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Whose Kids Know How to Turn Off Lights? I got a good chuckle when I read today's first reader tip from "Dad." For a split second there, I could hear my own father asking the age-old parent/child question: Don't you know how to turn off the light when you leave the room? MOTION SENSOR …Read more. Of Pet Accidents and Malfunctioning Keurig Machines Dear Mary: I saw in your column a long while back an article about the carpet scrubber (was it Bissell?) and poo-pooed it at the time. Now I am ready to cry UNCLE since I discovered to my horror that one of my cats was shut in a bedroom and peed on …Read more. Like Finding Money You Didn't Know You Had You know the feeling when reach into the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for awhile and pull out a $20 bill? What would it feel like if you pulled out hundreds of dollars? And what if you found money like that month after month? It's not magic &#…Read more. Best Holiday Gifts for Grandparents As far as gifting seasons go, the biggest one of all is just around the corner. The longer you wait to make or buy gifts, the fewer options you'll have. Last minute shopping is a surefire way to run up mountains of unintentional debt. Been there, …Read more.
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The Magic of My Missing Sewing Kit


It wasn't that big of a deal, really. Still, I felt a twinge of sadness whenever I thought about it because it's something I really liked a lot.

I made the small zippered pouch, all by hand — every last stitch. I wouldn't call it a work of art, although I was quite proud of the clever piecing and homespun appearance. I filled the little pouch with my most prized hand sewing supplies: Tiny gold scissors in the shape of a stork that were so sharp they cut perfectly all the way to the end of the beak. The only thimble I've ever found that fit perfectly. A small magnetic needle holder filled with the finest German stainless steel sharps in a variety of sizes. And a tiny container of applique pins and two spools of thread just the right size and shape filled the remaining space in the sewing kit.

It's been years since my sewing kit went missing. I looked from time to time, always consoling myself that it would turn up. It had to. Sewing kits don't get up and walk away. Soon, my casual attempts turned to all-out searches and eventually to excavations. I emptied drawers, and looked in nooks and crannies in every room of the house.

From time to time, I considered making a new pouch and refilling it with all the right items. I came this close to ordering a new pair of stork scissors. Wow, I didn't remember them being that expensive. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to admit the originals were hopelessly lost.

I have considered that there is a lesson in all of this that I needed to learn. And I'm certain it has to do with the unimportance of things compared to people. It's just a sewing kit, I kept telling myself — a tiny treasure that must have fallen into the wastebasket or somehow got scooped up into a donation bag. It's not like I lost a child or a close friend. I still have my home, my family and so many things in my life that bring me so much joy.

Over the years, that little sewing kit has prompted lots of "going through" and cleaning out. I have pared down our closets, and given away furniture and household items we don't need to others who do. And that felt good.

One day I was cleaning up a desk I no longer needed to give to a friend who would find it useful. At the last minute, I decided to check all the drawers just to make sure they were empty and clean.

Right there in the small drawer on the right was my little sewing kit — exactly where I put it so it would always be handy.

I got my sewing kit back. But more than that, I experienced something I don't really understand but believe with all my heart: It is in giving that we receive.

Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 23 books, including her January 2013 release, "Cheaper, Better, Faster: Over 2,000 Tips and Tricks to Save Time and Money Every Day." You can email her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



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