Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our valued customer, Margaret Gettle Washburn, PC, contributed the following article to our news. This article expands and applies to more than the practice of law, and applies to Valentine’s Day in general.


What have you done this past year for Love?

Read here for updates, quotes and romantic recommendations!

by:  Margaret Gettle Washburn,  ed.



For those of us that spend our days in the practice of law, the one day of the year that ought to be divorce and pain free is Valentine’s Day.  It is a day of love and celebration, including our own Magistrate Court, where our Judges have hosted hundreds of weddings over the past 20+ plus years, a wonderful tradition where the courtroom is decorated with flowers and hearts and cupids.  This tradition continues again this year at the Historic Gwinnett Courthouse  on Friday, Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the old Justice of the Peace Office .  Valentine’s Day wedding ceremonies and vow renewal ceremonies will be performed by Chief Magistrate Kristina Hammer Blum and Probate Court Judge Christopher Ballar, who are co-hosting this year’s annual wedding event.


What is the origin of Valentine’s Day?  Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year.  Except for New Year’s Day, it is the most celebrated holiday around the world. [1] “Valentine’s day for me is a celebration of love, love in its many forms, romantic love between a man and a woman, the never-ending love of family and dear friends, the enduring love between a parent and child, the abiding love between a human and their beloved pet, love of self and love shared with communities or the world.”[2]


So, what have you done since last year to show your loved ones how much you care about them? Did you embark on a new romance?  Or, have you taken your children to a parent/child event and spent time with just that child or children?  Did you turn the law firm clock off for awhile and visit with family? Did you send a card or flowers to anyone just because?  Did you hand deliver a gift to a loved one? Make a call to an old friend, a new friend, or someone that needed to hear your voice?  Did you make your partner smile? Did you create a new cocktail just for your spouse, buy some personalized M&Ms, or take him or her back to where you had your first date? Did you call your mother? Your father? Did you tell your best friend how important he or she is?

We all believe in Valentine’s Day and in the enduring human spirit; yes, even lawyers! Lawyers are wordsmiths, able to appreciate the written and spoken words of eloquence. and elegance.  Here are a few wonderful quotes from authors, poets and playwrights that have captured love in words for the past thousands of years. Their work speaks to the enduring power of love across the ages of human history:

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle;

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu;

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet;

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning;

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable. – Henry Ward Beecher;

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age. – Anais Nin

So, need some ideas?  I have consulted the Internet (if it’s on the Internet, then it has to be true) and several of our members for suggestions. About.com Atlanta has a list of local getaways for romantic weekends:  Chateau Elan, Barnsley Gardens, North Georgia Vineyards and Montalauce are romantic getaways that are short trips. Also recommended: romantic restaurants, including Canoe in Atlanta, Wisteria Restaurant, Sotto Sotto, a favorite of Judge Joe Iannazzone and Barcelona. Also listed: Sugo in Johns Creek and Antebellum in Flowery Branch.  The Capital Grille is always a wonderful dining experience. One of my favorites is Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead, also one of Keith Royal’s choices.  The Atlanta Fish Market, a favorite of Judge Rodney Harris, 103 West and Chops are all Buckhead Life Group restaurants.  My kids, Lee and Houston, enjoy the King + Duke, a great Buckhead spot, that boasts a 24′ open hearth and steaks.


Check out the OpenTable Reservations at opentable.com.  One suggestion on that website is Viande Rouge, Duluth, a Mike and Susie Deming favorite as well as that of Judge Steve and Teri Franzen.  J. Alexander’s, The Forum in Norcross, is one of Lee and Nita Washburn’s favorites, as well as Judge Rob Waller,  and Richard and Kathy Schrader (although Richard tried to take Kathy to Krystals). Judge Kristina Blum and our President Chuck Ross enjoy Grace 1720, also in the Forum. I recommend Pampas Steakhouse, John’s Creek, with a great live entertainment area, a favorite also of Kate Franklin. Goin’ Coastal in Virginia Highland, is a great place.  Judge Joe Iannazzone also favors 5&10 in Athens (he’s a Tech grad, so apparently he knows where to eat, just not where to go to football games) and Chief Judge Pam South enjoys Serpa’s in West End on Auburn Ave.  Judge Tom Davis recommends Babette’s Café in North Highlands, C & S Seafood and Oyster Bar in Vinings.  Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner’s favorite “go to” is Ted’s Montana Grill in Snellville or The Salt Factory in Roswell when venturing north of Gwinnett. Scott Mitchell recommends The Gun Show, Atlanta, the chef Kevin Gillepie was the winner of Top Chef.  Joe and Claire Zdrilich recommend The Optimist in Atlanta, and Hal’s (although Joe secretly loves White Castle hamburgers) and  David Will recommends Stoney River in John’s Creek.  Steve and Jennifer Adkins recommend the Ninja Steak & Sushi, Hamilton Mill.  Paul Rosenthal recommends Graft in Grayson, a small farm to table, very hip, place featuring local produce and Prime in Buckhead.  Chuck Efstration says Bones is the Best! This gives you a wide assortment of price points, locations and menus!

Happy Valentine’s Day y’all.  If there is someone out there that you have neglected while loving the law, this month is the time to fix it.  Margaret Washburn.

[1] Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

[2] Veronica Hay, “It’s Valentine’s Day-Remember the Love,” EnzineArticles.com.