Greetings, neighbors! I'm writing from the big city of Atlanta.

Greetings, neighbors! I'm writing from the big city of Atlanta.

This shows, if there was ever any doubt, that our community is among my top priorities. I traveled here this week to attend the 2014 Annual Training Conference for Region 1V Head Start Association. I’ve attended many seminars, with the key goals of strengthening community and family.

While I’m in awe of my surroundings, they reinforce my fondness and appreciation for our community. It's truly a wonderful experience, but I’m ready to be home!

For now, as I experience the unknown in Georgia, I think about other unknown things. Like Valentine's Day, the month's most commercialized event.

Here is some interesting history:

•Lupercalia, a pre-Roman ceremony from Feb. 13-15, involved men sacrificing a goat and dog, and whipping women with the hides. Woman would actually line up to be hit, believing the lashings would make them fertile. The brutal event included a matchmaking lottery in which young men drew women's names from a jar. The couple would be together a minimum of the festival's duration.

•According to legend, Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus II ordered the beheading of Valentine, a priest and physician, for attempting to convert him to Christianity. The Catholic Church founded a Feb. 14 feast for drinking and exchanging trinkets celebrate the martyrdom.  

•In 1915, Hallmark cards of Kansas — then known as Hall Brothers — began mass producing Valentine’s Day cards. Since then, Cupid has taken focus, and gifts may have changed, but the drunken revelry and essences of fertility and love have remained part of the day.

It's interesting to see how things have changed over time. But let's get back to current events.

Laurel Hill School will be closed on Feb. 17 for Presidents Day. In party-planning news, we are trying to put together Valentine’s day celebrations at LHS and Head Start.

That's all for now!

Amber Kelley lives in Laurel Hill. Send news, comments, or donations for Maudy Carper's family to or P.O. Box 163, Laurel Hill, FL, 32567.