My Valentine

Valentine’s Day never meant much to me until I fell in love with Big Ronnie.  Sad, single Erica thought the day was just a reminder of the love not found yet, mistakes made, or the other lonely & single people in the world and how sad they must feel all day.  I would think about widows and widowers that were left without a choice.  Over recent years, I would think about my wonderful mother, and how hard it would be to fall asleep on this cold night.  Who made up this Holiday, anyways?  I hadn't learned the tough lesson of self-love yet, and I couldn't see what was right in font of me until I understood that.  Of course now I'm on the other side, I have annoyingly joined in on all of the heart-shaped pink & red fun - but I still try to keep my celebrating to a low humble roar.  No one likes a boaster!

Last year was our “official” first Valentine’s Day together.  Becoming such good friends over the first few years, we avoided the day, and by the time we were ready to celebrate – Ronnie had already moved in!  Along with my Fruit Surprise, my Valentine's Day gift to him was a "house-warming" surprise, and the story about it has alot to do with the time we fell in love.  

In the Spring of 2010, I was planning my first trip to Europe.  Still single, I had convinced myself I would be alone forever, and I better get started doing the things I wanted to - alone.  No point in waiting for Mr. Right anymore – right?   My trip to Spain to visit Nicole, was the absolute trip of my lifetime to-date.  But leading up to it, I kept telling Ronnie... “I don’t want anything BIG to happen”.  My passport came through with little time left, I read my travel books, did my research, but I had barely saved enough money, and was counting my pennies – I just wanted my big trip to be perfect!  - admitted worry-wart.   But, no matter how hard I tried, once I was ready to leave - a BIG thing DID happen!
Ronnie picked me up from work one night in his black Jeep Wrangler the last week before my trip; he always knew who to call when there was a last minute ticket to a Yankees home game!  It was early in the season, and I was excited to see how the team looked.  

Ronnie and I from the very beginning, could always get into the greatest conversations, that would go from one subject to the next - so getting stuck in traffic was never a problem.  As we sat on the FDR on the way to Yankee Stadium, I looked over at my friend and there was a unmistakable shift.  I couldn't explain it, I felt something deep inside, and I saw someone else in front of me.   A paradigm shift so to speak was happening, and I complimented his new clean shave, although I always told him how much I liked his beard.  My stomach was in flutter; I was confused, but still at ease.  I knew where my heart belonged, but i had not known until that point.  We got to our seats, and the evening chill of Spring set in - I cuddled up to Ronnie because it felt right. 

This night we hold onto as our anniversary, at least until another significant date comes along.  Even though it took many long conversations and deep discussions after I returned from my trip, that was the night I fell in love with my best friend, and every night since my feeling have only grown stronger and stronger!

When I asked Ronnie what kind of souvenir he would like from Madrid, he knew exactly what he wanted.  He was there once, and regretted not picking up one of these authentic flamenco or bull fight posters.  No problem - when I was there, I couldn't decide between the two, and they were so cheap I bought both the female flamenco dancer, and a male bull fighter.  For future preservation, and plans to keep them in our home for many years to come, I had them professionally mounted and framed for Valentine's Day - and handmade wrapping paper, by yours truly!

They hung on the brick in the old apartment, and I love the flare they gave to the brick.  In a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom - I will be proud to hang these sentimental pieces of Erica & Ronnie History!

They are centered over the wall in the kitchen that has the front door below in the new loft.  We hung them high up, along with the fork & spoon in the kitchen to draw your eyes up in the tiny little space!  I love looking at them when I'm doing the dishes or cooking a meal.  After receiving a wonderful gift from Nicole this year for Christmas, I am starting to concentrate my Spanish souvenirs in the kitchen in the Love Loft.   I hope between them and Baby Stella's recipe's I can start to spice up my kitchen!

La vita è bella,

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