Notes from Jan

Love and Chocolate Lobsters

February 13, 2018

The backboard outside the shop read:  Chocolate Lobsters.

Didn’t need red hearts to know  it’s almost Valentine’s Day  in this corner of coastal  New England.

February’s the month of love sweet love and for elementary school children, the making or buying of Valentines for  all classmates.

Last February I was in  California, so Basil and I raced to CVS to buy Valentines.  I sought sentiment. Basil hunted Ninja Turtles and SpiderMan.  When I unearthed packages of cute puppies with sweet sayings, Basil huffed,”Nobody likes puppies, Momo!”


This past weekend, I headed to Ipswich to  care for two Grands while their parents enjoyed a getaway.  We three played games, watched movies, made Norwegian pancakes, practiced  music and lived life. We shopped for craft supplies, and Sunday evening, they made Valentines,  glittering the place while I did supper dishes.

When I asked Kate, age seven, what she was writing, she said,”If I really know them, I say something nice.  If I don’t like them or know them, I say only, Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Good idea.

At tuck-in time,  we sang in halting Norwegian, “Songs about Jesus, O’ sing them again.”  This is the fifth generation to be reminded through songs at bedtime, “Jesus loves you.”

Ritual provides sacred spaces for love to slip in to bless,  heal, and cushion the cares of the day.

Someone said, “Without love, the rich and poor live in the same house.”

On a less holy note, an anonymous person wrote, “I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day.  When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”

Charles Schulz said, “All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

How about a chocolate lobster?



















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  • Reply Dale Lefever February 13, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    “Chocolate lobsters.” Is nothing sacred any more? I thought these types of trends started on the west coast and that we, in the Midwest, were protected by the mountains! Chocolate lobsters does remind me of Mark Twain’s saying “we should eat a frog every morning and nothing worse will happen to us the rest of the day.” I hope your “grands” know the treasure they have in their midst.

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg February 14, 2018 at 3:08 am

      Must admit, never ate a chocolate “lobsta.” Rather have a real one Do we ever know the true value of ones we love until they’re gone? Heard someone say on NPR today, “The days are long but the years are short.” Feels that way as I watch these Grands grow before my old eyes.

  • Reply wendy lane February 13, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Haha! Great thoughts! I hope you know how VERY LOVED you are this Valentines Day dear Jan!!

  • Reply Barrie levine February 13, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    I don’t know you personally Jan, but your luminosity — and your humor — come through clearly. Keep writing!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg February 14, 2018 at 3:10 am

      Thank you, Barrie, for reading and encouraging me and others.

  • Reply Deb White February 15, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Love your sense of humor and your way of sharing your heart with us….your family, especially those Grands, are blessed to have you in their lives…as are we!

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