February is Montana's coldest month but it is warm by the fire!
It is February, the coldest month here in Montana. My tendency is to stay indoors during this time. We stay by the wood stove most nights, keeping our poor old bones warm. Our basset hound, Sadie, is right there with us. Since she is getting up in years also, it makes sense she would also want to be near the fire.
One night Jenny got out the scrapbook. I guess she got kind of sentimental that night, it being near our anniversary and all. Plus we got married on Valentine's day. So she always gets a bit weepy around this time. So I play along, look at the old pictures, and try to be polite. But all I really want to do is watch reruns on TV. But then in one of the pictures I spied some things I hadn't seen in ages.
There in a portrait of Mom and Dad - one of those formal ones. They are standing, George and I sitting in front. I had forgotten about this picture. Mom has her hand on my shoulder, a coral bracelet on her wrist. Dad had brought that back from his time in Japan. It was her favorite piece of jewelry. And then I saw at the corner of George, just peeking around the edge of his shirt, Dad's pocket watch. He wore this all the time. It had a chain that anchored it to his pants. We used to love it when he took it out to check the time and wind it.
I wondered what happened to these items. They were such a part of our lives for so many years. "Jenny? Do you know what happened to these?"
"What these are you talking about?" She continued turning pages. We were now looking at camping pictures of George and I when we were teenagers. Sadie's mom Sarah joined us in this shot. She was just a young pup, glad to be included in our adventures.
I turned back the pages in the scrapbook and pointed to the coral bracelet and the pocket watch. "These - in this picture here."
"Oh those old things. I think they are upstairs, in my old jewelry box. I haven't touched them in years."
'Hmmm.... Imagine that we still have them."
Later that night, I rummaged through Jenny's jewelry box when she took her bath. Right where she remembered - there were the coral bracelet and the pocket watch. I took them out and put them in my dresser drawer.
Our anniversary dinner was two nights later. Jenny cooked a nice roast with all the trimmings, just as I like it. I made my famous fudge brownies with real whipped cream. It was a real feast! After the meal, we exchanged Valentine and anniversary gifts. We never do much any more. After all, we have all we need. So gifts are usually small tokens, something unusual we have noticed throughout the year that we think the other might like.
She got me some new wool socks. "Perfect - my old ones are pretty thin! It has been getting cold on my walks with Sadie." I gave Jenny a big kiss.
My present to her was wrapped in a big heart shaped box, leftover from last year's candy.
"What? Did you go and get me candy again? You know what I said - no more candy this year."
"Just open it. You'll see."
She tore the white paper off and opened the red heart. Inside were the coral bracelet, modified a bit with ten diamonds and the pocket watch, engraved with our wedding date.
"Oh John! What an amazing gift! Look how lovely they are now! I will wear this bracelet every day and you must carry this watch always, just like your mom and dad."
I got a big wonderful kiss and giant hug from my girl. Then we settled down on the couch, warm and cozy in front of the fire, dog at our feet. There were reruns of our favorite shows on the satellite TV, and reruns of family jewelry shining in our hands.