When I set a goal to have this blog up and running by Valentines Day, I hadn't figured out the topic of my first post. Sure, I had a list of potential topics to cover, but the first post is always the hardest. Thankfully, my incoming mail and a very familiar postmark gave me an answer. On Valentines Day it is only prudent I write about Valentines, VA and tradition.
My family is scattered along the North Carolina/Virginia state line in area known for tobacco, peanuts and bass fishing. Driving from my parent's house to my grandparents farm we always pass through the unincorporated community of Valentines, VA. If it wasn't for a small country store, most people wouldn't even know Valentines existed. I know about Valentines because my aunt lives a few tobacco fields over from the country store.
In winter, Valentines becomes quite the hot spot for a few weeks. Cards and letters from all over are delivered to the little country store and the tiny post office housed inside. Some letters are shipped, but most are hand delivered. Those cards and letters want one thing - a Valentines, VA postmark before reaching their final Valentines Day destination. And a very special postmark they receive. The heart shaped postmark and additional rubber stamped embellishment add the perfect amount of character to the patina of well traveled snail mail.
I moved away from my hometown over 14 years ago. My family is still there. My mom has been sending me a Valentine from Valentines ever since I left. It's become a tradition. Our neighbor and family friend, Beth, sends me one as well. It never gets old. Each year the Valentines country store and post office manages to stay open, we celebrate. It will be a very sad day if I ever stop receiving my annual Valentines from Valentines.
Happy Valentines Day to you and yours. May you find your own snail mail traditions to pass on to those you love.