Saturday, January 20, 2007

Living with engineers

This scene greeted me on my breakfast table this morning. I did help to create it, but I was by no means alone. The glass beads are supposed to be in that bowl (some still are), where they look attractive glimmering in the candlelight. Or, they can be arranged on the table, thus.


Anonymous Jen said...


21 January, 2007 22:14  
Blogger Amgine said...


Btw; that is an absolutely gorgeous bowl.

The beads in it remind me of something from when I was young... <grabs microphone>

My mother had a tin in which she kept buttons. When an article of clothing reached the end of its inheritable status (with 6 kids, everything which could be handed down was) it would be recycled; the buttons or snaps or zippers were carefully removed, and the fabric cut up into patches or rags, or even into a new garment for somebody.

There were usually attempts to keep like buttons together; stringing them on a thread, or sewing them to a ribbon, or something. But time and many little fingers pawing through the pile usually overcame any attempts at order. If your coat or shirt had lost a button you'd be sent to find something which matched from the tin. If you were old enough you were expected to sew it on, too, and finish getting yourself dressed and out the door to whatever it was you were in a hurry for (have you ever lost a button when you *weren't* in a hurry?)

The buttons in the tin were always a source of fascination. There were hundreds of styles and types. Big fancy coat buttons with quilted leather or rhinestones, fragile abalone shell, the heavy mother-of-perl snaps, or the amazingly frustrating simple white buttons-which never quite match the one you lost. Many had stories, and you could bring them to Mom and hear what article of clothing it came from, maybe who wore it or what event prompted its purchase.

The button tin had been inherited from her Aunt and Grandmother, who raised my Mom. The tin was nothing fancy, and rusting; it was a merely vessel for memories, a grail.

30 January, 2007 06:41  

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