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....

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independance Day

You know I have always been a sap for the 4th of July. Something about it just makes me feel proud to be American. And with all the craziness our country endures, all the media we choose to ingest on an everyday basis, putting a flag up and saying, "I am still an American and proud of it!" gives me the chills.

I think most of this was instilled in my veins at a young age hearing war stories from my grandparents and watching PBS shows with my father about various World War II battles. Somewhere around 11 I started my liking for the American pin up. Something about them always intrigued me. They stood beautiful, sexual and proud of the men who chose to go into battle, and face death, for this country. Perhaps women couldn't fight in the past but heck, they sure held a good purpose cheering on our men into battle....even if it was just a picture. And honestly, how could one deny the fabulous rompers and dresses they wore in all the pictures!