Recently I was given some old jars and tins full of beautiful old buttons and wooden cotton reels. In my excitement I sat on the floor at Dave's fathers house, sifting through my bounty, as Cohen picked up the occasional button or peered over my shoulder.
Jars of buttons always remind me of my Mother and Grandmother. There are two things I tend to think of. Sitting, legs crossed beneath me, buttons poured out in front of me, whiling away the hours in my Mothers sewing room as she worked. Examining and admiring each button. Sorting them into groups or pairs. Designing button rainbows. Gathering the old pins, buckles and tacks into a separate pile, before scooping them all back up again and re-filling the jars and tins from whence they came. Handfuls of buttons slipping from my fingers and landing upon each other, creating a most satisfying sound.
Or else I think of the curtained door that lead into a sewing nook at my paternal Grandmothers house. It was a room we weren't allowed in as children. We would wander through the rest of our Grandparents house while the adults spoke over tea. Running our hands over the antiques, peering into the black and white faces in the photographs, turning hat pins over in our hands, reading titles on the spines of books, waiting to be taken to the beach. Fiona and I snuck in to that room several times over the years though. We dared not touch anything. Shelves stood from floor to ceiling and were stacked with fabric, jars, tins, and odds and ends. An old Singer sewing machine sat on a small table. Large silver scissors hung from hooks. Tape measures hung limply or were coiled tightly. But mostly I remember the jars of buttons, like colourful jewels. So beautiful, and so disappointingly off limits.
I wonder what ever happened to those buttons.