This isn't going to become a maudlin blog, I promise. I have a set of wee toaty explorer pictures to push up here in a minute.

But as I go through my mother's stuff, I keep finding these things hidden all over the place. Under chairs, in closets, on a bench. They seem to be bound pieces of paper with writing on them.

For a person who couldn't hold her head up to read since some time last year, my mother had a lot of books just lying around.

It reminded me that as a child we didn't really have bookshelves. There was one set in my room, I think, but nowhere else. However, in the middle of the living room, instead of a coffee table, we had a large wicker rectangular cube-shaped basket. It was filled with paperback books of all sorts. There were horrible horror novels and Kurt Vonnegut novels, and I don't know what all. I remember for sure there was Flowers in the Attic and Venus on the Half-Shell. The only hardbound works we had were the complete short stories of Sherlock Holmes, the complete plays of William Shakespeare, and a set of Time-Life books about the west.

The TV might have always been on, but someone was always reading, too.

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