there’s a wanton assortment of things here. a collage of us through the years, peppered with possessions i’ll never be able to rid myself of.

there’s the dress i wore, the mismatched silverware we used before we were married, the sprinkler attachment that never worked quite correctly and would misfire, inevitably soaking you from head to toe.

"mary!" you’d shout, “it’s happened again!"

and i would come rushing out with a towel and, more often than not, my camera, clutching my sides with laughter as you sputtered and grumbled and stomped back to the house with big wet footprints.

there are the old christmas lights, the ones we put up before we were practiced, when we didn’t know what we were doing. i would hold the ladder for you, trying not to giggle as you hung and re-hung the strands, swearing and thrashing about all the while.

"mary!" you’d shout, “hold still, dammit!"

and i’d try desperately to wipe the smile off of my face, but my silent chuckles would shake the ladder and before you knew it, you’d be laughing with me, tears pouring from our eyes as we wiggled and moaned in hysterics.

we only got half of our lights up that year, choosing to hang wreaths and tinsel on the dark half of the house. we drank champagne and admired our handiwork.

"mary," you said, “it couldn’t be better."

and it couldn’t have been, the two of us standing there in the cold with cheap champagne and rosy cheeks, gazing at our home, the one we lived in together. the wind blew all of the tinsel from the shutters within hours, but we loved our little creation so much, we kept the rest up until valentine’s day.