The Agony or the Ecstasy??

Dear Fellow Journalers,

A provoking piece from Marybeth. Enjoy!


The weather in our neck of the woods is rather bleak and dark around this time of the year. Everybody starts digging in for what promises to be a long, cold winter.

My husband and I are always searching for a fun activity to keep our youngsters entertained without resorting to endless cartoons or video games. At our wits end one year, I asked one of the teachers at the grade school what they planned for Valentines Day – which was right around the corner.  “Valentine’s Day?” “Oh, you mean the day of the Agony or the Ecstasy?” “Excuse me,” I asked. She laughed and said, “that’s the day we teachers call it. The children exchange cards and some get more than others.” My mind traveled back to the days when I came home with more than enough cards for the entire neighborhood and the awful day when I came home with only one!

“How do you handle it?” She thought a moment and replied, “one year the class made cards for only their parents. Mrs. Stevens, next door to me, had her students make cards for the children at ST Bridget’s (the Children’s Hospital in town) and Mr. Cassidy had them create cards for the VA patients.”

My husband and I came up with a plan later that week and presented it to our children. The Maroney plan was to make 2 cards a piece. One was for a service member and the other was one for him/her to send to his/her loved one. There were several men and women who were stationed overseas at the time, so getting the addresses wasn’t that difficult.

As usual, the kids were enthusiastic about the project and soon the play room table was covered with construction paper and stickers.  Two weeks later we mailed a large box filled with Valentine Wishes. The grateful responses later were overwhelming.

The next year, our children put a box in one of the local grocery stores asking for card donations for Vets. That simple idea grew to include the schools and today we still send cards to soldiers for their family’s year round.

Please check out the following web sites if the idea appeals to you:

or browse: donate greeting cards for military.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!




June 2023

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