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She hearts you
Not wanting it to be formal, David said,
“Hey, let’s meet at Costco.”
Susan says she thought, “OK, he’s really
cheap if he wants to buy me a Costco hot
dog. How do you go on a date to Costco?
What do you wear?”
David doesn’t know why, but he sug-
gested meeting by the mustard.
They walked around the Kirkland,
Washington, warehouse and talked and
shopped. Susan thought, “I’m gonna watch.
How does he interact with people? Is he
patient? How does he push the cart around?
When we get to the samples, does he grab
it for me? It kind of shows you who they are.”
After passing the sample test, David says,
“It was love at first bite.”
The souvenir from that first date was a
two-pack of mustard. That was in March
2014. On September 27, they tied the knot.
Instead of rice, guests threw mustard seeds.
“Where the mustard kind of came in,”
Susan explains, “Scripture talks about the
mustard seed of faith. That it’s a small seed,
and when it grows into something big, it
becomes a very strong plant and nothing can
break it. So that’s what we kind of laugh
about and built our relationship on: Costco,
mustard and the strength.”—Steve Fisher
Weidinger, 91, lost
his wife, Nina, to
cancer on February 18, 2011, he
wanted to do something to honor their
When he saw the empty
walls at the hospice center that had
provided her great care, he was
inspired to donate 20 framed photos he had
taken during the times they spent visiting 79
countries throughout their life together.
“I want to keep her memory alive, and
what better way to do it?” says Weidinger,
who lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Austrian-born Weidinger, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1939, met Nina two
weeks after he arrived and married her
in 1943. They had three daughters, three
grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
His love of traveling and photography
provided the motivation for them to visit
AT 57, AND DIVORCED, Costco member David
Barrow had somewhat resigned himself to
being the bachelor father and uncle. Nearby,
48-year-old Susan Hawkinson, also divorced,
was feeling like “mountains would have to
be moved” for her to find love again. Online
dating didn’t cut it. But Costco did.
A mutual friend told each of them about
the other and gave Susan’s phone number
to David. After talking for 45 minutes, they
agreed to meet.
Mr. & Mrs. Mustard
countries such as Italy, Peru, China and Tibet.
“I have wonderful memories of all our 68
years together,” Weidinger says.
In addition to purchasing more than
a thousand frames at Costco and donating
the framed photos to various hospitals,
assisted living centers and hospices, he volunteers twice a week, sharing his photos with
Alzheimer’s patients. “If I can make one person’s day better, then that is enough,” he says.
David and Susan met in the mustard aisle
at the Costco in Kirkland, Washington.
George and Nina Weidinger traveled the
world during their 68-year marriage.
of hearts each
Spreading the love
Costco members share
BARBARA COOPER is better known as
The Heart Lady around her San Diego
neighborhood. For 33 years, the
Costco member has been giving away
paper hearts to those she encounters
throughout her weekly errands; she
always makes sure she has 20 in her
purse before she leaves the house.
She makes hundreds of hearts each
year and gives them to people who
give her good service, to individuals
she sees doing nice things for others
or to those who seem to need uplifting.
She was inspired to do these
random acts of kindness in 1981 after
spotting a plain paper heart while
shopping for Valentine’s Day cards. A
survivor of an abusive household as a
child, and later a member of Al-Anon,
Cooper wanted to do something to
give back, to show people that love
starts with themselves before they can
give it to others.
“I see it as my job to spread more
love on the planet,” she says. She is
usually unaware of a person’s circumstances prior to giving him or her a
heart, but she is often a welcome ray
of light. “People cry and people hug
me—men, women and children—every