Love is love, no matter how you slice it.

February, especially around the second week, is synonymous with love. Certainly Saint Valentine and Chaucer had something to do with that, of course. Add in the fact that the cold weather outside only encourages things like snuggling under blankets, fires in the fireplace, and comfort foods. So many songs about love too: Love is in the air. Love is all around you. All you need is love. Can't help falling in love. Somebody to love. Love shack. Etcetera etcetera.

Put all of this together and it's a perfect cocktail for romance. Probably has a lot to do with the surge of engagements and wedding planning we see this time of year.

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It's also a wonderful time for a quick get away or an overnight to unplug from the day to day and reconnect with that special someone. It's important in a relationship, in my opinion anyway, to do this every so often. It's kind of a check up, an inter-personal scheduled maintenance. Jodi and I try to do a date night or get away about every month to six weeks. It not only gives us some much needed alone time, but it gives us something to plan and look forward to as well.

Speaking of looking forward... as I was writing this, it occurred to me that there is another sort of love out there. Brotherly love. Compassion and understanding for our fellow humans. It seems to me that there is a lack of this love lately. I was trying to think of how I could make a difference in this area. My thought was that what is standing in the way of love is misunderstanding, hate and anger.

Orchard House stands on the basis of everyone is welcome. All races, creeds, identities, orientations, etc. Everyone. I try to live by these standards, but sometimes it's not enough. So I'm going to try to perpetuate happiness, love. Just simple gestures like smiling at strangers in the grocery store, letting someone go first through a line or at the stop sign, engaging the cashier or the receptionist with a simple “how are you today?”.

Love is love, no matter how you slice it. And it will grow if you let it.