This assignment is to tell about our buttons. I don't have any sad or funny stories about my button collection, just the buttons and the very sweet way that I got them.
I actually have a pretty good size collection of buttons, although I collected none of them myself. They were all a gift from two older ladies in the church.
One of them, Miss Bea who had been a widow for many years, was cleaning out her house in order to move into a retirement center. She was having a yard sale, "Come, come over," she said. So we went. As I recall my daughter got a sweet handmade cloth rabbit with an apron, I got some kitchen utensils and a purple Pyrex casserole dish, and the boys got a few games. We stayed to chat and help, and after a bit Miss Bea asks if I sew. Of course I do. So she immediately gets up and heads over to a pile -- reaching out, she brought forth a large parmesan cheese container filled with buttons. "Then would you like these?" All shapes and sizes of buttons are in there, and the best part is that she said some of the buttons were her mothers' buttons. Of course I gladly accepted this gift, given with graciousness and joy and received with honor and thanksgiving. When I got home and looked through the jar, I marveled at the resourcefulness and thrift of the women who clipped buttons and snaps off of old, worn clothing while thinking ahead to the day when a few pennies would be saved by using them again. Several of the larger buttons still had cloth attached to them and I sat and imagined the elegant or utilitarian coat that at one time held these buttons. Did the hand that fastened this button do so getting ready for church one Sunday morning just after reaching out and fixing a stray hair or two from a child's head? The life and stories that the buttons could tell were endless.
The second set of buttons I received were from Miss Betty, another widow who no longer sewed, in two tins, very old, and full to the brim.
I have all of these in their original containers still, because I think that the containers add so much to their story and their charm. One day, when I am blessed with inquisitive grandchildren, I may put them all in a large jar to be viewed and sorted and counted and enjoyed. But I'll remember to tell about Miss Bea and Miss Betty, and their mothers and their families from which all these treasures came.
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