Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Button Box

In the novel I was reading, the mother went to her button box. Visions of Dar's (my grandmother) button box came up from the depths of my memory database.

It was probably the size of a slightly large cigar box without the lingering smell of tobacco.

If we were good we could play with the buttons. I used them to make designs or people that I would move within stories I made up. My brother turned them into soldiers and cowboy and Indian standoffs.

When I lived on the Riverway in Boston, I too had a button box, but its collection was scanty. There were never enough to do a multi-button replacement. Most clothes came with an extra button negating the need to replace many. With my non-love of sewing, one button was more than enough to rescue the garment and let me get on with my life. The box disappeared in a move to France.

After retirement, a knitting bug hit me and I designed and produced baby and children sweaters almost in bulk. I didn't know anyone pregnant and most of my friends' kids were way past the stage they could fit into my creations.

I was partially motivated by the novelty buttons sold at our local yarn store. When the bug passed, I donated the sweaters to a local charity shop. There were no leftover buttons to start a new box.

Dar also had a bigger box of envelope liners of all colors and designs.

On rainy days, she'd bring out paper, scissors and glue. We could make designs, create mosaics of houses, flowers, country scenes. The linings were used for paper doll clothes and even Japanese lanterns. When done, I might make up stories about whatever I had wrought.

Today we buy envelopes in packets, There's only a rare on that is decorated. I kinda wish that my bills came in envelopes with pretty liners--so much nice to open. And for those that come by email, linings don't exist.

In today's computer world, playing with buttons and envelope linings, never mind paper dolls would earn an eye roll directed to whoever suggested it.

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