Area women share stories of love

Valentine’s Day is known as the holiday of love and romance.

For Barbara Linogon, celebrating Valentine’s Day is remembering the day she first meet her boyfriend, Ronald Hall, 20 years ago. Linogon and Hall were living in Hawaii at the time and some friends set them up on a blind date. Linogon said Hall took her out to dinner and bought her a gold necklace and ring, a ring she still wears daily. The couple now resides in Fulton.

Stacey Rowan of Mexico is excited for the holiday this year after what she called was a “sad and lonely” Valentine’s Day last year. Last year her husband, Steven of the National Guard’s 1140th MP company in Fulton, was serving in Afghanistan. Steven usually leaves plans for Valentine’s up to her, she said, but this year he took the initiative. Stacey said she’s not sure what he’s planning, but she’s excited to find out. They’ve been married for five years and met a week before Valentine’s Day.

“He always remembers that every year,” Stacey said.

Denise Shaw of Kingdom City said she received an unusual gift from her husband, Stirling, 22 years ago when they were still dating.

“The first Valentine’s Day gift he ever gave me was a gun,” Denise said.

She said Stirling gave her a .38 pistol, because he thought she needed it for protection. He also gave her a dozen roses with the pistol.

“I got guns and roses,” Denise said and laughed.

She said though it was an odd Valentine’s gift, she “didn’t kick him to the curb for it.”

“I knew his heart was in the right place,” Denise said.

Stacey Garrison, of Fulton, said her dad surprised her mom one Valentine’s Day with a special trip.

“My dad took my mom up in a hot air balloon,” Garrison said.

She said she thought that was a sweet thing for her parents, Tony and Lynn Garrison of Jefferson City.

Kellie Smith said her husband of five years, Curtis, surprised her with flowers on two separate occasions back when they dated in high school.

The first time, she was nearly 16 when she discovered a dozen roses sitting on the passenger seat of the car her dad had recently purchased for her. The next time she received a dozen roses with a card that read: “I’ll stop loving you when the last rose dies.”

Smith said the words frightened her at first, and she thought, “Is he going to break up with me?”

Then she noticed one of the roses was artificial.

Lisa Groven of Fulton said her boyfriend of 14 years, Paul Trams, presented her with a gold-plated rose last Valentine’s Day, something she was not expecting.

“This was just kind of out of the ordinary, but it was beautiful,” Groven said.

The rose now has a permanent place in Groven’s glass display cabinet.

Chrisi Baker of Fulton said for years her “frugal” husband, Dewayne, liked to tease people by giving them a “Dewayne Baker’s dozen” when they asked for a dozen of something at his store. She explains a “Dewayne Baker’s dozen” meant 11 — two shy of the usual baker’s dozen of 13. So when one Valentine’s she received a bundle of roses with the card “a Baker’s dozen,” she just knew there were only 11 roses. Chrisi said after counting them, she was surprised to find out there actually was 12, a real dozen. She said giving her a dozen roses is not a common practice for her husband of 35 years.

“He would rather change my oil and detail my truck than buy me flowers,” she said.

Richele Ebeling of Fulton said the tradition she shares with her fiancé of five years, Shaun Martin, is they buy an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen every Valentine’s Day and eat it together. She joked that this way they can “get fat together.”

Cheryl Rains of Ashland has been with her boyfriend Brad Broman for five years. Rains said they had only been together for two months when Broman surprised her on cupid’s day with a weekend at a bed and breakfast in Osage City.

“It was a huge surprise,” Rains said.

The two had massages together, and then spent Valentine’s weekend at the bed and breakfast.

“It was probably the best Valentine’s I’ve ever had,” Rains said.

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