowers. He said how everyone deserves to know that they are special! What a great guy! Have a great day and remember to spread some smiles! You never know who might need them!

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Friday’s Super Short Stories!

Show your special someone that you love them on the other 364 days of the year too, or the flowers you give on Valentine’s Day may as well be weeds! 

When your husband sends you a message from work asking if you found his surprise, and you have no where left to look! 

Music is a way for your heart to speak. What is a favorite love song of yours? 

Sharing 2 songs today, “Because you loved me..” by Celine Dion and “IF”. The first song is not just for the love of your life! For me I think of my family and dear friends and my husband and children when I hear this song. They all have shown me love in many different ways that lift me up and keep me going and for that I am so grateful!  Now the other song “If” is a more specific love song. It was one of many songs that Brad put on a cassette tape ( remember those) for me when we were dating. The old love songs still warm my heart, much more than “Here’s my number, call me, maybe…” by Justin Beiber. 

Enjoy and have a wonderful day, celebrating the love of those around you, which is something to be grateful for every day!