Have you ever found yourself lost in an activity and not realizing how much time has passed you by? A week or so ago, I worked on a project that brought back lots of memories forward to my present. I love those journeys of the heart! Have you ever had that happen? Something you see, or hear, or a smell from something you love to eating, and boom! You are right back there. We all have a story and it is fun to share them with others as a way to bring nostalgic moments and memories into the life of another. So let me share one with you from my life’s archive.
A week or so ago, as I said, I stepped back in time as I went through my grandma’s button jar. I found out quite by accident as I was looking for a certain button, that even though the buttons were in a great jar with a good lid, that it seemed dampness had gathered at some point, either in moving or from storage for a short, or some other way, but it was evident on the buttons. I took them all out and sorted them, washed or cleaned them, and then put them on towels to dry. Then I polished them and put them back into a clean jar. As I did this, I found buttons that were used on sweaters my grandma made, Norwegian buttons that may have come from a Norwegian sweater, and so many more buttons that had always caught my eye. I remember her cutting buttons off of everything when the article could no longer be worn. There are many different designs that are no longer made. These intrigue me now just as they did as a child. I love looking at the different styles and designs.
There is one that right away connected me to a coat my grand wore. It is shown in a picture below. It was a heavy coat worn when she went out to the store and this button was the top button of the coat collar that was offset on the coat.
I have taken a picture of some of my favorites. There are so many I like that it was hard choose just a few. But I’m sure you see some that maybe you might recognize or at least bring back memories of your grandma’s buttons. I remember looking through her jar often just for the fun and pleasure of it.
The buttons our grandma’s and mothers used were just as individual as they were. There are used for function, but they were also used to enhance the look of the clothing being worn. Several years ago, I took a few of her buttons and made a book mark with them for a few friends when we were together so that they could have a fun memory of the time spend together. I still mine as you can see in the photo.
Life is a bit like that. We get so busy collecting things we think will make things better and all we do is keeping filling our life up with activities, buying things, keeping busy, and we forget the simple thing…like the simple pleasure of looking through buttons. Each of those buttons has a story just like we have; a story of individual experiences. I found myself lost in the button project and it called me to simpler times. It is like when we get away for a stay in a cabin or hotel getaway and dial down. Without the frenzy of life, we just enjoy being and living. We are drawn away from a life that pulls us in several directions, and also can be discouraging at times. But with some times of simpler pleasures, we can really our life and those simple times and activities. When we do that, we can hear that still small voice speak to our hearts.
This simple time of going through the buttons, and cleaning each one…I really enjoyed their color, their little diamond in the center, the ones that look like flowers, or wooden buttons, or tiny ones and big ones, but all had a story. It didn’t matter what was going on around me. I had a big table and spread them out like a puzzle. It hugged my heart back in to yesterday where I also remembered her sewing room, her sewing machine, which I now have, and seeing in my mind’s eye the button jar, her scissors, material on top of the machine and in the drawers of her machine, and sweaters made that had some of these buttons on them. It all came flooding back. The purpose we know was to save money by saving buttons from items to be used on other sewing projects. Very practical, and yet years later, it made me grateful for those thoughts and times, and the story the buttons tell even today.
When God talks about digging out nuggets from the Word, it like this button adventure…a hunt for treasure found in a book (also written a long time ago), instead of the jar. But oh, if we could just look at it in the same way, it would be buttons like no other! Don’t ever get too busy to enjoy those simple things. I think my grandma would be very happy to see that after all these years, that I am still enjoying her button message as I look through them. Now, they are kind of sorted as I put them back in the jar so their beauty can be seen, even with a few favorites along the side of the jar to be seen and remembered by the one gazing at them…me. I found this item pictured here on the left and it really got me wondering. I have no idea what it is unless it might have been a lapel pin. But so unusual!
Below to the right, you will see some fun buttons and the top one is one of the buttons I remember from my grandma’s coat. So unusual and the rest of the buttons on the coat were simple. Just this top button was accented. Funny the things you remember.
It is my hope that just like these buttons still tell me a story years later, that it will speak to you. It is my prayer that those who follow after me will see my story that has stood the test of time, and those who find my “treasures” will remember my story. What story will my buttons or life tell? Even though the buttons went through the depression, they are precious still today and have not lost their value, monetarily, as well as, the memories of a life well lived. I hope others can see the fun “buttons” in my life; the flowers, the colors, the look of diamonds and reflections, the sturdiness of wood, the shiny fun, and even some of the corrosion that hit some areas but where the beauty still shows itself. I pray that is seen in me.
Do you have a button jar from your mom or grandma? Go have some fun and look through them. Maybe it can be an activity with your kids or grand kids. Tell the stories. Take the time. You won’t regret it. Someday they may be sitting around the table remembering the stories of the buttons in your life.
Until next time…