Button, Button, Who Has the Button
Last night as I crawled into bed and was wondering what I should write about for my blogspot, my eyes fell on the old Ball canning jar filled with buttons, sitting on the top of my chest of drawers and it gave me ideas about some nostalgia that I could share. The jar itself is large, approximately one and a half quarts and the glass aged, no longer completely clear. It is topped by one of the zinc lids. Inside of it are a myriad of buttons of all different colors and shapes. Many are antiques, passed down in the family to the following generations. Some are new, either bought for a sewing project and never used, while others have been carefully removed from garments that were worn beyond use. Many of these tiny clothing fasteners were toys that kept many grandkids amused for hours, struggling to put them on a string in just the right order. Or when several children gathered, grandma would start the game, “Button, button, button, who’s got the button?”
My grandmother kept her buttons in a metal tin, like many of you do, but I put mine in a jar to display the beauty. Like a kaleidoscope, if I get tired of the pattern or wish to see different buttons, I can rotate the jar and instantly my view has been changed. Many of the colors are subdued, white, gray, black, or brown, but even those hues vary. Pops of color, reds, blues, clear rhinestones, polished brass and silver play hide and seek. Some buttons have two holes pressed through their body while an equal number sport four holes. Then there are buttons that have no holes in their body, but are flat buttons that have a single hole attached and protruding from their backsides. There are a few from my Naval uniforms, dark blue with the anchor design pressed in them.
There is at least one furniture button covered in a coarse, brown nylon material from a couch my mom and dad had when I was a kid. Many of the buttons were old before I was born and many of the buttons bring back memories. Some are plain white or black and were removed from shirts or pants. I’m sure that they have stories to tell, but common ones about work and play.
I have tried to share my thoughts of the beauty I find in the simple, common things that so often we overlook. Instead of saving these memories of metal, plastic, wood, and even ivory, we simply toss then away, used, forgotten, and of no consequence.