Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Button Box

Growing up, my brother and I had amazing imaginations. We could entertain ourselves for hours just making up lives and characters. We even spend one 3 week road-tripped vacation pretending we were squirrels that talked. But, inevitably our imagination always would irritate others. Maybe because we were so caught up in our made up story that we failed to realize we were being completely obnoxious.

As a result, my grandmother, who was fairly good at making mundane tasks seem like adventures was prepared for those times when our boredom turned to imaginative equaled annoying to adults and always had something for us to do. Our favorite of all these was to play with the button box. She had this enormous (well, it seemed that way when you are 5) french cookie tin of buttons and shells that we would string for hours and make our mother and grandmother wear them through dinner. Dinner for our family was traditionally French. Cooking for it started at 1pm and dinner itself didn't end until 10pm so therefore there were hours of needed preoccupation for two edge-of-the-farmland kids who were used to being outside all day and were now stuck an entire Sunday in our grandparents' 1950s Chicago bungalow. The button box was least for a few hours.

Years went by and my brother and I grew up, we moved out, and my grandparents passed away. The button box seemed forever lost. Once in a while my brother and I would bring it up in conversation and wonder what happened to it.

Then by stroke of luck waiting for the finicky garage door to close at my parents house I opened a random cabinet in what used to be my Grandmother's laundry room (related living). And alas! I lost a breathe when I saw the familiar box! It was the closest thing to finding treasure and what was inside is treasure. Years and years of buttons from old wore clothes from the 40s and 50s, extra buttons from bought clothing and sea shells carefully strung so they would stick together. And not mention, many memories....


Jessicaisgoo said...

Wow I found a similar stash of vintage buttons at my nannas house when I visited last week!

idée_géniale said...

Oh wow, those buttons look really great and vintagey.

This kind of reminds me of when Amelie finds the tin in her bathroom wall with all these little "treasures". So sweet.

Elegance Personified said...

You are such a gret writer my dear and this is such a cool, beautiful retro story. I loved the story, the photos and the beautiful meaning of this amazing 'little' button box.