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Sue's Views: My favorite Valentines

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It's always somewhat startling to me how quickly holidays are over. The day after is just another day and there will be no mention of yesterday. Christmas music ends at midnight Dec. 25. The 5th of July is no big deal. Black Friday has no Thanksgiving in it at all.

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I thought of this again on Wednesday as I sorted through the half-price Valentine candy.

And I wonder if it's too late to tell you of my favorite Valentines?

My husband's maternal grandparents, Carl and Ann Olson, were married for 77 years and loved each other to their very last days.

They are both gone now, but I did so enjoy getting to know them.

Both Carl and Ann were living in a nursing home for the last few years of their lives. They were not able to share a room, mostly because Ann had much different needs from Carl regarding her care. But each day, Carl would get dressed up, "To go see his girl," and spend as much time with Ann as he could.

After I joined the family, I got to attend all of the anniversary celebrations. Someone undoubtedly would ask for advice on staying married that long. I'd like to say that they had some secret that they shared, but they admitted that hard work was involved.

And if anyone would know about hard work, it was Carl and Ann. They got married in the 1920s and lived in a sod shack on a farm near Glenwood. That first winter, the livestock shared their living space. Eventually, a house and a barn and five children were added to their lives, but there would always be that first year. Anytime I felt myself having a pity party because Jim and I couldn't afford something, I would visit with Carl about the early days.

Carl was hands-down my favorite, mostly because he would tell my husband in a very serious tone every time we visited, "Remember, your wife is always right."

Once in awhile, he would add, "After all, look who she married."

I miss Carl.

My husband misses Ann. She was the quintessential farm wife and perfect grandmother. There was always hot food and plenty of it, along with a big dose of grandmotherly love and amnesia over which cousin broke what. And apparently, she made more flavors of Jell-o than could be counted.

I am disappointed that my children will never know these two hard-working ancestors of theirs. Instead, they watch television shows about bad marriages where no one really has work to do such as Jon and Kate Gosselin and the entire Kardashian family.

As my husband and I talk occasionally about Carl and Ann, we have come to realize that for them, every day was their day to appreciate the one they loved. They really had no day after Valentine's Day.

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