17 December 2010

Great Grandma's Buttons

How many of us of us have a collection of buttons housed somewhere within our homes?  Why do we keep these?  After Great Grandpa died some years ago, two years after Great Grandma had died, Father took over the house and I moved into it.  Incidentally, I acquired some of their remaining belongings that the rest of the family had left.  I got Great Grandma's sewing kit, replete with her button box.  What treasures therein did I find!

After I had set up my new sewing machine two weeks ago, I used the opportunity to reorganize my own sewing supplies.  It was the first time that I had really looked at the buttons.  Many were generic, white or translucent discs.  Others were charming and clearly vintage.  I found a leather and a couple of wooden buttons!  I wondered about where she had gotten them and how long they had sat in the box without use.  Had they been loose and fallen off of their original ensembles?  Had she picked them up and collected them from some other source?  Which were her favorites?

There is something special about buttons.  Else why would we collect them?  A box full of buttons is a box full of hope.  Hope for the future, hope for the things past.  We hope to refurnish those missing their buttons and to create new pieces for tomorrow.  What did Great Grandma hope?  Did she plan to refasten them but simply never got around to it?  Did she have a project in mind?  It is a poignant reminder.  Let the reader decide what reminder may be relevant.  For my part, I do not know where they come from in the distant Yesterday; Today I shall put to use these precious pieces of her hopes that they may be enjoyed Tomorrow.

What are your hopes?  Do you have a Button Box?

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