Monday, September 26, 2005

Grandma's Buttons

When I was a kid, both sets of grandparents lived across the street from each other. My parents were highschool sweethearts. For a long time I thought everyone's grandparents lived across the street from each other. It was certainly handy! Until my Dad's parents died, they all still lived across the street from each other.

When we would visit my Dad's parents, Grandma would let us play with her button collection. For me, it was a grand collection - for her, it was just all the buttons she'd snipped off the old clothes before they were turned into rags. Grandma was very frugal and saved everything. My brother and sister and I would sit on the bed, on Grandma's candlewick bedspread (which I am also blessed to have now), and spread the buttons out and arrange them into piles by size or color, or shape. I loved playing with the buttons.... all different kinds of buttons. I would imagine the clothes they came from - some were very pretty, some seemed exoitc, some were wood, some were costume jewelry, some I was sure had real diamonds in them.
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These are Grandma's buttons, and now they're mine for awhile.

I few years after Grandma died we were all at my parents for "Monday Night Dinner," and for some reason I was talking about Grandma's buttons - how I remembered playing with them when I was a kid. I few weeks later, again at "Monday Night Dinner," Grandapa handed me a bag.... it was full of Grandma's buttons. I probably hadn't seen them in 15 years or so. They brought back so many memories - and as we spread them out on the floor I began to remember all the different buttons, and all the memories. I cried, and I think Grandpa was a little surprised and confused. He said something about hearing me talk about them a while back, and thought I might as well have them. He had no idea anyone would be interested in a bunch of old buttons. What a treasure they are.

So, as I've been working on my Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan, and thinking about Wendy and her stories of her mom, it got me to thinking about Grandma's buttons. I thought it would be kind of special, since the sweater is kind of a tribute to her mom, if I could use some of Grandma's buttons for the sweater. Maybe make a someday-heirloom sweater I could pass on to my daughters, with Grandma's buttons, for her story to live on, too.
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So this morning I spread them all out again, began sorting and making my little piles, remembering all the different buttons, and seeing if I could find enough that would match. I found these -
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I'm not sure what they're made of. They look like shell, or mother of pearl, but they feel very soft, like soapstone. I think they'll be nice - and the sweater will always remind me of Grandma, and Wendy and her mom.


At 10:30 AM, Blogger amylovie said...

Your story made me a little teary eyed. It's funny how you treasure the simple things loved ones left behind.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

That is so sweet, Lynda. I hope my pattern will make it worthy of those beautiful buttons.

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous LC in Sunny So Cal said...

Wow, my grandmas both had button boxes too. Too bad all I got "handed down" was a box of mostly plastic 70's buttons my mom wanted to get rid of. Oh, well, I have my grandmas' embroidery scissors..

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Donna Boucher said...

My grandmother and mother both had button tins. I love digging through them.

Your sweater is looking lovely! I think the vintage buttons are a truly sweet addition!



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