Velvet Hearts filled with Chocolate and Love

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Valentine’s Day meant a box filled with chocolates from the man who’ll always have my heart; and the candy store that is close to heaven.

I think most of us have fond memories of a candy store. Most of my sweet confections came from the local variety store and I loved looking at all the “penny candy” and choosing my favorites (and yes, all the candy was just a penny). But the best candy in my world came from the sweetest man I’ll ever know — my daddy.

A Visit to Candy Heaven

My daddy was always a barber and when I was very young he worked in a large strip mall in our hometown. In that mall was perhaps the sweetest place on earth — the See’s Candy Store. There were chocolate covered nuts with caramel in the center. There were molasses strips that crunched as the chocolate covered your tongue with sweetness. Every visit to a See’s Candy Store meant you got a free sample — something I still look forward to. If you buy a box of chocolates, you may pick out your very favorite ones to go in your box. So you’d better not be in a hurry when you go to this candy store, where choosing the right ones takes a lot of time.

On Valentine’s Day, my daddy would walk down the large outdoor mall after standing for nine hours on his feet and head to the candy store. He always brought home a big velvet heart-shaped box of See’s Candy to my mama. I also got a box of chocolates all my own. Needless to say, both mama and I loved Valentine’s Day.

Velvet Hearts and Memories

In our family, you never, I say never throw away a velvet heart shaped box. I believe my mama has some from when I was a toddler. Those boxes now contain another kind of “sweets.” They are filled with family photos that sit on the coffee table in front of the couch. No matter who comes to visit, be it family or friends, those heart shaped boxes are opened and pretty soon there’s stories floating in the air about yesterday.

The grandkids — there are ten of them (my parents’ great-grandchildren) — are no exception. They all love going through all the pictures. Some of the photos are of their parents and some of them are of me growing up. They laugh when they see the ones of their parents when they were young with funny hair styles and even funnier clothing. Let’s face it, none of us think about our parents as children very often.

So what are your favorite Valentine’s Day memories? Make sure to share them with your loved ones very soon. And don’t throw out any of those heart-shaped boxes. Fill them with photos and just wait for the fun to begin.

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