Lindsborg — Delrena Patrick got an early Valentine from the man she has been married to for almost 50 years, one he cut into the ground of a soybean field with a piece of farm equipment last week.
Pulling a 12-foot wide chisel behind his tractor Thursday, Richard Patrick carved a huge heart into the ground, with the words "Be My" inscribed inside it. Later, he drove his wife by the field, along Old Highway 81 south of Lindsborg, at a point where the road is elevated enough to provide a good view.
"It's the first time he's ever drawn me a Valentine's card," said Delrena Patrick, 68. "I thought it was pretty nice. He usually does it like every other male: He goes to the store and buys one."
"That's my first artwork," said her husband, 70. "For my first time to freehand, I felt pretty good about it."
The Patricks, married Feb. 29, 1956, have four children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and word of the unusual Valentine spread quickly among relatives and friends.
Richard Patrick said everybody was talking about it Sunday when he and his wife attended services at Trinity United Methodist Church in Lindsborg.
"I think every woman wants to claim it as hers," added Delrena Patrick. "At least in church, it was that way."
Still, Richard Patrick isn't off the hook for Valentine's Day. He said when he and his wife got home after he showed her the special Valentine, the first thing she said was, "You aren't gonna get by with just that."
"I've got some things in mind," he said - but his wife will have to wait until today to find out.