Thursday, May 5, 2016

Small Things - Many Memories

by Cathy

We don’t plan or coordinate what we write about here at Focusing On Life. We just write what is on our minds and in our hearts. Sometimes those thoughts lead us in the same direction. Yesterday Dotti wrote about her thoughts on Mother’s Day, which is what I am writing about today. I hope you enjoy another look at mothers and grandmothers.

 As we approach this Mother’s Day weekend, my thoughts have turned to my mother and her mother. I’ve been thinking of how they filled their days; how they gardened in the heat of the summer, cooked and canned in a kitchen without air conditioning; how they made quilts to provide warmth for cold winter nights, and how they sewed to provide clothing for their family.

My life is so much easier than theirs, at least physically anyway. I don’t put in a vegetable garden and can those vegetables. I don’t make quilts for my family’s warmth. I did inherit their love for sewing and made little frilly dresses for my daughter using yards of ruffles and lace. Instead of sewing from necessity though, it was a form of creating to me.

When sewing these dresses I loved to go shopping for the buttons that were sometimes functional, but sometimes for decoration. Special buttons were like the crowning touch. I still love buttons. I still stop in fabric stores and just look at them and sometimes I buy a card just because they’re pretty. Don’t let me get too close to those jars of vintage buttons at flea markets though. I want them all.

I am fortunate to be the keeper my grandmother’s buttons. The metal can in which she stored them is now rusty, but the buttons inside fascinate me; many colors and shapes, simple ones and elaborate ones, tiny ones and huge ones. My grandmother’s button box is a collection of beauty and treasures. 

I love to see her choices of buttons and imagine what kind of dresses she sewed them to; the fancy ones on her church dresses and the simple ones on her everyday dresses. Some buttons have pieces of fabric and threads still attached. When a garment wore out, she snipped the buttons off and saved them for future use. Some buttons are still on the cards. She would use how every many she needed and leave the rest on the card.

My mother passed away less than a year ago. This Mother’s Day will be hard for me, so all this week I’ve focused on happy memories she and I shared. Memories of pretty dresses she made, paper dolls she spent endless hours cutting out (paper dolls where my favorite thing to play with), the time she spent teaching me to sew, and our mutual love for buttons. Something as simple as a button can bring back memories and feelings of long ago.

I’m hoping that each of you enjoy Mother’s Day and spend a little time reminiscing about the special times you’ve shared with your mother or grandmother of if you’re a mother with your children or grandchildren.

Happy Mother’s Day to you!


Carol said...

I think the best kind of tributes are those that focus on a small detail that let's you know the person. These buttons are symbols for all the love and care that your mother gave to keep you safe and warm. I find this post very touching. I'm sorry Mother's Day will be hard for you, but given all the possibilities in this world, how fortunate you are!I am glad you are focusing on the gratitude and beauty instead of the sorrow, as your mother would have wanted you to.

AFishGirl said...

Good memories, yes, Cathy. I share your fondness for buttons. I sewed a button from my childhood favourite sweater (I was four and used to chew the buttons because I was nervous kid) onto my now fishing vest. The varnish is all chipped off it (see 'chews buttons') but I look at it and it comforts me. Little Pammy, older Pammy. We go through life, our stages. God bless our mothers. And grandmothers. I'd go back to live in the 1950s in a heartbeat. But I'd have to wear pants. I can't wear dresses.

Dotti said...

So lovely! It's wonderful that you have something so tangible - and unique - to bring back fond memories of your mother and grandmother. I know your mother was a recent, and somewhat sudden, loss, but like Carol, I know your attitude of gratitude will help you find joy in the day. Happy Mother's Day!

terriporter said...

Your button photos are wonderful! That last one with its shallow depth of field almost glows! It is so apparent what special treasures they are. Focusing on the good times shared and the happy memories made is the best way to celebrate your mother on this first Mother's Day without her and I hope you have a happy day with your family.

moira said...

A beautiful, evocative and special post.Your photo's are exquisite and capture the preciousness of those treasures perfectly.

Rhadonda Sedgwick said...

What a sweet read and beautiful photos. Love all of it! May you find joy in these memories this coming Mother's Day as you miss your mom. Hugs

JUDITH said...

Good memories for you and a real good post. Always like your journaling.

kybarb said...

Lovely photos with texture and wonderful post! Thanks for reminding me of the joy of playing with buttons (I distinctly remember my grandmother's button tin and enjoyed playing with them). I have a huge collection of buttons too!

Sandra said...

I love your story about buttons. Mother's Day is hard for many people for different reasons.

Karen said...

Buttons are so interesting and hold memories in many different ways. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and sentiment. Happy Mother's day to you Cathy, enjoy your day with your family and find comfort in your memories of your mom!!!

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