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Cassville Democrat (USA)

Reconnecting on Valentine's Day.

Recently, I received a press release from a French company called ApoteoSurprise. The release gushed about the first marriage proposal that would ever be conducted in space. The event is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Feb. 14, on Valentine's Day. The plan is to attach a photo of the couple and the message "Vanessa, will you marry me?" to a giant helium-filled balloon that will be released into the sky. The balloon's trip to an altitude of 30 kilometers will be recorded, and the balloon will blow up, a parachute will open and the video equipment will fall back to Earth where the footage will be recovered. After a montage of the video is created, the man who is popping the question will show the film to Vanessa, the first woman proposed to in space, and wait for his answer.

Although not all girlfriends, fiancees and wives are looking for something as elaborate as a marriage proposal in space, most of us want to feel special on Valentine's Day. This is the perfect year to begin a new couple's tradition. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

- Plan a snack bar at home using unique items purchased at some of our local businesses. Chocolates, dip and soup mixes, salsas, specialty snacks and other tasty items can be purchased from several of our downtown retailers.

- Take time to stroll the streets of Cassville. We often overlook new businesses and special sales when we pass through downtown in our vehicles. As you walk down the city sidewalks, take a moment to pop into some our local stores to see what new items are offered or just chat with staff members.

- Visit the Barry County Museum, which offers a variety of historical exhibits and special collections. What better way to connect with your significant other than by learning something new about the community you both call home?

- Take a hike at Roaring River State Park. February is a great time to enjoy the serenity of the park before thousands of tourists make their way back to Roaring River on March 1.

There are many other ideas for changing things up on Valentine's Day. Those ideas range from creating romantic coupon books or planning couples game nights to creating slideshows and memory albums or making heart-felt videos for our loved ones.

Remember, Valentine's Day is about reconnecting with our loved ones and showing them how much they mean to us. And this can be accomplished with flowers, chocolates, cards and gifts too. Happy Valentine's Day!

Lindsay Reed

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