Although Valentines Day didn’t originate as a Hallmark holiday, for simplicity reasons many of us have allowed it to evolve into just that. But for today, Friday, Feb. 14, let’s reel things back in, keep it local, heartfelt and simple.

After a polling of friends I’ve concluded that it is the smallest of things that can truly touch someone.

One friend shared about the firefighters auction held each summer before the community gathering evolved into what’s now the Backyard Bash. Smoke billowing from the burgers grilling, David Kurth aka “Pougie” (who is truly missed) with a headband across his brow flanked by Bill Smith, Wayne Kurth, David Norton and more laughing and flipping burgers until the sun set and all the boxes of interesting collections were auctioned off. It was an excuse for the community to gather and laugh a whole heck of a lot.

Kathie C. recalled giving her mother, then in her 80s, a book called The Story of a Lifetime. It was a fill in the blank book with prompts to essentially create a personal memoir. When Grandma Crocker described the happiest moment in her adult life, her answer was simple. It was in 1938 when she met Kim Crocker. They dated and married in 1941.

Molly G. shared that she loves that if you swing by the Chilmark School at the end of the school day the children come bustling out of the doors to play. The kids grow up and move on but this joy happens everyday no matter the year.

Pam G shares that Valentine's Day is memorialized in Carol Carrick's book Valentine. It tells the story of a little girl, her and Clark’s granddaughter, and a bottle fed lamb at their Tea lane farm. Said granddaughter will be visiting with her own three little girls on, of all days, Valentine's Day. What a great idea to take the book from the shelf and read it together. She’s hopeful it’s still available at the library, too, so all can enjoy.

Mollie D said she would like to send love letter to our amazing community that supported elementary school children in passing a plastic bottle ban, has a Green Committee and will host the 20th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.

Alicia K loves that Chilmark has always been her home and appreciates the land and the generous people who inhabit it. She is grateful every day and reminds us to communicate because it surely is a good thing.

Sometimes we need to be reminded to appreciate the little things like the way a bright red cardinal stands out among the trees or a rock shaped like a heart on the beach always stands out among the other stones even if you’re not looking for it. The way the scent of baked goods filling your house makes you feel hungry even if you’re full, and can nudge you to bake more and sneak your creation on to a friend’s kitchen table unannounced.

Ah, baked goods. Cinnamon Bun Saturday sold out at the Grey Barn this past week in a half hour. Baker Christian Walters will be quadrupling his dough for March 7 so mark your calendar.

Tom Ruimerman and Janet Weidner have spread the love across the pond with a visit to their son, Pete, who is currently about half way through an academic year at London School of Economics. Sipping on Earl Grey and a pint, touring in an open topped double decker bus along with sizing up Pete’s well-being which, from direct reports, is quite good.

Joel Behr’s affinity for the Coast Guard has landed him a spot aboard the Polar Star based out of Seattle. He hasn’t departed Station Menemsha yet so you still have some time to pat him on the back and grab an address for postcards. Polar Star is the USCG heavy icebreaker that travels to McMurdo Station, Antarctica to lead Operation Deep Freeze.

Take a moment. Spread the love. Share a walk with a friend or a baked good with a neighbor. Send a care package to someone who is away from home. Drop some soup or even a box of popsicles off with someone who is under the weather. Most of all, jot down some nice words, tuck a note into your child’s lunchbox, leave one on your friends doorstep, send a card in the mail. Give someone an opportunity to appreciate you. It will feel good.