Thursday, September 20, 2018

When Jewelry Has Memories

Memorable Jewelry and Blog News

Hello Everyone!  Did you do a double take when you came on the blog today?  Did you ask, "Who Is Debbie Styles Life and what have you done with Debbie This And That?"  No worries. It's still me and all will be explained if you stick with me to the end of this post. But first, I'm taking a bit of a trip down memory lane today, looking at jewelry that I own that hold memories for me. I'll bet you have some "memory pieces" in your jewelry box as well and, perhaps after today's post, you'll want to go find them and take a walk down memory lane yourself!

The locket you see in the above picture I have owned since I graduated from college back in 1981. It was a gift from a dear friend named, Mary Lou. (Yes, the same Mary Lou who won my first give away. She won fair and square. Her name was picked randomly!) I think of her each time I see and wear this beautiful piece. There were four of us "girls" who were fast friends throughout our college years, give or take the usual teenage squabbles that young ladies go through. Out of those four, Mary Lou and I are the only friends still living. Sadly, the other two died quite young. We remain close friends and Mary Lou recently became a grandmother! 

These two rather unusual pins are what my family refers to as the "baby pins" belonging to my sister, Sharon, and myself. Sharon and I are the youngest of five sisters and I assume these were bought for us when we were little. They are supposed to represent nursery rhyme characters. Mine is the "cow who jumped over the moon." I think the cow is a bit scary looking. I'm not sure who the dog is supposed to be. The eyes used to "wink" but aging has taken care of that (For both the pins and for me. I won't speak for my sister!)

How could I not include my wedding rings as memorable jewelry?! I have worn these for 35 years and still remember the excitement of receiving my engagement ring. Because the Mr. was working out of state at the time, I wore the ring on my right hand until he could come home and place it on my left ring finger. Oh my goodness, I was a sappy 24 year old!! The Zirconia band was a purchase we made when I received "Teacher of the Year" at my first school. I was super excited to receive this honor and wanted to commemorate the event with a ring. 

My High School class ring dates back to graduation in 1977. I felt, at the time, that I just had to have a class ring and I'm glad I have it, although I don't think I wore it after my first year of college. Still, it holds happy memories of being a somewhat carefree and goofy teenager of the 70's! Memories of friends, orchestra, sports carnivals and meeting the Mr. for the first time all date back to my high school years. So do memories of great anxiety trying to figure out how to go to college, where to go and what course of study to follow. I wonder what I would say to that young girl of the 70's if I could go back in time and talk to her?!

These necklaces belonged to my mother and I can still picture her wearing them. She wore this pair all the time, always together. I do wear these necklaces, but I wear them carefully and not often. I don't want to lose them because of the connection to my mother. 

Speaking of my mother, these are her 5 and 10 year anniversary pins from Hills Department Store where she worked many years before finally retiring. She loved these pins and I remember that she was so proud the round one had a diamond chip. I keep them to remember her hard work ethic and the memories of my oldest sister and I taking her to work and picking her up late at night when she finished her shift. Hills doesn't even exist anymore and the store she worked at is now a Home Depot. But, I can never go by there when I am visiting my hometown without remembering my Mom walking out the door with a tired smile. 

I used to belong to a teacher sorority many moons ago and each member took a turn being the president for a year. The end of a presidential tenure was marked with the giving of a necklace from Chico's.  This was my prize. I have loved wearing this necklace, but the metal appears to be tarnished. Perhaps that's a sign that I wasn't a great sorority president! 

I've shared the story of finding a sapphire at a local gem mine before on the blog. We had the ring cut and polished and then chose a setting for the stone. This ring holds memories of a wonderful day spent with family, digging in the dirt of the mine, rinsing rocks through the sluice and the joy of actually finding something! This ring arrived in time for my 33rd birthday and I have never forgotten the excitement of trying it on for the first time. I was recovering from a horrible bout with flu and this ring was definitely a high spot of that birthday!

And finally, this lovely blue and green butterfly necklace brings memories of my retirement from teaching. This was the gift I was given by the Academically Intellectually Gifted group I worked with during the last ten years of my teaching career. Butterflies have been a joy throughout my life and a sign of new life and growth. When the Mr. and I got married, I wore a delicate gold butterfly necklace that he had given me and which, sadly, I can't seem to find now. That necklace stood for love and fidelity and the blossoming of new marriage. This blue/green butterfly represents friendship, respect and new beginnings. When I wear it, I remember happy teaching memories in an amazing Gifted program, colleagues that became lifelong friends and the ability to break free from the chrysalis of work life to the new experiences of retired life. 

And speaking of new beginnings, a word about the new blog name. Those who have followed my blog know that I reverted back to my original blogspot address in May 2018. At the time, I felt this was a necessary change. I still retained the Debbiethisandthat name, but gave up owning my own dot com domain. When one forfeits their domain name it leaves the domain open for someone else to buy. I truly did not think that the domain name would be wanted by someone else and always kept in the back of my mind that I might someday reclaim the domain. When I checked recently, I discovered that the domain name was not available because it had been sold. I will be honest and say that this was a stunning blow to me. Especially since when I checked the use of the domain name, it appears that the site has nothing to do with anything that would fit using Debbie This and That as a domain name, in my opinion.  I honestly have felt violated by this turn of events. But, it was my choice to give up the domain. Rather than stew about the matter, I have chosen to use this as a catalyst for some new challenges and welcome the change to a new domain name that I feel truly exemplifies what I try to accomplish on this blog. Styling life with heart, soul and creativity has always been at the heart of my writing and continues to be the driving force behind Debbie Styles Life. I hope you will continue with me on this journey!

Wishing You Joy,

*All photos property of Debbie Ross. All writing and opinions are my own. 

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Sharon said...

What a nice trip down memory lane with you, Debbie, as you showcased each significant piece of jewelry. I really like your new blog name. It so reflects you and your blog!

Karen said...

I truly enjoyed seeing your treasured pieces of jewelry Debbie! I love the little animal pieces! You're right, this inspires me to go home and look through my own things! I like the new name of your blog. It certainly does express what you write about, so don't worry about the other one being gone. You are just moving forward, which is what we all have to do. And you are still you, after all! Styling a life is a worthwhile goal and I'm looking forward to your continued adventures!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Hey Sharon: Thank you for your support. It was fun to do the memory lane post and look at all the jewelry again. Thanks for liking the new name!

Debbie Styles Life said...

I appreciate your support so much, Karen! I am taking your advice and moving forward with the blog. Onward and upward!

Susan said...

So what kind of jewelry would you like next?