On our first Valentine’s Day together, my future-husband, Wendell, and I were eighteen and nineteen years old. We had been dating five months. And, we had been engaged since November. Thus, the foolish part.

I blame Viet Nam. I tell people often that in those days we were all trying to grab life before it marched off in a green uniform and possibly never came home again. If you’ve seen Hunger Games, you know how we felt the day they drew draft numbers by lottery. At my high school, the results played over the loudspeaker in the cafeteria, and news spread through hallways as the numbers were drawn one birthdate at a time.

Wendell’s number was 54. Out of 365.

But, actually, I didn’t even know him then. We didn’t meet until a year later. The draft had ended just a few months before he could have been called up. He would never have gone. So, even though I would like to blame Viet Nam or the whole crazy 1960’s. We really were just foolish.

Fortunately, God looked after us. In the forty-plus years since then, we’ve stumbled into love over and over again. It’s a choice we’ve made every day. It is also an emotion and passion we’ve experienced. Because love requires both things. Some days or weeks the choice has to carry us because the emotion is impossible to find.

This Valentine’s season, we were privileged to speak to couples in our local church at a marriage renewal evening. We hope we’ve learned a few things along the way, so we gave them our Top Ten Tips for a good marriage. One of those is a quote we recently picked up from an old rerun on PBS. We think it is a great key to letting go of those foolish days that could haunt us from the past. Even if they only happened yesterday. Here we are, having a blast:

Yesterday is another country: The borders are closed.

Happy Valentine’s Day from us!