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The Northland's tiny love stories

In the season of celebrating affection, we asked Northlanders to love share their stories, in 100 words or less. Here's what they had to say.


I met the love of my life wearing his clothes, sitting in his living room, eating his food. Embarrassing, right? We had a mutual friend who invited me out to snowmobile at "his lake house." So after, I needed to borrow some clothes, and our friend went into "his bedroom" to find me some. Well, my now-husband came home and told me the truth that it was his home and his clothes I was in. Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed. But he was cool with it. Now I always wear his clothes. Haha!

— Kelly Nelson, Duluth


In 2006, my husband passed away. Two relationships later, I gave up on finding another love. I decided to date myself. The summer of 2015 I noticed an acquaintance of mine from back in the day was liking a lot of my facebook posts. He was called "Pauly" by my sister and me, using our best Brooklyn accents. I took a chance and asked him out for a beer. We haven't gone more than a day without talking. Living together, merging lives, fishing, camping, playing darts, raising kids, being with family, entertaining friends, watching TV and loving life together.

— Amanda Rabbers, Proctor


I was coming out of our veterinarian clinic and saw a girl sitting in her car, crying, holding a leash. I opened her driver's door and said "What happened?" And she had just had her beloved dog euthanized. I stood and hugged her and told her how sorry I was and told her that we had to say goodby to three golden retrievers and a basset hound and that the grief we felt matched the love we felt. She found out my name and sent me the most beautiful thank you note, bless her heart.

— Luann Rowell, Grand Rapids


I have a love story to tell you but it's about the four-legged kind of love. Her name was Valentine, and she was the epitome of love. My sisters and I found her on Valentine's Day walking around the parking lot of the Holiday hotel on a freezing cold day (much like today), and my sister's future husband was there doing some work and saw her, too. We decided to take her home; she had no collar on her, so we didn't find her rightful owner. It was on Valentine's Day, and we named her Valentine! She was so kind and loving and willing to come to our lives and love us back. She was the epitome of love in the very best way, and she passed away from old age but she will always be our lovebug! So on the day of this Valentine's Day, we remember our precious little Valentine.

— Debra Robnik, Duluth


The coffee pot just needs its button pushed ... soon you will call to say I love you. Richard, you are my life.

You are rugged, you are patient and filled with charm, you have a gentle spirit, protecting me and opening doors. There are "Happy Thursday" gifts ... just because. You tell silly stories, that make laugh.

I love the way you touch my face and ruffle my hair. I cherish you ... you cherish me. Thirty-eight years of treasured memories. My Beloved

Richard Johnson, Jan. 13, 1955-Nov. 17, 2017

— Rebecca Johnson, Proctor

Melinda Lavine

Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

(218) 723-5346