Washington column for Feb. 8

February is Heart Month in more ways than one

A reminder to everyone that February is Heart Month. So let’s make blood pressure control our goal. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, often showing no signs or symptoms. Which is why having your blood pressure checked regularly is important.

If you know you have high blood pressure, take these steps: Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. Set a goal to lower your pressure. Take your blood pressure medicine as directed and reduce sodium intake for sodium can raise blood pressure.

February is also the month of love, given the chocolates, cards, roses and special dinners all centered around the one day when romance is in the air, Feb. 14. Valentine’s Day is a holiday set aside to celebrate our fondest affections for our loved ones.

Valentine’s isn’t just the day of “love.” It’s also the day for couples to recapture their relationships, for the time that they’ve been together.

There are many theories and myths surrounding the origin of the modern Valentine’s Day celebrations. Some adore Valentine’s Day, while others dread it. However, whatever your inclinations are, I hope everyone will have a nice Valentine’s Day and that the ladies will receive their red roses — the traditional Valentine’s flower.

Remember love doesn’t make the world go round — it is what makes the ride worthwhile for everyone.

If you’re searching for a gift, consider the beautiful new plant and succulent designs from Jen Perrot of local Flourish Root Florals — on display for the next several days, Feb. 9 through 14, at R.H. Ballard Art, Rug & Home in Washington.

By Joanie Ballard
Beautiful plants from Jen Perrot of Flourish Root Florals are for sale at R.H. Ballard for Valentine’s Day.

The Ballards also have lots of new Valentine’s cards, jewelry and totes, colorful alpaca throws (it’s still cold out there), men’s cologne from England, and lovely scented new candles and bath collections to choose from. The new spring collection of tablecloths and towels are also now in stock. Other spring shipments from Italy and France include new hand-painted platters and trays, and the best French green tea packaged in a pretty tin and tassel. They box and ribbon everything so gifts will be beautifully presented.

As William Shakespeare said: “Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.”

La Cafamore

Returning to Little Washington, the La Cafamore String Trio will be playing a concert at 2 p.m. this Saturday afternoon, Feb. 10, in the sanctuary of Washington Baptist Church. Entitled “Guys Named Franz,” the program will include selections from the music of Haydn, Liszt, and Shubert. Our own Angela Snyder will again be playing violin, joined once again by Canadians Caroline Cameron (Angela’s sister), piano, and Alexis More, viola.

The concert is free and open to the public, and everyone who enjoys great music is encouraged to attend. A freewill offering will be received to support local and international charities.

Lenten series

This year’s Ecumenical Community Lenten Series will begin on Wednesday evening, Feb. 21, and continue through the next four Wednesday evenings.

Held once again at Washington Baptist Church, potluck dinners in the Fellowship Hall will begin at 6 p.m., followed by worship in the sanctuary beginning at 7. This year’s theme will be “A Lenten Pilgrimage,” and each service will focus on one of the following expressions of Lent: Promise, prayer, patience, penitence, and preparation.

As in past years, area congregations, clergy, and choirs will come together to participate in this meaningful series of Lenten services. In addition, a community choir made up of members of several congregations will be part of the final Wednesday evening service on March 21. All are welcome to attend both the potluck suppers and the services, with child care provided for the services. For additional information, call the Washington Baptist Church at 540-675-3336.

Happy Valentine’s Day!