Wonderfully strange things happen.
I received a phone call from Lois in August.
Although she had never called me, my phone number has been in her address book for over ten years. That’s because sometime in the late ’90s I put an ad in our regional electric cooperative magazine requesting buttons.
You wonder why I was looking for buttons.
One of the clearest pictures in my mind of my mom is her sitting at the table, needle and thread perched between her lips, rifling through the button jar for a close match. I decided to begin my own button jar, even though my mending abilities are severely limited. A tiny memorial.
Here’s the thing. Lois has lived in Idaho for over fifty years; in August she moved to my small town in Oregon. She is 87. (One year younger than my mom would be if she were still with us.) Lois remembered that I lived here and called me up to see if I wanted to start a Two Person Button Club.
I was intrigued with Lois. For one, she sounded great. Having just been through a major life transition, she was moving forward and making new friends. Not one hint of self-pity existed in her tone.
Then we had an oops. I had promised her I would call her back. But I lost her name and phone number. Oops. I searched and searched to no avail. What was left to do? I really and truly prayed that she would call back. And yesterday she did!
So this morning we had our first meeting of the Two Person Button Club. Lois is lovely. And I’m learning about a hitherto unknown sub-culture of buttons out there. Button clubs. Button books. Button magazines. Even-brace yourself-Button Conventions. I do not intend to attend the button conventions.
But I had fun at the first meeting of the Two Person Button Club. All the buttons shown are from Lois’s collection.
Ah, yes, the button box…. I have one …and it reminds me of my grandmother….and certain ones have strong memories.
I inherited my Grandma’s big ole pickle jar full of buttons. They were mostly gray buttons off my Grandpa’s San Diego Transit System uniforms. Looking at them brings back good memories! Helping Grandma cut the buttons off the oldest shirts that were no longer worth mending.Riding the bus that Grandpa was driving on occasion.Good memories are associated with simple things like buttons!
I am so happy and excited for you! A new friendship- especially with someone outside one’s own socio-economic-age-experience circle is a treasure! Thank You, Father, for answering the prayer!
Oh, my goodness, you HAVE to tell me if that last framed piece is yours or what?! I absolutely love it! What a wonderful idea! And I do remember for awhile my mom wanted me to collect buttons, but I resisted. I do have quite a few in my sewing box, but not nearly as many as you. I make these terry cloth towels that you can hang on your frig or oven or drawer, so I’m always looking for cute buttons to match them up with. What fun for you to meet this lady!
now that really brightened my day! what a great story! i too, like buttons. i always keep an eye out for them at the thrfit store and antique stores when i go out and about. i like the framed piece too! lois is one neat lady! tell her hello from california and wish her the best from me!julie harris
What fun! My kids always enjoyed sorting my buttons into muffin tins when they were little. I’ll never have as many as my Grandma did, though. She lived through the depression and was one of those people that never threw anything away, buttons included. You can accumulate quite a few in the course of 96 years!