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  • Another piece of a story I wrote down during this journey. You meant so much to her.

    Yesterday was a working visit with Judy to help her prepare a bedroom for her dear friends coming from Australia which, by necessity, included the sorting of treasures and forgotten projects. Judy is by nature a veteran preserver and recycler. With the cancer it had gotten ahead from her but she still had a plan.

    Part one:
    It started with me standing at the foot of the recliner where she had been resting, her waking and telling me the dream she had been having as she often does now. She had been having a dream of being on a boat ride with her dearest friend, Wini, to an island where they strolled through the woods with a meandering group of compatriots. When it was time to get back to the boat in front of them was an obstacle- a narrow tunnel. Judy is very claustrophobic . Entering the tunnel she found herself in the center of the group and turned to Wini and said "you have to get me out of here". Wini, as is natural to her, took charge and said "gang way, coming through" and people quickly stepped aside . After getting to the front of the group and seeing the light ahead they pushed through a last very narrow passage, came out on the shoreline and there was the boat.

    Judy laughed and said: "I opened my eyes and realized that I had a cat hard up against me on either side and my covers were very tightly wrapped around me . I had created my own tunnel."
  • Part Two:
    So that is how it started. We got slowly organized and walked up the steep and narrow farmhouse stairs. Along the right side is a bookcase overflowing with books and old games, knicknacks, and boxes of letters and cards plus whatever else had landed there; a treasure trove that engaged the bibliophile, naturalist, random collector, and librarian in me. Up until now I had never been upstairs in Judy's house. I wanted to sit right down and sort, peruse and absorb but that was not the task at hand. I tried to listen to instructions and do my tasks but things kept catching my eye. A book about fish, no pictures but in an instant I realized that the prose was rich and rare. Judy said "that is an amazing book". I agreed and went back to dusting, sorting, and boxing up: Goodwill, Scrapbaggers, daughters room, Sisters room. Rugs down, bed remade with thicker blankets and hospital corners,dusting, and arranging oddities on the bureau: a gift bag with a hand cream in it from a long ago trip, a jar of heavier cream, a bottle of lavendar oil. I dusted the lamps. She pulled out a large piece of woven cloth from the family farm in Massachusetts. It was flax dyed blues and white and was to go to a cousin who was creating a historical museum of those days in her family. She also pulled out cast iron foundry tools for him.
    Still around the edges were boxes and piles but the room looked inviting in a comfortable way.

    But we were not done.
  • When the larger items were dispensed with, out came boxes of letters. Boxes of letters from her mother to her father's brother. The brothers were twins. The wrong one asked her to marry and apparently after that what was left between her mother and the brother was a lifetime of letters. There were letters from Judy's husband to his mother and letters from Judy to her husband. All these I carried down to be perused .

    And lastly there were baby clothes, her childrens and doll baby clothes and finally Judy's winter pajamas. They all found their places to be in reach of the recliner in the ensuing months except for the pjs which I put in her bedroom to be put away .
  • Seasons change. Life goes on no matter how precariously.
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