Pocket-sized English Chinese dictionaries are nestled throughout the house. Like my grandmother's paintings (omg I found more yesterday!) and bags of change, dictionaries keep popping up in dresser drawers, purses, and suitcases.
For adult immigrants my parents had great conversational English, mainly because they had picked up slang from the young waitstaff at their Italian pizzeria. They were the sort of ESL speakers who weren't equipped with vocabulary but could articulate anything through gestures, expressions, and piece meal Chinglish. How else could my dad have chewed out attempted dine and ditchers at our restaurant? How else could my mom have handled all our family affairs without my dad?
I don't recall my parents looking through dictionaries but most of them are worn and dog-eared.
This one had a special bookmark. Notice the dog ear is a trompe l'oeil!
I suspect someone who liked my mom very much took this photo.