Don’t Toss The Cufflinks

I don’t make new year’ resolutions although I have had a few successes already in 2019. They are minor achievements toward ridding my life of clutter. My hubby already tackled the junk drawer in the kitchen. He proudly showed off his handiwork to me when I got home from work one day before Christmas. We now know where the batteries are for all things electronic. The rubber bands are close at hand in their own section of the drawer as are the paper clips, things we use about twice a year.

Our greatest accomplishment together, however, was the kitchen pantry. Somehow in less than five years time, my much valued pantry became a catch-all for just about anything and everything.

It wasn’t fair to the cereal and cake mixes to share space with the paper towels and cleaning supplies, so we purged the pantry of all things unnecessary to cooking or baking. I will admit I had to throw out a few food items that had expired. This has taught me that buying in bulk for a two-person household is not always the best idea.

We did the logical thing and moved cleaning supplies and such to shelves in the garage. With only a few exceptions — plastic containers and lids — the pantry shelves now hold cans of soup, tuna and other food stuff. Now I can quickly evaluate the need for more canned tomatoes at a glance. I actually thought I heard the pantry sigh when I closed the door the other night.

Then I turned my attention to my jewelry box. I sat down with my jewelry box in front of me. Scattered throughout its various sectioned off velvet slots was a tangled mess of costume jewelry earrings, pins, necklaces and bracelets. Most of these things I inherited from my mother and mother-in-law’s collections. They are by no means expensive pieces, but I cherish them all.

I got busy matching earrings and arranging them neatly according to colors (I like colorful jewelry) and special occasions. It’s amazing how many Christmas-related earrings I found and didn’t wear this year. There are red hearts for Valentine’s Day, leaf-shaped earrings for the fall and pumpkin faces for Halloween.

As I picked up each piece, I felt the rush of memories that went along with them. I could envision the lovely pins on my mother’s red woolen winter coat. I could see the scarf pins my mother-in-law used so very often. I make an effort to wear these things in their honor whenever I can.

There was something special about receiving a piece of jewelry in one of those boxes. Tattoos and multiple piercings are the fashion statements being made of the current generation. None of these require gift boxes. I just wish the clothing designers would bring back the need for cuff links. I see a lovely pair sitting in the box that have not been in use for a few decades … and that’s a darn shame.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at


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