Still Learning To See

Valentine’s Day, a day late

I ended up in the emergency room for Valentine’s Day—with a heart problem. Given my earlier history of having had a blockage, it was clear where I needed to be so, despite being a stubborn guy, I called 911. Thankfully, the problem turned out to be pericarditis, which is relatively simply by comparison to what my imagination was working on! The nurses all kept me in good humor with jokes about “getting my heart fixed for Valentine’s Day” or similar and I came home after a night of observation feeling almost normal. Liz and my family as well as friends, of course, all rallied round to support me in ways only they can. What an amazing way to celebrate the day of the heart!

All that said, I’m a day late with my posting to celebrate the heart. In past years I’ve featured photographs of our small city (population 8400) plastered with red hearts that were mysteriously put up in the middle of the night. Only a few knew the true identity of the person(s) known as “The Phantom” who began the tradition a dozen or more years ago.

This year we woke to…no Valentines! People were shocked. Why the change is still a puzzle but thankfully a number of people, led by a wonderful group of Montpelier High School students, saved the day, even if they had to do so in broad daylight! It was not a simple task either as temperatures ranged between a high of -1F to a low of -13F.

Here is a great quote from Isabel Tomasi, a senior student, that says everything: “I saw on the Internet that no one had done it and so I felt so sad because my mom came downstairs and said, ‘I guess this is just something you guys will remember for your childhood.’ And I was like, ‘No. All the small children will never know. That’s so sad,’”

My deep appreciation to all who helped.

Here are the Valentine’s Tulips I bought on Friday, still in their full glory today. I hope your Valentine Day was a wonderful as mine!

This entry was published on February 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm. It’s filed under Flowers, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Photograph, Vermont, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day, a day late

  1. Oh so happy to “see” your voice–know you have lots of folks keeping an eye on you, and lots of us out here keeping in touch. Thanks for the “happy hearts day” news, both about yourself and about the hearts around town. A big “whew” at this point!

  2. Hey John…glad you’re okay.
    King of Hearts!

    • Thanks to all for your support and best wishes. I’m really, honestly doing great! It was all both a mystery and a miracle and so glad to be here to enjoy another day, cold but sunny.

  3. I am SO glad those students rallied to do the hearts, that was such a bummer that the phantom didn’t come out! People had mentioned that they were wondering due to a lack of postings on the phantom facebook page.
    Those tulips are beautiful!!! They make getting through this cold weather a little nicer I imagine.

    • Yes, me too!I’m fascinated by the things we take for granted…until they are no more. And then to see how important they have become to folks I didn’t even know cared. Maybe we can think of ways to make everyday in every town so special?! I have two RX for this long string of cold days: get out and play in them (especially if you have hot chocolate waiting when you come home!) and a bouquet of tulips. Thanks for visiting; I hope you’ll come back often.

  4. I’m glad you’re feeling ok. Scary when a ticker doesn’t act right, you were smart to call! ~amy

  5. Deborah Leu on said:

    Great story and tradition. And lovely tulips!

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