Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Button Jar

When I was a little girl, I was relatively quiet. If you know me now (really know me), that might be hard to imagine. I can barely keep my mouth shut. My head is full of thoughts and ideas and stories, and I feel the need to share it all with everyone. I've always been a little too open about things. I "over-share," as my husband says, but I just can't stifle the need to tell a story, any story, usually my story. 

As a little girl, I jabbered a lot. My parents would claim they've never known me to be quiet, and I suppose that's true, but when I wasn't driving them and my older sister crazy, I played, and I usually played by myself with a world of imagination inside my mind: voices (I still hear voices...ha!), characters, places. My games usually centered around make-believe. I would create long, elaborate tales that would be acted out by my stuffed animals inside, and outside, well outside, the world was my stage! One-act plays would transform me into a fierce warrior, a strong-willed princess, and most often animals: cheetahs, tigers, horses. I would gallop across the backyard with grace and ease, neighing loudly for the rest of the neighborhood to hear.

With such a vivid and over-active imagination, I rarely had trouble finding something to play with or do. At my Mawmaw's house on rainy days, I would turn into an angry bull, fenced in by dining room chairs laying on their sides. I would stamp and snort and entertain myself for hours. At my Meme's house, I would play outside, darting in and out of the fig tree in the back and timidly climbing through my grandfather's "workshops." Inside, there were even more treasures to be found!

One of my favorite and most vibrant memories of my childhood at Meme's house would have to be her button jar. It usually sat behind the couch in the living room, or at least that's where I remember it sitting. It always seemed so exotic and unique, a Mason jar filled to the brim with all kinds of buttons. As soon as I arrived at their house, I remember looking for it. If and when I got my hands on it, I would dump it out on a chair and dive in!

I remember picking up each button, lifting them to the light, turning them in my little fingers, taking in their texture and shape. My imagination carried the buttons to faraway places, where they became priceless jewels and artifacts. The button jar was a cache of trinkets and treasures, a delightful pirate's booty!

Meme was always quite the "crafter." My penchant for creation comes from many creative members of my family, and Meme is definitely one of them. Her button jar would be used for all sorts of crafty projects. Rugs, pillows, stuffed animals. Her eye was keen and artistic. She could easily transform bits of fabric and scraps of clothing into beautiful objets d'art. As a child, I had countless stuffed animals that Meme made me. Usually cats. She knew of my love of cats, and a trip to her house usually meant I'd bring home a new kitty cat for my collection. 

War-torn and bed-raggled but still loved.
I've been thinking about Meme a lot lately. She's going through a hard time; I won't go into any details, but suffice it to say that memories like these will always be kept close to my heart.


  1. My mom died a year ago and somehow I couldn't let the giant button collection go. My husband couldn't understand why I kept it, but my sister and I felt exactly the same way.

  2. What a great post! I think playing with a button jar would be very exciting as a child. :)

    Just found you through ftlob and following!


  3. @Mrs. Tuna: I'm so sorry about your mom. Glad to know that button collections mean a lot to others, too.

    @Toni: Thanks for stopping by!


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