Valentine’s Day 1990: he proposed marriage to me on that same rink, after which we popped the cork off a bottle of champagne. The image of that cork bobbing along on Lake Ontario is still etched in my memory.
Valentine’s Day 2011 (yeah, okay, quite a hiatus in celebrations), we sharpened our skates for a reminiscent skate on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, where we now make our home. It was raining as we headed out for the evening. Strong head winds kept both of his hands on the steering wheel as we navigated Colonel By Drive, checking out the skaters on the canal. Only there were no skaters on the canal. There was nary a soul on the canal. Just enormous puddles of water on the melting ice surface. It looked downright miserable.
As with many marriages approaching their third decade, the effort required in maintaining a balance of family responsibilities and romance has certainly tipped off balance of late, mostly because our lives – and the lives of our 3 children – seem to be throttling forward at a bristling speed. We actually made an effort this year, though and – damn her – Mother Nature did not cooperate.
Not to worry. As we stepped out of the wretched weather into the warmth of the trendy little downtown Ottawa restaurant, delicious aromas swathed our senses. “A glass of champagne, please”, I requested, as did my husband. We may not be skating on this Valentine’s Day but we are still drinking champagne. There is hope for us yet!