Have you ever been sitting at your desk or in your car or somewhere and suddenly a memory from long ago comes racing to the front of your brain? It’s like in Inside Out when Joy and Sadness are at the Memory Bank and suddenly the gum jingle begins playing. That happened to me yesterday.

I was walking through the aisles of Jo-Ann Fabrics  yesterday trying to find some cute Easter decorations when I turned left and found myself in an aisle of buttons. Row after row of colorful buttons. And then it happened. My mind pulled from the memory files a snapshot of me sitting at my grandmother’s kitchen table playing with the buttons in a teal tin container.  The buttons ranged in size, color, and texture. Some were small and meant for a pocket while others were huge and she’d sew them onto her blazer she wore to church. Some were smooth and shiny. Others were rough and bumpy.

I’d busy myself with these buttons while she measured fabric out for the latest dress pattern. I could spend hours sorting them out by size or color. But sometimes I’d dump them all out on the table and then slowly put them back in in small handfuls. I’d always ask her where she bought all of those buttons and she’d always tell me at Jo-Ann’s. Occasionally I’d have to stop playing with them because she needed to measure something on me before she could finish the pattern. Anytime the dress needed buttons she would pick out the color of buttons appropriate for the dress but I’d always get the final pick in what type of button would be sewed on.

When I was at the store yesterday I couldn’t help but pick a few of the buttons and feel the texture and wish that I had the ability to sew clothing from patterns just like Mam. But for now the memories will have to suffice.


8 thoughts on “Snapshots

  1. What a lovely memory — and what a coincidence, I just came across a random pearl button from my grandmother’s collection just last weekend and wrote about it in my Notebook.

    At any given moment, I wonder how many people are remembering their grandmother’s button collections.

    Time to start collecting for the next generation!!

    Thank you so much for your post!!


      1. Yes! And take a pic so you can keep that tin near you always. My grandmother’s button sits in a plastic box I found nearby. Time to move it to a more special spot! 🙂


  2. My mom kept buttons in a tin, too. She did not save much, but she kept buttons. I’ve often wondered if it was a habit from living through the Great Depression. My mother sewed for us and later my sisters sewed for me. I didn’t have a “storebought” dress until I was a teenager, and then only one that I remember. I love this post!


  3. Spring must be the time for remembering our elders; we all seem to be posting on the same topic! I inherited a lot of buttons, and have collected many of my own during my not-so-talented attempts at sewing clothes. I have them sorted by color in old glass coffee jars.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely memory. It is funny how something we see, hear, or smell can transport us back in time. I used to sew and quilt…before my teaching days. I also used to collect old fabric scraps and buttons. I would always wonder about their story. Because we KNOW there is one.

    Liked by 1 person

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