Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 17 - Pack the Piñata


"Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly."
-- Rose Franken


October 14 is National Dessert Day. If you were looking for an excuse to enjoy sweets with your sweetheart, you've got it.


Leon Scott Baxter is a romantic guy. He even wrote a couple of books, including A LABOR WITH LOVE, about how men can love moms-to-be during pregnancy ( I was impressed; he thought of things I never even considered. If there's any justice in this world or the next, surely he'd be considered for sainthood.

You can imagine my surprise when he asked for my help. After he read THE ART OF THE SPARK, he "felt compelled to be even more romantic." (This comes from a man who shaved his wife's legs before he took her to the hospital to deliver their baby.)

On Valentine's Day he gave Mary, his wife, a card that told her to be on the look out in 2007 for three romantic surprises. The first one came a month later when he surprised her with a day for just the two of them at an amusement park, something they hadn't done since the birth of their first daughter eight years ago. The two of them snuck away to recapture their youth. The second was for their fifteenth anniversary this summer: a trip to Las Vegas. Leon's mom, who lives 300 miles away, showed up at their door, gave Mary a card from Leon that told her to pack her bags because they were heading to Vegas the next day. The trip was filled with surprises including a love letter delivered by the flight attendant on the plane and the best seats at a Vegas show. This was their first two-night getaway since their children were born.

Leon's third and final surprise for the year is scheduled for December, around Mary's birthday. This one will bring Mexico to their home in Santa Barbara. A friend is schedule to watch their children. Leon and Mary will have the house to them-
selves. He'll rent Latin-themed movies, listen to the same type of music, and put up posters of Mexico. They'll drink Mexican beer and make Mexican tacos they used to make years ago, but stopped when their children preferred Taco Bell.

But here's why he's asking for help. He has a piñata for Mary to break open, but he doesn't know what to put in it. He got the idea in February and assumed the answer would come to him by now. But, so far ... nada.

If you don't know what a piñata is, Wikipedia defines it as "a brightly-colored paper container filled with sweets and/or toys. It is generally suspended on a rope from a tree branch or ceiling and is used during celebrations. A succession of blind-folded, stick-wielding children try to break the piñata in order to collect the sweets and/or toys inside of it."

Here are his criteria for what goes in the piñata: 
   - Edible items are okay, but no candy or junk food. (Mary is a serious athlete,  
     a competitor in triathlons and century bike rides.)
   - Useful, meaningful toys would be okay, but nothing that will just take up
     space in the house. (They live in Santa Barbara, for goodness sakes, where
     real estate is at a premium.) 
   - Something romantic, like bath salts.
   - Something cute with a Mexican theme.
   - Everything must be unbreakable.

Here's a bit of history on this romantic couple: Leon and Mary met their first day on campus at the University of California at Santa Barbara. They lived on the same dorm floor, developing a strong friendship while they each had significant others. On Valentine's Day three years later, they had their first kiss.

Mary and Leon are both teachers. Mary's parents are from Spain, and she's bilingual. This is a couple who loves spending time together. They schedule regular dates, and enjoy hiking, kayaking, skimboarding, camping, playing board games, going to Las Vegas and surprising one another.

Okay, my friend, this time I'm appealing to you. Do you have any romantic ideas -- silly or sweet -- for Leon?



Unity Church in The Rockies
1945 Mesa Road, Colorado Springs, CO
Mondays, October 22, 29 and November 5, from 6:30 to 9:00

Community for Spiritual Living
3685 Jeannine Dr., Colorado Springs, CO
Thursdays, October 25, November 1 and 8, from 6:30 to 9:00

Call 719 481-0270 for more information.

Saturday, October 20. I've won the Tall Tales Speech Contests in my club and area. I'm moving up to the division contest. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 2

Friday, January 18


You can host an ART OF THE SPARK workshop in your home. If at least 5 couples attend, the cost is $30 per couple, which includes 1 copy of THE ART OF THE SPARK, a $16.95 value. The hosting couple attends at no cost and receives a free book. Scheduling is a mutually agreed upon time. Please plan for at least 2 hours.

Additional sessions can be scheduled at $20 per couple for 5 couples if you decide you want more time. Session One covers the basics. In the second session we plan a customized adventure. My husband often comes with me so we can break into two groups and plan surprises for our partners.


If you enjoyed this free e-zine, please forward it to friends.

I care about people and how they celebrate. If you have any stories you'd like to share with others, please send them to me at We can all learn from each other.

Wishing you a life of romantic adventure,
Mary Zalmanek

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