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I love holding hands with my husband... it is a pure, simple way to say "I am connected to you... I love you."  

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It also happens to be free.   We are (as are many people these days) not really in any position to spend money on gifts for one another.  And that's perfectly ok-- I don't NEED jewelry, chocolate, flowers or a new car topped with a pink bow to know that he loves me.  There are hundreds and hundreds of ways he shows me this- I have no doubt.

Romance doesn't have to be purchased-- contrary to what we see on store shelves and television commercials and magazine ads.  Love doesn't have to involve a purchase.

Mary Ann Reilly has started a project on her blog, Between the By-Road and the Main Road, that examines just that. Each day between now and Valentine's Day, she will be posting ways to say "I Love You" that don't involve purchasing things.  She invited others to post their thoughts on this and link to hers... in effect asking us to crowd source love.

I think that is a fascinating idea- hence this diary about holding hands.  It's a great multi-purpose way to express affection.  It can be a gesture between lovers...between friends... between a parent and a child.  It can be a private, intimate moment or a public statement of "we're a couple!"  It can be a way of letting someone know they are safe or a way to stay together on a crowded street.  It is often the first physical sign of a budding relationship, and it is sometimes the way a couple leaves this life.

Holding hands has been one of my favorite things as long as I can remember.  I hope that I never lose my sense of wonder about that simple connection, and I am glad that my daughters still think it's cute that their "old" parents hold hands.

Their opinion about parents kissing ("Ewww!")-- now that's another diary entirely! :-)

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