The Cool Kids

Friday, May 15, 2020

Use Your Words May 2020: A Few Buttons


Hey-O friends!
Today's post is a writing challenge created by Karen@Baking In A Tornado. 10 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words for someone else to use in a post. All words must be used at least once. All posts will be different as each writer has received their own original set of words. No blogger knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until today.  

My words are:
wooden ~ cotton ~ covered ~ magnolia ~ green ~ cardinal
They were submitted by: the very sweet Minette @ https://www.southernbellecharm.com 
                   
I have always called my mother's mother, "Grams"
***
When I was young, one of my favorite things to do at my grandmother's house, was to go through her "button box." It was a round, wooden box not unlike the popcorn tins you get at Christmas time. It always sat on the floor next to Gram's favorite chair.

I'd sit down next to my grandmother's feet and listen as she'd string together magnificent stories from her chair. I'd quietly twist the lid on her button box and slowly pour the contents out; listening to the tiny clinks clanks of glass, metal, and plastic buttons as they piled upon one another onto the floor. 

Gram's collection wasn't huge. It was made up of  buttons that she'd used or those that were passed down to her. After several visits to her home, I had memorized each button and could recall it just by closing my eyes and twisting it between my fingers. The long, cylindrical leather button used to be toggled to my uncle's boots. The oval button that was heavy and cold to the touch was her turquoise button set in silver. The large, smooth one with two holes that took up most of my little-kid palm was a forest green button that grandma said went to an old wool coat she wore before her children were born. Tens of tiny cotton-covered buttons had sharp shanks. Those belonged to Gram's own grandmother's boots. Each button felt different; each had it's history. My grandmother never minded sharing with me each button's story.

It's no surprise that I hold on to those memories and use them in my world today. I started saving buttons that came  as "extras" with my own clothing and then those of other family members. The buttons were held in a jewelry box until that became too small of a vessel. When I started sewing, I collected many more buttons; checking out their hues and textures.  Later, if I saw jars of old buttons in a vintage store, I'd pick them up and wonder, 'How many stories were in those jars?' I've even purchased them on eBay and asked for soon-to-be-thrown-away buttons from my friends. I've used them in my classroom and with my children to teach colors, patterns, and other classifications. I've sorted and divided them up myself.

My favorite thing is to put my hands in a large bowl of buttons, swirl them around until they fill the spaces between my fingers, slide over the tops of my hands and begin to reach my wrists. Then, I close my eyes and choose one button. I twirl it around with my fingers feeling for the familiar, and finally, try to guess which one I've picked. Over and over again. If I close my eyes in just the right way, listening only to the sounds of the buttons clashing with one another in that bowl, I can imagine myself sitting
on the floor; listening to one more story from my Grams.
***

Here's a game. Look at the buttons below and try to find:
1. A male cardinal
2. A wooden butterfly
3. A magnolia
4. A green skateboard
5. A cotton-covered button the same color as the cardinal.
6. A crab
7. A grey cat
8. A die
answers at the end of this post


***
Finally, here are a few photos of my "ahem," small button collection:
Color Coordinated, by size, by color, by metal, shanks, 2 holes, 4 holes.
Because: quarantine.


Extra buttons that live in this box


My husband: "Honey, can you fix a missing button on my shirt?"
Me: "Sorry, I don't think I have that one."


Happy "button-up-and-stay-safe", friends,
-Michele

Check out the other cool kids participating this month:






    Sparkly Poetic Weirdo      
    Climaxed  
    Southern Belle Charm       
    Part-Time Working Hockey Mom 

Answers  


      

20 comments:

  1. OMG, that is one huge collection. I found most of your hidden gems (didn't see the die)and had fun looking, in a "where's waldo" sort of way. I love how you go back to those days through a tactile experience.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I was going to make the whole post about that search-n-find, but then I started to think about why I have all this darn stuff! It feels good these days to reminisce about happier times. At the very end of my post, there's an answer key. The die is pretty small! <3

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  2. One thing I absolutely took for granted after moving out was your assortment of buttons. It occurred to me that when I lose a button on something now, I need to go OUT and BUY new buttons! I was so used to your colored-coordinated jars, I didn't realize the luxury. I remember loving to play with those buttons both at home and in your classroom. Even as an adult, there is something so sensory-rewarding about sorting and going through buttons. I love this post and I love you! PS, it took me way too long to find all of the the hidden buttons, but with the help of my children and their eagle eyes, I was able to find them. LOL. :)

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    1. Perhaps you should inherit my buttons early! LOL I was actually banking on you remembering that I used buttons for currency with your chores. I remember how much you and your brother hated that. I love you and am always here for your button needs. <3

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  3. Thanks for the wonderful story (I could hear Gram's voice as you described her storytelling), the challenging activity (for the record, I found 7 of 8 so not bad) and for the pictures of all your buttons. Looking at the picture of the buttons in the plastic bag, I think I do see one that matches the one I'm missing from my shirt. If you still can't find it, I'll settle for the skateboarder button instead as a replacement. Thanks for keeping us entertained, maintaining an awesome button collection and for keeping our clothes well mended. Love, M

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    1. First of all, Grams is the queen of stories. Secondly, I'm STILL not seeing a matching button. Last, I'm imagining that skateboard button would look better on a pair of work Khakis. Thoughts? <3

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  4. "I don't think I have that one"- hahhahahhaaaaaa!

    What a wonderful tribute to your Gram 💖

    I understand what makes you collect buttons.

    They are so diverse and unique, and the way your collection grew, every button has a story to tell. I bet you also used them in Kinderkarten to train fine motor skills.

    Happy Friday

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    1. Tamara, I always have a statement for the man. "I don't have that button", or "I can't remember how to sew anymore," or "Who are you?" Haha
      Yes, the buttons were an excellent teaching tool, too! <3

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  5. What a cute story to remember! I love how you connected your story to a fun little game! It was definitely a challenge to find the Die! What a clever way to use your words!

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    1. Aw, Jonah, is this your first comment ever?? I'm wiping away happy tears. Thank you for visiting! Anytime you want to hear a story from your old mom, just give me a text. I'll be waiting! Haha <3

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  6. Great post as always Mom! Reading this made me just want to stick my hands in a big jar of buttons! My favorites were always the metal ones in your collection, I liked their weight and how they were so cold to touch. It’s crazy to think how many lifetimes of memories are associated with all those buttons. I’m sure your collection could be traced back to from all over the world. I wonder how many times any of those buttons has changed hands to end up where it is now! Thanks for the read, the I-spy page, and the existential crisis with buttons. Love you mom!

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    1. I was waiting for someone to correctly call out the existential crisis! And, you're the second child to NOT remember how you collected buttons from chores. I guess that's not a positive memory? Love you!! <3

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  7. Holy crap no wonder I can never find a button I need. Next time I'll just message you for one. LOL
    I have a dear friend who has a lot of buttons, not nearly as many, but a lot.
    Great way to use the words.
    Spatulas On Parade

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    1. I can't quit them, Dawn!! It's one of those things that after many years you're just like, "How in the world did I accumulate so many of these?" Let me know what you need and I'll set you up with a button or 20. <3

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  8. What a lovely blog to honor your grams. I never knew either of my grandmothers' and love that you have memories to cherish of her storytelling-I can see where you get it from. <3

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    1. I don't know why your comment made me tear up, but it did. And in the best way. Thank you, Jenn. <3

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  9. What an absolutely delightful post, Michelle! I was there on your Gram's floor with you, playing with the buttons!
    I have a huge bin of them, and several smaller ones as well. The grands love to play with them. They pour them out and create colonies. It's so fun to watch!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Diane. I'm so glad your grands love them too! See, one day, they'll be telling happy stories, just like mine. <3

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  10. When I was a little girl this friend of my mom's gave me a large jar filled with buttons. I loved that jar and would take them out constantly looking at them, moving them around, or adding to them. I hadn't thought of that in years!

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    1. Isn't it funny what comes back to us? I can remember everything about those buttons, yet can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.. <3

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