Country Inn Valentines/ Theater Day

red_valentine__s_roses_by_semiretiredjedi-d4pkzv2 flowers

As you may know I’m not much of a holiday person.  It’s not that I don’t like to celebrate life.  It’s that I invent my own ways to celebrate regularly and one of those ways is to enjoy Country Inn Days each and every week.  But when a Country Inn Day falls on a day everyone celebrates for some reason, well, I take that into consideration.

People buy and send flowers on Valentines Day, but we don’t need Valentines Day to enjoy flowers.  I buy and send flowers all the time, especially on Country Inn Days.  Why would we need a holiday in order to enjoy the beauty of flowers?

loveisintheair valentine letter

When Valentines Day rolls around lots of cards are sent to friends and loved ones, an excellent idea, but again, we don’t need a holiday to enjoy this pleasure.  I send cards and letters out each and every day and  I’m happy to have many wonderful pen friends who do the same.


On Country Inn Valentines Day my sideboard is filled with beautiful correspondence.  See?

When we think of people, sending them thoughtful cards any time of  the year, they return the favor.  That’s because when we give good things come back to us.


The same is true for wonderful long friendly letters.  If you write them you will receive them.  I can’t understand why all people don’t enjoy writing letters anymore.  Sure, there are new forms of communication, but that doesn’t mean old forms must be abandoned.  We have modern, efficient ways to heat our homes, but don’t we still enjoy the glow of a fireplace?  We have fast food, but isn’t a home cooked meal still fantastic?  We have automobiles, but don’t we still walk?  So why can’t we use our smart phone and laptop computer some times and other times pen beautiful, personal handwritten letters?  We can.  I do, and there really are people out there who still write letters too.  I hope you are one of them.


And of course we don’t need holidays to enjoy the company of loved ones, at least the loved ones who live near to us.  I treated myself to the company of my son Rory for lunch on this Country Inn Day. This would be a lovely treat for any of my Country Inn Days if I could just catch this twenty something fellow who is out and about in the world having his own fun.


I don’t need Valentines Day or any holiday in order to fuss with a nice dinner in my dining room either.  I hope the same is true for you too.


Though I may not use linen every night of the week I do make candlelight and flowers a regular thing.  Why not?  They’re beautiful!  But Country Inn Days give me the chance to celebrate and go the extra mile using even more pretty things.  Why have these things if not to enjoy them on a regular basis?  Of course Country Inn Valentines Day calls for something even more special. How ’bout  my husband’s  favorite dessert?


I consult Ina Garten’s book, “Family Style” and whip up a raisin rice pudding with rum.


This pudding (served with ice cream) is a little rich for every day of the week, even for every Country Inn Day, but  for Country Inn Valentines Day, it’s just fine.

But besides it being Country Inn Valentines Day it also happens to be Country Inn Theater Day.  You see, every Country Inn Day has a theme.  There are about ten different themes.  Theater Day comes up every now and then and it coming up on Valentines Day is no accident because going to the theater is really special.


I purchase tickets for the Broadway musical, “Porgy and Bess”.


It’s playing at the Palace Theater in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. Do you know Cleveland has the biggest theater district second only to New York City?  It’s true.


In Cleveland we can choose from a number of theater productions at any given time.  The theaters are old and lovely too, recently refurbished to their former glory.


I love everything Gershwin ever wrote so this Country Inn Day it was easy to decide which play to see.  And I was thrilled to meet two of the four leading characters of the play.  This is Bess on the cover of the program with Porgy.  Bess is played by Alicia Hall Moran.


You see, my husband and I went to the Wyndham hotel  down the street after the play for a bite to eat.  Who sat next to us at the bar, but two of the play’s producers.  Yes.  How fun is that?  My husband had a nice chat with one of the men, then a little later the actors started pouring in.


Though I didn’t see Nathaniel Stampley, the actor who played Porgy, or Kingsley Leggs, the actor who played Sporting Life, I did have a very nice chat with Alvin Crawford.  He played the nasty villain Crown, but in real life he was the nicest fellow, a Juilliard graduate, very friendly and very tall.



Of course, I’m pretty short, even shorter than Alicia Hall Moran who I also talked to.  She was really wonderful and excited to be playing Bess.   How fun for me to meet these actors, and  not only meet them, but also to have a picture taken with them.  I didn’t even have to go to New York for this to happen.  I only had to have a Country Inn Theater Day.

 I tell you, Country Inn Days are really great, interesting and fun.  They are a wonderful way to celebrate life.

I don’t need Valentines Day or any holiday to celebrate life.  You don’t either.  Sometimes holidays only make work  for us and if you’re like me you may have enough work already.  We can make fun for ourselves quite nicely without their help.

You probably don’t even need a Country Inn Day to celebrate life, but they really are delightful fun.  They help me step out of my usual routines so I am able to focus on my favorite things.

So, however you do it, be sure you’re making a point of enjoying the life you’ve been given and all the good things around you AND remember also to share that joy with others.


Share Joy

Carol Ann coming to call

I’m gonna wrap myself in paper

I’m gonna dab myself with glue

Put a stamp on top of my head

And I’m gonna mail myself to YOU!

Wishful thinking I know.  but as a Lady of Letters with a highly cultivated  imagination, it’s fun for me to think about doing just that, mailing myself to you so we could have a little visit over a cup of tea.  As it is, I have to be content writing you this post.

 The little poem  I’ve shared with you is actually lyrics to a  song  I used to teach  the children in my music classes at  schools in Boston and Cleveland.  It’s a Valentine’s Day song and Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  Are you ready?

 Wouldn’t it be fun if we really could send ourselves  to everyone we cared about, all on the same day, the way Santa gets around?   We could bring along a present for each person  — a sentimental, beribboned, and flowery present.  I’d love to come over to your house with my pot of tea and  some of the Valentine cupcakes I’m making.


Maybe I could bring you some flowers too.  Everybody loves fragrant  fresh flowers, don’t they?


But if you’re one of the rare people who doesn’t like flowers, I bet you’d like a box of chocolates!


These are for my husband  – mums the words – but I’d be happy to get some candy for you too, if only I could pop over to your house tomorrow… but I can’t.

I should be sending you a greeting card.  Cards and letters are always nice when you can’t visit in person.  I was delighted  to receive this pretty card from my pen friend Joy.


 Joy is the perfect name for this lady for she shares joy with me in every one of her letters.  But how does one send cards to all the people they care about?  Daily life gets so in the way for these thoughtful  things we want to do.

Some of my friends even make their own special greeting cards.  That’s what my pen friend Gwen does and she sent this card to me.


She’s getting so good at making her cards, they hardly look home made.  They’re beautiful – just like Gwen.

Most people love holidays, but as nice as they are, I have to admit holidays frustrate me.  That’s because I’d love to make every holiday very special, celebrating each one with every person I care about, creating all the pretty things I imagine or see  in the glossy pages of magazines.  But I can’t manage it!!! … just as I can’t wrap myself up with paper, dab myself with glue, put a stamp on top of my head and mail myself to you — and  it’s so FRUSTRATING!

All I can do is  keep a song in my heart (and that I can manage because, after all, I AM a  music teacher)  and let my little light shine, sharing love and joy in bits and pieces with everyone I meet…  not just on holidays, but every day.  A smile here,  a greeting card there, an invitation to tea, sending a friendly letter, giving compliments, paying visits …little things done with love.   It’s not just Valentine’s Day and other holidays that should be special.  Everyday should be special and everyday we should share joy in some way.  If we all do this our world would be a nicer place for sure.  And this reminds me of the lyrics to another song.

I’m gonna make this world a better place

I’m gonna make this world a better place

I’m gonna make this world a better place

Just by being me

I’m gonna care about others not just about me

Gonna make a difference you will see.

There’s got to be more to life than things

And I’m gonna find out what that means

So have yourself a Happy Valentine’s Day, but if you can’t get around to everyone you love on this one day, or on any other holiday, don’t fret, there’s always tomorrow.



How did you share joy today?  I’d love to know.  Please leave a comment.