Even though it is cold outside and I have made a fire, I crack the window to hear the hoot owl. She has been out there for several hours. 

Going through boxes, I found two tiny Christmas cards my mom sent to her mother and father from Japan in 1956. Her note inside is in beautiful penmanship. It tells me a lot about her desire to share and her love for her parents. She was living on Tachikawa Air Force Base where my dad was stationed. They had four children. I was the oldest. We traveled by ship to get there, plane to return to the states.

In the note she explains why she has chosen a yellow tie for her dad. My grandfather became a magician when he could no longer cotton farm in West Texas. My grandmother accompanied him to the many schools and civic organizations. Once, as a little girl, visiting from Kansas, I was his assistant.

        "Dear Daddy, we picked this tie because we thought you could maybe use it in your magic costume someway. A magician is usually in black and the yellow tie would show up on the stage and a touch of the Orient is always mystifying."

In the note to her mother she explains why she chose the carved ivory earrings and cameo.

         "Dear Mother, we chose Ivory for you again because it is different and to me it means excitement and adventure. The earrings are carved so delicately by hand, and the cameo too."

Knowing what to rescue of your parent's possessions when they are gone is important. My mother knew to retrieve the small pieces of jewelry. After she was gone, I found them in the bottom of the hand carved wooden jewelry box she had also purchased in Japan. While there was not an excess of money in our family, my parents didn't know the value of fine things.

My biggest fear is that no one will be able to find my fine things. And they will end up at Calvins, an antique and junk store in Monticello. And, that no one will know the story. I have a lot of searching and writing to do.