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By Mike Hazlip—
Love was in the air along with the smells of kettle corn and sounds of a live band on Saturday for the weekend farmers market outside Sunrise Mall.
Organizers set up Valentine’s Day crafts at the event where children made cards, and crafters offered similarly themed creations. Vendors also offered fresh produce as usual for the weekend farmers market, which is held year-round each Saturday and Sunday.
Inside Sunrise Mall, a line of people stood waiting for their turn to enter the See’s Candies shop. Employee Mary Lou said customers were waiting about 20 minutes to enter the store. “You should come by tomorrow,” she said. “It’s all men.”
Hallmark Assistant Manager Pat Massaro said business had been slower this Valentine’s Day compared with previous years, but she’s still seeing some of the same loyal customers as before.
Fitting with the weekend Valentine’s theme, The Sentinel asked various couples at the farmers market event about their relationships, how they met, and their secret to staying together.
Among those on scene Saturday were Christie Deon and John Malek of Carmichael, who have been together for five years and have a young son. They met as roommates, and John calls Christie “a hard worker, loving, with a pure heart.” Three-year-old Ty says he loves his mom and dad “a lot.”
Another couple, Andrea Lemus, 23, and Juan Huerta, 26, have been together almost four years. The couple is waiting for Lemus to finish school while Huerta works as a computer engineer in Folsom.
Sixty-nine-year-old Doug Davis and his wife Ginny will have been married 25 years this coming October. When asked what their secret is, Doug said “obey her,” with a chuckle.
The couple met at the Don Juan club in Rancho Cordova: “We were both widowed at the time,” Doug recalls. “She came in with an entourage of her friends from the Moose Lodge. Her male friend says, ‘Hey you need to talk to this guy, he’s just been widowed.’ That was it.”
“He introduced us to each other, and we started crying immediately,” Ginny added. “We got to be good friends.”
Patrick and Shelby Smith have been married 10 years and have two boys. Patrick says good communication helps them in their relationship.
“Communication, that’s a big part of it,” he said. “You know it doesn’t come easy, you’re going to have fights because everyone is going to have their own opinion.”
“You just have to find your best friend,” Shelby said. “She’s my person, and I’m her person,” Patrick added.
Matt Patterson said he took his children to the event while his wife ran errands. Matt’s 10-year-old daughter Uma calls her dad “nice and funny.” The Patterson’s have five children — plus “six chickens, two dogs, and a cat. And they’re all family.”
When asked what makes it all work, Patterson said: “Waking up every day and acknowledging every day is a new day. It’s a fresh start to get it exactly right and perfectly wrong all at the same time. We got a lot of love in our family just by being open, honest, and forgiving.”
The farmer’s market at Sunrise Mall is open year-round on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., “rain or shine.”
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