by Nicki Wood
The time right around the new year has a magical quality about it. It's a time of hope and optimism. A time when I'm stuck in the house with all my stuff. Time to get a fresh start on an uncluttered life.
The clutter goes into a box of stuff bound for Goodwill: ill-fitting clothes, untouched toys and gadgets, stray beach towels. Any items unused for more than a year, the rule of thumb goes, should go into the box.
One item that stays every year despite the rules is a set of Syracuse "Champlain" cups and saucers. They belonged to a distant relative I never knew. They take up a lot of room in a crowded cabinet. They never come out of the special padded box, except once, to set the mood for a Fabulous Fifties Bridge Party, with coffee and mints. They have to be washed by hand.
All good reasons to let them go, but look at the light filtering through the china. Look at the thin walls and the delicate pattern. It's like a whole other language, one that nobody speaks any longer.
What possession of yours -- real or psychic -- will survive the new year clean sweep?