The last few weeks we have been preparing ourselves to detach from our “belongings”. They so “belong” that they have been with us for our several decades together: my husband’s chest of drawers from his high school years, a small cherry stand that was a part of my bedroom set when I was a young girl. All in all, in the world’s valuing: about three hundred and thirty-five dollars worth of something.

In our valuing they had been worth much more: so much that we had moved them hundreds of miles and from state to state, not wanting to part with them. Heart truth be told, we still don’t.

Some of the items we sold, if you could call it really a sale and not a giveaway of sorts, were my mother’s. They were the hardest for me and I put many of them in a pile labeled “free”. I enjoyed watching folks sorting through and taking these little treasures with them as they slipped into their cars and drove away.

The greatest blessings of the day were the friends and family who came and helped us with the project. They were sensitive and aware. They realize this is a life event and were gentle with their suggestions and generous with their time. They nudged and listened and sat and stood as docents in our yard, gathering in the nickels and dimes.

A Japanese neighbor girl came by twice with her mom. She was brought in her stroller, but timidly walked over to peruse the lawn blanket covered with stuffed toys. She chose one and showed her mom who gave her a quarter to pass along. It was a big task for her. She hesitated, almost to a complete stop, in the process. She must have felt the better for it because when mother circled back and the little girl stopped again, she quickly chose a smaller animal from off the blanket, and passed a nickel this time with hardly a wrinkle of emotional distress!

Other stuffed animals, carefully chosen by Lewis and me decades ago for our young children, found new doggy homes. Real doggy homes. Human doggy owners lovingly checked out the toys to make sure they would not be a mess when doggy teeth would finally wear through the fabrics and stitching. One stuffed animal, a fox, was an immediate hit. Very soft and pliable. So did a lamb with a bell and long legs.

The fox was one I had bought for Lewis at some happy young moment in our lives: Lewis is the fox in our magic forest.

I am the duck. I was named the duck by my friend Dale. Dale, the whale, has been gone now for twenty-some years. Dale’s wife Jan, the squirrel, works in a library out West. A squirrel will always make a good librarian.

We lived in a magic forest together once. We had a story book with ourselves in it as characters. That was Dale the Whale’s idea. He was a good story-teller. Such a good story-teller that he went full time and became a preacher.

So, when the doggy mother took the fox: I remembered us all then. Our magic forest. Our laughter and friendship.

Memories were being sold by the minute yesterday morning.