Valentine’s Day (2022)

Today was no exception to our private custom of not observing public holidays or whatever Valentine’s Day is considered to be.

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

There are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. Numerous later additions to the legend have better related it to the theme of love: an 18th-century embellishment to the legend claims he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution; another tradition posits that Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.

Although I admit to having uttered a romantically couched pronoucement – and manufacturing a swiftly made email with a photograph of roses – the Feast of Saint Valentine has otherwise passed us by. Instead we have devoted ourselves to those habits for which we have a more compelling keenness. The initial fervour early this morning surrounded rolling grocery carts about Publix to replenish our stores – and, I might add, in one case in particular – to revive the pressing interest in pastries (aka, “nutritional supplement“). My personal violation of constraint was two jars of Greenwise® Cashew Butter.

Upon completion of this assault upon domestic obligation we regrouped on our respective bicycles and directed ourselves to Tower Beach.  The Low Tide was scheduled for 01:11 PM and the wind was showing at a breezy 21 km/h from the Northwest which all translates to an inviting sail up the coast on the beach toward Coligny Beach Park. The distance from our apartment at Cutter Court in Harbour Town to Tower Beach is precisely 5 kms. We took the lately paved pathway through the idyllic Sea Pines forested parkland.  I did not venture further beyond to South Beach where the renowned Salty Dog Café is; instead I settled upon one of the swinging wooden benches and fell asleep in the mid-morning sunshine pointing outwards to the sea.

I stirred from my soothing doze and marched down the boardwalk to the beach.  Well, actually I rode my bike along the boardwalk.  There were no pedestrians in sight so I chose to accommodate my immobility.  The adage about “I’m getting too old for this nonsense” is no longer a casual aside. Once I swing my right leg over the bike and position myself upon the seat I’m basically Okay.  But there is increasingly a risk either that I won’t get my leg successfully over the bike; or, that even if I do, I may lose my balance and tumble and then have to start all over again (assuming I haven’t concussed myself, punctured an index finger or broken my ribs again).  I know this sounds frightfully comical but I have learned to avow the prospect.  Otherwise the hazard may just join the other reflection we’ve jokingly fashioned for inscription below my name on our joint tombstone; namely, “He loved bacon“.

As I sit here late afternoon slurping my triple espresso (an improbable palliative I’ve unwittingly discovered soothes the neuropathy in my limbs) I imagine I shall be able to continue my Olympic habits for somewhat longer. Granted I am adjusting with time, limiting my application, diminishing the overall length of my outings and – most importantly – learning to stop for a rest about every five kilometres. Having conducted myself accordingly on this morning’s outing, it was a matter of little resistance or inconvenience to sail down the beach towards Sea Pines Beach Club with the propelling wind at my back.

To me the weather was ravishing; however, I can only attribute the lack of people on the beach to the cool temperature and perhaps the universal recovery from yesterday’s Super Bowl knowing as I do the appetite Americans traditionally have for alcoholic beverages. The sparsity of humanity revived my inward contemplation of my present circumstances as I regarded the vast inviting openness before me. It is a fortuity of which I never tire.

I did nonetheless suffer one brief but unanticipated disturbance at the moment of my return to the apartment.  I could not find my iPhone.  Normally I store it in the upper pocket of my Patagonia fleece.  But it had seemingly disappeared.  Our attempt to telephone myself produced nothing though thankfully the use of Find My (devices) App indicated mine was within 0.1 Km.  Upon examining my usage I recalled that I had used my iPhone mere moments earlier at the yacht basin to take a photo.  In the end the device was discovered in a bicycle basket where it must have fallen in the process of my securing the bike with the lock. Is there no end to the approbation of Apple? Don’t get me started!  I have an unbounded affection for Apple products – iPhone, MacBook Pro, iPad and Apple Watch – and the technology they represent.  I can think of no thing which has contributed more to my unfathomed pleasure in life. But – in keeping with the day – the pleasure is limited to things! Otherwise my unqualified endearment is situate elsewhere!

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, software and online services. Apple is the largest information technology company by revenue (totaling US$365.8 billion in 2021) and, as of January 2021, it is the world’s most valuable company, the fourth-largest personal computer vendor by unit sales and second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. It is one of the Big Five American information technologycompanies, alongside Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta (Facebook), and Microsoft.

Apple was founded as Apple Computer Company on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to develop and sell Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. It was incorporated by Jobs and Wozniak as Apple Computer, Inc. in 1977 and the company’s next computer, the Apple II became a best seller. Apple went public in 1980, to instant financial success. The company went onto develop new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, including the original Macintosh, announced in a critically acclaimed advertisement, “1984”, directed by Ridley Scott. By 1985, the high cost of its products and power struggles between executives caused problems. Wozniak stepped back from Apple amicably, while Jobs resigned to found NeXT, taking some Apple employees with him.