How do your valentines grow?

scan0008Mistress Mary, quite contrary,

How do your valentines grow?

With silver bells and pearl-pink  shells and Queen’s Lace all in a row…








                                                                    ~ my spin on an old piece of sunny gold rhyme  🙂



As I check my back door locks before bed, the numbers of my stove clock cast green light reflections on glass cabinets, there in the gray-black of one a.m.   The refrigerator hum stops with an escaping breath and peace is softness blanketing my shoulders.  At the sink, I’m looking out the window, praying His angel guard round my home — when suddenly the hair on the back of my neck is surely raising reveille.  Holding my own breath, I peer out into the dimness.

It can’t be a large human shape… just… standing… there… for real, can it?  Um…Right there, by the bush.

It must be a trick of the snow reflecting off the white garage door, I reason to my drumming heart.  Leaning in a little closer, I stare till her eyes meet and hold mine almost hypnotically.  For that split second I feel my heart freeze. 

Wha-at?  My hand automatically clutches my chest in a gesture of… calm down, calm down, calm down.

The doe is standing perfectly still, her amazing vision truly transfixed right on the whites of my eyes – (Did she spot me in the momentary light I’d turned on and off, or could she really pierce through night windows like that?)  – but I’m not completely sure until she turns and bounds round the corner, disappears  between my home and my neighbor’s, like a vaporous dream vision impossible to hold onto.

Oh… my… goodness.

I gulp my breath like a drink of water, let the shivers of fear race off me. 

I can count on my one hand how many times I’ve seen deer round my home these past ten years.  Once, in the wee early hours of 2 a.m. when I was wearily moving in the last round of boxes… I caught  three or four circling inside the mist-swirled gazebo, fantastical and magical, like painted, carved animals on a carousel.   Another time, years later, they startled me big as life,  grazing beside my back deck.   And now… in this early a.m.

I discover their tracks on the snow all the time, though.  These mysterious sentinels that roam guard under cover of darkness, circling, ever circling.  Stealthy.  Graceful.  Soft as snow-lit sky.

I’m not sure why, but my late night, early morning visitor brings visions of valentines to my pillow as I close my eyes, set to drift asleep.

Instead of sheep, I’m counting heart blessings, pondering how they grow.   Like mystery footsteps on the snow… under cover of hidden movement…

Like the “valentine” phone message left for me the other day.  The voice of my mom’s best friend of many decade, telling me how much she’d loved  the hand-drawn Christmas card I sent her, how it brought celebration to her because she’d been battling colds and flu all December and hadn’t had a chance – or strength in her 80’s — to bother with much of her usual festive adornment at home.   “Your card,” she said, “meant so much… I want to frame it as soon as I’m feeling stronger!”

We don’t always keep in touch, and never before around Valentine’s day.  But something in the sound of her words now made me  think of her love for all things Victorian.  Envision the surprise smile on her face to find a friend-to-friend heart in her mail.  Leaning into the nudge that came upon me once more, I reached for one of my recently printed Valentines… she’d love that vintage sailor boy on the swing, I thought!

It’s fun… this sending out of unexpected heart-shaped words.   This watching valentines grow.

With silver bells and pearl-pink  shells and Queen’s Lace all in a row…

How are your valentines growing?   🙂

clip art illustration featuring your choice of 2 heart shaped flower ...


The moment the sound of your
    greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
    skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.

~ Luke 1:44 the Message

Is there a silver and gold friend… perhaps a lonesome of the elderly… you might bless in a mysteriously delivered,  Valentine cutout, lace and remembrance, skip like a lamb (or, um, bound like a deer!) way this week?  🙂

© Pam Depoyan

Sharing with:

Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday     Beauty in His Grip Button  Scripture and Snapshot  Give Me Grace  Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox 

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

The Loft(Grace and Truth linkup)



scan0008pen and ink old fashioned school girl valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  🙂  Thanks!   For ordering details, or to see my other original valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS

Shared By: Debala 06-06-2011

Might this one make a fun valentine for you to surprise new or old friend?   Just $1.50 for invitation size, $2.50 for greeting card size!  🙂

For February 14th… or, ANYTIME…


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
This entry was posted in Valentines. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to How do your valentines grow?

  1. Nina says:

    Hi Pam,
    You write in something so important – the loving notes, showing that we care … I was deeply touched by your post! I have also a friend, whom I haven’t seen in years, but once a year, we send cards to another – this special day …
    To share care and love, and also to create joy for myself, I will send at handwritten note each week throughout 2015 … Inspired by a friend, who is doing to same 🙂
    Blessings to your week,

    • Oh, thank you, Nina for your lovely words and sharing how this inspires you! I think that’s a wonderful idea to send a handwritten note each week of the year!! Technology is wondrous, but how beautiful are these notes written (and able to hold) by hand! Blessings to your week too! And to your year of valentines! 🙂

  2. Pam,
    I love your drawings – so delicate with such detail. And you make me think of writing – a real card..I am following you from Recommendation Saturday.

  3. lynndmorrissey says:

    this is so beautiful, Pam. What don’t you write that isn’t?! I’m waiting for your book! At any rate, you had me going at first, and I even imagined myself. Im often the last one up around here, and my music-room door with the all-glass sliding doors and windows and the kitchen windows face our backyard. I often head to the kitchen at night, when the house is quiet, and pass those sliding doors. I will myself not to look out, wondering if someone might be looking in. I know it’s crazy, but after all the unrest in our city, my imagination (of the wrong sort) has run rampant! But God gave you a late-night Valentine visitor with chocolate brown eyes! Oh my! I recall once at our cabin meeting face to face with a deer when I was taking a long, quiet walk in solitude….or so I thought. ANd she and I froze upon meeting and just stared into each others’ eyes. I was so startled at first, but like you, once my heart stopped racing, I knew this meeting was pure beauty and grace (at least for me–have NO idea what *she* thought of me! 🙂 )~ Oh, and I have had another wonderful meeting. Pls. tell me if I told you whom I met through Facebook! I know you don’t have that, and not sure if I copied you and Floyd on one of my Lifeliner prayer partner letters that explains this encounter. This too is God’s valentine of grace to me. Thanks for your lovely words!

    • Thank you, Lynn. I don’t know if I thought of that deer as a valentine… it was too scary seeing a body standing out there. (And I think she was scared of me… 🙂 )I know what you mean about not wanting to look out there. The other morning I kept hearing something banging around on my back deck of the kitchen. At first I thought of gardeners/snow movers, but they don’t go out back. I peeked thru the blind there and it was one of those ugly huge wild black turkeys! It was flailing around obviously scared because it had flown into my closed off deck and must have fogotten how to fly out. Until it saw me and was scared enough to fly out. But ugh… I hate those ugly birds. They remind me of Wizard of Oz and the flying monkeys. Plus they leave mess behind themselves. So anyway, not always thrilled by these animals around… but deer at least are beautiful. In a sense of it being an eye to eye thing with that deer though, it was kind of startling and like God reminding me of His presence surrounding me… so maybe a valentine in that sense 🙂 Yes, I did receive your email about connecting with your old school friend. That’s the one thing about FB that I think IS wonderful! Happy God has blessed you with this valentine!

  4. tmpresser says:

    This is beautiful, I feel so blessed that you shared this at Good Morning Mondays, Thank you so much. Blessings

  5. Hi Pam … your illustrations always bring a smile! Maybe even more so during these cold winter days!


    • Thanks, Linda! I love hearing that, because it exactly what I hope they will do when people buying these cards will send them out too… I’ve been drawing some baby portraits lately and when I look at those sweet faces they really keep my smile growing. They aren’t picking up completely on the scans, but maybe I will post one soon.. . We can all use those smiles. 🙂

  6. Pam,
    How great it was that you got to see the deer — what a special sighting! And your illustration is breathtaking! LOVE it! I also love the idea of “sending heart-shaped words” — lovely! Visiting here from Holley’s link-up today.

    • Thanks, Valerie! I hope these cards will be ones people will want to buy and send all year through for just that reason. 🙂 Yes, fun to see the deer (when they are not out running across driving roads 🙂 ) – I didn’t grow up where these animals were living so freely, so it still amazes me to see them so close to our homes. Thanks for your words here!

  7. Janet says:

    Pam, You had me at the illustration when I did a double-take on the signature and your name. Beautiful! Then you had me again with the shadow by the door. That actually happened to our family once – but it was a man and not a deer – so you can imagine how my heart was pounding for you! And, you had me again with the deer tracks. We have recently moved to ‘snow country’ and I laughed out loud the day I saw the deer tracks going right up to my front door, then veering off under my living room window – you see, that particular deer left us a little present right there on the white snow… But I totally understood the Valentine connection. Valentines are little gifts. Your visitor was a gift – a precious view of the wide world beyond our own lives. I love that you pass your gifts along to others. I think that’s the way we should be – blessings to others. Thank you for a wonderful story this morning.

    • Thank you, Janet! I’m not always sure that I think of these animals as “valentines” because of those “presents” they leave… but you are right, God’s world of animals all round us is pretty wondrous. Yes, I didn’t really do much drawing for many years of working full time, but recently God seems to be enabling me beyond anything I’ve ever drawn before. Praying for His open doors with this too… I’m so glad this story and the artwork blessed you! I’ve been doing a series of posts about blessing with “valentines” of unexpected ways this month… 🙂 and I invite you to read those posts leading up to this one if you like….

  8. Wise Hearted says:

    I am not a card maker but I can buy a few to send out to those, like my mother who are shut in a nursing home and a friend who needs some loving. Lovely post..

  9. Hazel Moon says:

    You prayed for an angel to guard your home and your eyes saw the figure in the form of a deer. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with us here at “Tell me a True Story.”

  10. Holly Brown says:

    Those are precious, you are quite the artist, I loved the old fashioned friends one! Thanks so much for linking up with Grace & Truth.

  11. Fun! I love the pics. Thank you for joining the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith. It is a joy to have you!

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