Good morning Columbus. What you need to know — a love letter on Valentine’s Day, Elwood Staffing’s expansion, North gymnasts, America’s top dog

Happy Valentine’s Day Columbus —

I’ve dug out a column I wrote eight years. It’s my love story, and looking back at it made me wonder what time does to a relationship — does the love light still burn as strong or do the arrows of life take off some of the luster?

So today I am sharing my 2010 take on our story. As a side note, there is a Columbus connection to this romance. Our first date was at Weinantz restaurant on Jonathan Moore Pike. It no longer exists, but our love does.

Here’s my letter —

About 13 years ago, we met in a not so romantic way – at a Rotary Club meeting – and with the help of a mutual cupid. At the time, he was dealing with one of life’s biggest blows.

I wasn’t convinced about the putting a ring on it thing. Being someone’s wife sounded awfully confining, like ownership.

So there we were. He, vulnerable and broken. Me, content that the forever relationship drill wasn’t happening.

Yet we started that dating dance. Hot, sweaty summer evenings sneaking off and running around a high school track. Pizza, lots of pizza, when we’d get off work. Just hanging out and shooting the breeze.

Slowly, I got to know this man. I saw his incredible integrity. I saw his wicked sense of humor. I saw his innate goodness. I saw him do the right thing over and over again.
When he could have had a closed heart, he was choosing to open it wide.

When he could have been questioning the tough hand he had been given, he was choosing to be the ultimate optimist. When he could have been shutting himself off from the world, he was choosing to live life.

Can another person make you better? I do not know that for sure. I am more inclined to think, like the Good Witch Glinda tells Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz,” you always had the power. Dorothy just had to learn it for herself.

What I do know is that when this man came into my heart, my life got better and brighter. I knew that I truly loved him when I just wanted to for him to be happy, with me or without me. He deserved that. We all do.

Many years have passed since those early days when we both put on the full-court press to impress. I have learned, though, his special touches and the big gestures were not just for the courtship. Over the years, he has cared for my dying mother, penned hundreds of love notes that now fill boxes tucked away in the closet and helped me back on my feet through broken bones and worse.

Mostly, though, it’s the everyday stuff that shows he gets me, that he really understands who I am.

The Springsteen and Green Bay Packer tickets under my pillow. The love note taped to the steering wheel when I leave for work. The stories he clips out of magazines and newspapers just because he knows I would be interested in them. The lack of eye rolling when I jump up, goofily dance and sing at the top of my lungs. The look of tolerance when I get to be a handful.

This is how he loves me, and it still takes my breath away.

And you know what, there is nothing confining about this – about the love, about the commitment, about being his wife. Having the right partner eases the load, softens the burden and makes you see the possibilities.

He has what every girl wants in a mate — passion for life, passion for ideas, passion for other people, and of course, passion for me.

I love you Eric. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s what else you need to know —

Construction work is underway on the new Elwood Staffing headquarters expansion in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Bigger headquarters for Columbus company.
When you go from $1 million in annual revenue to more than $852 million, you just might need some extra space. Elwood Staffing’s success story continues, and we are talking to the family about how the expansion of their headquarters at Columbus AirPark is taking shape. Thursday’s Republic.

Grace Ellis performs on the bars during the Conference Indiana meet held at National Athletic Sports Arena in Greenwood February 13, 2018.

A strong finish.
Columbus North Bull Dogs gymnasts defend Conference Indiana title. Story and photos here.

Dan Coats: The United States is under attack.
The Hoosier and director of National Intelligence could not have been any clearer in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee: Russia is attempting to degrade our democratic values and weaken our alliances. Are we going to just let democracy die?  Story here.

Business in Edinburgh to expand.
Peer Foods Group is planning on building a new $27 million, 113,000-square-foot warehouse and production facility in Edinburgh. The expansion will generate 57 new jobs. Thursday’s Republic.

Pastor: ‘This is still unsolved and there’s a pain that goes with that.’

A year ago today, two teenagers were found slain in northern Indiana. Click here to find out what police are saying about where the investigation stands into the deaths of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams.

A ha ha from Pat McAfee and the new Colts coach.
The former Colts punter played reporter at the news conference Tuesday introducing Frank Reich to Indianapolis. Funny guy McAfee asked Reich if he hated or loved Josh McDaniels for what happened. Reich didn’t hestiate: The backup role has suited me well in my career. More about the new coach here.

Flynn the bichon frise has won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.

America’s top dog.
Flynn the bichon frise has won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club. Flynn beat out Ty the giant schnauzer, Biggie the pug, Bean the Sussex spaniel, Lucy the borzoi, Slick the border collie and Winston the Norfolk terrier. Story here.

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Scarlett Syse is group editor of The Republic. Contact her at