Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Crepes and Roses

I completely forgot to mention Valentine's Day yesterday, which shows you how much significance it carries in our household. We did a whole lot of nothing to commemorate the occasion. (As Dave pointed out, we went to dinner at Soutine not long ago, and we'll count that as our early Valentine's Day.)

It was much more significant at school, where some of the classes made Valentines and many of the kids were carrying around long-stemmed roses. I guess they must have had some kind of flower sale. Did your school do that when you were a kid? I remember buying carnations for classmates in high school -- pink for friendship, red for love, and white for....something. Hate? No, probably not hate.

I think I gave exclusively pink ones.

Anyway, the school where I work does roses. Some of the kids were walking around with one or two, some with full-on bouquets, many with none. I heard one boy jokingly lamenting to a male friend that no one had sent him a rose.

"I'll buy one for you," said the other boy, laughing, which was kind of sweet even though he was kidding.

Ah, Valentine's Day. Such angst.

For the staff, the parent committee had arranged for a special crepe van to park outside the school and make crepes. So we all went down and chose a crepe or two from a menu of options. I had one with applesauce, cinnamon and sugar and it was good.

I found this little pansy or viola (I can never tell the difference) growing in a crack in the sidewalk on West End Lane. I guess someone must have had a flowerpot out there at some point, and a little seed got into that crack and now, months later, voila! Nature is amazing. It's in a very inconspicuous place and I would be willing to bet money no one else has noticed it. It's my own little Valentine from the universe.


crafty cat corner said...

Ilove the little Pansy growing against all the odds.

Andrew said...

Like you, I can't tell the difference between pansies and violas, perhaps because I've never had experience with violas. I've had plenty of experience with pansies.

We exchange a card every year for Valentine's Day and a brief kiss, and that is it. Valentine's Day here did not kick off until I think the 1990s.

Your school sounds rather good.

Ed said...

Yes, our high school cheerleaders sold roses every Valentines day, a memory I had erased from my mind until you wrote this post. I spent four years hoping someone would buy me a rose anonymously but it never happened. Instead I watch others walk around with roses or for the steady couples, entire bouquets. I had more luck in elementary school where we were required to give Valentine's cards, most contained candy, to everyone in our class.

sparklingmerlot said...

Voila! a viola.
It looks like it could be a johnny jump up aka hearts ease but it's a bit difficult to guess its size.
Valentines day is a non even in this house.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

At secondary level, I went to two single sex schools but that is not the only reason why Valentine's Day did not figure in any shape or form. Back then it was not really a big thing. It has since been pumped up by commerce.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Nature IS amazing. What a great little surprise.

“Pansies always have four petals pointing upwards and only one pointing downwards, whereas violas have two petals pointing up and three petals pointing down.”

That’s a viola!

Boud said...

Your Valentine from the universe! Very cool. Looks like a viola. The crepe idea was great. That's a real celebration.

Ms. Moon said...

I always thought that the violas were smaller than pansies. I could be wrong.
I love that tiny feisty bloom, whatever it is. Happy Valentine's Day, Steve.
I love the boy offering to buy his friend a rose. Yes. A joke. But a sweet one.

ellen abbott said...

Valentine's Day is a non-starter here too. I used to do little things like cut out small hearts from red construction paper and tuck them in places that Marc would run across them during the course of the day but I haven't done that in decades. My high school had 'singing valentines', a fundraiser for one of the social clubs where a group would come into the classroom, call out the names and who sent it and sing a little ditty. There was probably something else but I don't remember and I don't think got a single one. And that's a viola. Violas are the little ones and that particular one we always called johnny jump ups when I was a kid.

Red said...

The flower bit was just coming in when I retired in 1997. Kids love it.

Ellen D. said...

That little flower is a treat to see. Thanks for sharing it with me!
(A little Valentine rhyme!)

Jeanie said...

I've never heard of the rose thing. I'd give pink ones too -- just because I love pink roses most of all.

Between company last week, prepping for a Cork Poppers do, an ear and/or sinus infection, and then this week's mass shooting in our town, I'm so behind blog reading, I'll never catch up! I'll try to take a look at all but not comment and hopefully be back on schedule this week!

NewRobin13 said...

Valentine's Day wasn't much of a celebration here either.
I love the little pansy/viola flowers blooming there. Yes, nature is amazing. When I see stuff growing out of the cracks, I always think of the iChing divination "Perseverance furthers." I also think of Leonard Cohen's "Anthem" lyric "There's a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in."

Sharon said...

In grade school we used to exchange those cheap little valentine cards that come in huge packs. No flowers were ever exchanged as far as I can remember.
I love your little valentine pansy growing from a crack in the pavement. That's perfect.

Sharon said...

P.S. Did the crepe man have banana & nutella crepes? That would have been my choice.

Margaret said...

I would call it a pansy because I've never heard of a viola flower! :) Pansies certainly grow anywhere and everywhere. I hated the carnations at my school; they were a popularity contest and made many students feel awful. Nothing happened here either; my boyfriend had several appointments plus we're not big fans of the holiday.

Kelly said...

The only thing I've ever enjoyed about Valentine's Day was in elementary school when we decorated shoeboxes, hoping someone would drop in a card. (it wasn't mandatory to include all the class back then) I have vague memories of Carnation sales in jr. high and HS. I have no memories of ever receiving (or sending) one.

The Bug said...

I got flowers from Mike, and he got a card from me. Done!

Love the viola - and thanks to Mitchell for the lesson on which is which!

Pixie said...

Regardless, they're all pretty.

Peace Thyme said...

That lovely little flower is so protected by its surroundings. Lovely!

Allison said...

When I was in school, if you brought valentines you had to give one to everybody. It was good for the unpopular kids, they didn't suffer from the neglect.

River said...

Love the little Johnny-jump-up. Schools here didn't do anything about Valentine's day which I think is a far better idea, there's really no need for one more "popularity contest"

Steve Reed said...

Briony: So do I! I always get such a kick out of flowers taking root in unexpected places.

Andrew: Another one of our cursed American exports, the over-consumerism that is Valentine's Day!

Ed: I remember those Valentines from elementary school. I still had a bunch of them until several years ago. I'm surprised schools encourage the flower-giving, considering how left out it makes some people feel.

Caro: Yeah, I caught that little word play, too. :) I didn't realize Johnny Jump Up, Hearts Ease and viola were all the same thing!

Mitchell: Do you think? Those white petals look like they're pointing up to me!

Boud: It was great, and something very different for us. We'd never done anything like that before.

Ms Moon: Yeah, I thought that was a touching comment, even made in humor. (Or maybe not? Hmmmm...) Like you, I would have said the difference between violas and pansies is based on size.

Ellen: OK, I'm glad you know about pansies vs. violas! Maybe you should re-enact your construction paper heart project. :)

Red: They do, and I think it also raises money for Student Council.

Ellen D: Ha! You're a poet and didn't know it!

Jeanie: Oh, don't worry about keeping up around here. Nothing happens on any given day. It's like a soap opera -- you can skip an episode and you won't even notice. :)

Robin: It really DOES make one think about the persistence of life and nature.

Sharon: Yeah, I remember those cheap little Valentines! The flowers didn't come on the scene until high school. And yes, there were Nutella crepes, though I don't remember if they had banana on them.

Margaret: Exactly! I'm surprised schools do the flower thing nowadays because it's bound to make some kids feel bad. I'd never heard of violas before I moved to the UK.

Kelly: Decorating the box would be fun, but how sad if you got no cards! Very Charlie Brown.

Bug: Well, that's a good way to do it. Keep it simple!

Pixie: Thanks for the link! You can always be counted on to provide backup Internet research. :) (Which I suppose I should do before making the post! LOL)

Peace Thyme: It benefits from being so close to the wall, for sure.

Allison: I think that's the rule in elementary school, but in upper grades it becomes more voluntary, particularly when you're sending a flower.

River: Yeah, ain't THAT the truth. If I'm glad about one thing regarding this blog post, it's that it's taught me what a Johnny Jump Up is!

Steve Reed said...

YP: Sorry, you were in spam! Yeah, Valentine's Day is yet another over-promoted holiday thanks to us money-grubbing Yanks. (I say that in all sincerity.)

Moving with Mitchell said...

LOL! I meant to say “That’s a pansy.” Clear as mud, no?