February 2017 Lifestyle Letter

Love… love changes everything / Hands and faces, earth and sky Love… love changes everything / How you live, and how you die
—Andrew Lloyd Webber, Aspects of Love
It’s February, and to the delight of many and dismay of others, that Cupid character is about to tuck an arrow’s tip ‘round the corner of our calendars and empty his quiver to celebrate his vision of Valentine’s Day.
Like many modern holidays, February 14 is a multi-cultural mixtape—featuring influences by ancient Rome’s fertility feast of Lupercalia, a 5th century upgrade by the Catholic Church to honor martyred St. Valentine, a rash of romantic runes by Chaucer and Shakespeare ramping up the heat, and a blooming tradition of exchanging sweet handmade cards (big with the Brits in the 1700s) that bodaciously blossomed in America. We celebrate in songs and sonnets and snapchats, cards and candy, flowers and feasts, flirtatious fashion and fine jewelry—over 60% percent of us celebrate Valentine’s Day somehow, surveys say.

The results can be a mixtape too—the loved feeling lovely, but the lonely left lingering in winter chill—inspiring an unspoken challenge for us all to share a little love and good will with everyone this month, not just sweethearts and valentines. A time for a little creativity, and inspiration, and character-building. A little love: it can change everything.

February in SW Lake county features so much more than a romantic holiday whose history earns it a Facebook status of “It’s complicated”—at SW Lake Lifestyle it’s our Homegrown and Locally Made issue:
• Vote for your favorite local businesses in our “2017 Best of SW Lake Awards”; nominations are in, and polls are open
• See how Primrose School of Long Grove locally builds character and a lasting love for learning
• Feeling lucky? Keep that glow reading our feature on local artist Russ Riendeau and his striking statue rescued from the flames, “Juniper’s Fire”
• Rising from its ashes yet once more, relive The King’s Manor 25th Anniversary
• For those last-minute V-Day gifts, we’ve got some hot suggestions for you
I’m thrilled that this new year brought new opportunity and responsibility for me with SW Lake Lifestyle as Editor. Recognizing what’s awesome, what’s local, and what makes us yell “BOOM!” is a lifelong passion—what a great fit! Publisher Michael Beightol and I thank you for your readership.
See you Around Town!