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For Valentine's Day: How do you show love?

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image This is Moose. He lost his left eye due to abuse. He is now a therapy horse for kids.

Love is time, sometimes love is ice cream.

By CHERE SIMMONS

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. A day that is usually steeped in romance with a side of candy, cards and flowers. Schoolchildren will be passing out cute ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ cards, but, for the most part, it’s the adults who rush around last minute trying to satisfy someone else’s idea of what the day should be about.

Fear not. I have it all figured out. Love = time.

Gifts are nice, and I won’t turn down a good box of chocolates, but I’ve learned that the one gift that is truly sacrificial is your time. You have a limited amount of it, and you can’t receive more than your allotment. Giving it away is an act of love.

I recently read that there are approximately 940 Saturdays from the time a child is born until he or she goes away to college. In the grand scheme of life, that’s not very many.

Therefore, following is a collection of fun things you can do locally with someone you love, and also some examples of sacrificial love others have shown in our communities.

Volunteer
Volunteer somewhere. From feeding the homeless to caring for hurt or unwanted animals, the options are endless. A favorite charity of our family involves both. The Rugged Cross Youth Ranch and Rescue offers a safe haven for kids who are broken physically, spiritually and emotionally. They do the same for abused or unwanted horses, bringing the two together for the perfect example of love. Find out more about this organization at www.RuggedCrossRanch.com. Donations of time and money are always appreciated.

Go to the drive-in
I’m sure everyone already knows there is a drive-in in Ruskin. However, if you’re out of the loop on this information, it’s located at 5011 US 41 N. Beginning Friday, Feb. 14, it will be showing The LEGO Movie at 7:30 p.m., followed by I, Frankenstein, at 9:10. You’re in for a treat when you visit the ’50s-style snack bar, and the price can’t be beat. www.RuskinFamilyDriveIn.com.

Go out for ice cream
Occasionally I’m asked to pick up my granddaughter at school. She knows exactly what that means: Dairy Queen. During February, DQ is featuring the Red Velvet Blizzard®. The Riverview Dairy Queen Grill & Chill® is located at 10503 Gibsonton Drive. Sometimes Love = Ice Cream.

Dance
I’m guessing 90 percent of the population thinks it is terrible at dancing. Well — do it anyway. Remember, you only have 940 Saturdays with your pre-adult kids. If you embarrass them enough now, they’ll miss you more when they move away for college.

Adopt a pet
Hillsborough County Animal Services is  holding a Valentine pet adoption event.

Go to the fair together
This year is the 110th anniversary of the Florida State Fair. It may be your only opportunity this year to eat a 24-inch corndog and a fried Snickers bar, then get spun around at the speed of light on the Tilt-A-Whirl. You don’t want to miss that — or miss sharing it with those you love. www.floridastatefair.com.

U-pick
U-pick strawberries are only weeks away. You can have a lot of fun picking these sweet gems locally. If you can’t wait for the u-picks to open, visit Goodson Farms in Balm for fresh berries. See their ad on page 4 of The Observer News, The SCC Observer and The Current.

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