I think of Mom about this time each year. It’s been 3 years now since she passed away. Last year the Granties and I all spread her ashes (except for a bit in a plastic baggy that I kept) and this year Aunt Lani spent a couple of days visiting. I joke about how it would be great to have her around for the babysitting, but I do wish that she could have met Gus. She would have loved him these days, climbing over furniture and getting into everything.

The fire a couple of weeks ago was also a big reminder. Packing the car with all her boxes of photos and my most prized possessions just in case and deciding which of her antiques were going to stay to burn. I still haven’t carted the boxes back up to the attic yet, but they are stacked by the door ready to go.

It was one of these boxes that I caught Gus rummaging through. I had just popped into the office area to do a quick email and suddenly realized that it had been quiet too long. And sure enough when I came out I found him surrounded by various things -a pair of keys, a wind chime, a glazed plate Mom had made me -all covered with a thin layer of gray dust. Which he stood there chewing. With with a plastic baggy in his hand.

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