If you had a shelf for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronic devices and the things stored on them, people, or animals), what would you put on it?

For things that would fit on a shelf, they would be (1) a tiny cup and plate displayed on brown plastic stand, that my son gave me for Christmas when he was nine. Printed on the plate are the words, “I Love Mom,” words I desperately needed that particular Christmas; (2) the Christmas ornament pictured below. As a little girl, it was always my favorite and even though I’ve down-sized my Christmas trees in recent years, it still gets the front and center spot;

(3) as for the third item, there are so many items competing for this spot I don’t know which to pick: the little Bible my mother carried (with a single orchid on it) when she married my Dad, her long-sleeved, long-trained, satin wedding dress, (circa 1948), my great-grandmother’s wedding dress (circa 1901), that is actually two pieces, the skirt with a small, ruffled train, and the top with rows of small ruffles across the bodice, and raw silk cuffs, the tatted table cloth my great-grandmother made for me, my father’s christening gown (also made by my great-grandmother for my grandmother, then she used it for my father), some drawings I made years ago, some of my journals, some favorite books (some from my childhood, like “The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew”). . .like I said, too many to choose from.

 If you had a box labeled “happiness”, what would you put in it?

My grandchildren’s giggles.