My friend Patty drives from Higgins Lake to Ann Arbor, Michigan regularly. She calls when she’s on the road. Just south of St. John’s, the highway flattens out into farm country, which is usually when my phone rings because I think the landscape gets boring, or at least hypnotizing.
One day last year she called laughing because she had seen a sign for “baby pygmy goats.” Neither one of us knew what they were, but we both had fun saying the words. She noticed it was early spring and said, “Next year I will watch for the first day the sign is out and that will be Baby Pygmy Goat Day: the first sign of spring.”
She called yesterday afternoon to say February 13 was Baby Pygmy Goat Day. The sign was out; five babies were available. Since I had already blogged yesterday, I did not get a chance to tell you, but a few Baby Pygmy Goat festivities added to Valentine’s Day have to be a plus, don’t you think?
As far as the little goats go, I found a bunch of information here and even an audio clip of a goat bleat. The goats are cute and evidently a bunch of folks are really into them, but I’m celebrating Baby Pygmy Goat Day because of my friend. We’ve known each other for almost twenty-five years and have seen each other through a lot of stuff. She stood up with me at my wedding. She and Ginger are also good friends. I will mark February 13 on my calendar as An Important Day because I’m friends with Patty.
Which brings me to February 14.
Tuesday night is committee meeting night at my church, every week a different committee. Christian Education meets the second week of the month. When we got to the end of our January meeting, the chairperson said, “Our next meeting will be February 14.”
“I can’t meet then;” I said, “it’s Valentine’s Day.” So they moved the meeting a week earlier.
A former teaching colleague chided me one year because I was making plans for Valentine’s. “It’s nothing but a Hallmark holiday,” he said. Several others around the lunch table agreed.
“Maybe so,” I replied, “but I figure any excuse to tell Ginger I love her is worth enjoying, regardless of who came up with the idea.” And so I’m off to pick up roses (peach) and chocolate (free trade) and then we will make our annual pilgrimage to the Hard Rock Cafe.
Valentine’s Day 1989 was early in our relationship. I took her to the Hard Rock in Dallas because she loved the place. They had a band that night. The restaurant gave everyone a glass of champagne. The night was full of energy and electricity for us; we both knew something was happening we didn’t quite comprehend. About half way through the set, the lead singer called his girlfriend up on stage and proposed. Ginger and I both knocked over our champagne glasses. When we got to the car after dinner, I moved to unlock her door and surprised her with a kiss that rivaled the one between Wesley and Buttercup at the end of The Princess Bride. It was a great night.
Life does enough to pull as apart, whether we are friends or lovers. The people who stay connected are the people who are determined to stay connected, who work at it, who find ways to build reminders of the bonds that matter into the daily routines of existence. When we get our cell phone bill every month, Ginger and I laugh because most of our minutes are spent talking to each other, and most of those calls are just to say hello.
I don’t really care about pygmy goats, but Baby Pygmy Goat Day matters because it connects me to my friend Patty.
Hallmark or not, I’m going to celebrate the hell out of Valentine’s Day because Ginger — the woman I love more than anyone else in the world — is going to dinner with me.
And when we get to the car, I’m planning on the Best Kiss Ever.
Peace (and Love),