Until the Next Time

Yes, it was a traumatic thing; losing a button.

Or so it seemed to a young lad back in the day.

Grandma getting her button box down, grumbling ‘bout your careless ways, as she began the hunt for one to match.

button box 2That box! Full of every kind of button a boy could possibly lose! Some of them shiny, some small, and some so big you wondered what they could’ve come off of.

And the colors! More colors than any rainbow ever had!

Grandma scowling, digging with her finger, then, when she grew tired of stirring them, the sound of all those buttons as they chittered across the bright yellow Formica tabletopMe, hoping she’d get lucky–find one that would match–but knowing that wasn’t the way it would be. Never was. 

And when at last one was found, that perfect–or at least one so close no one would notice–shiny button, back into the box the rest of the buttons would go.

Until the next time.

I’d watch the little box–magical in it’s own right–go back into its place on the shelf, marveling at the question handed down from boy to boy throughout time eternal; where do all those buttons come from?


Copyright © 2015 C. Mashburn


  1. r2a2r2j2 said

    Whoo Hoo! The button boxes! Love the botton boxes. I remember I had to ask, “What are these round metal boxes anyway?” They didn’t have the advertising of the modern tins, they just looked ancient, and this was back in the 1960 when my Mom was teaching me how to sew. They were what? Cookie Tins!! And from then on, no matter what I sewed, I consulted the button boxes, as if I they had the answers to life, and like I would have ever found the buttons I wanted for that finished garment.

    That didn’t matter! Happiness was sorting the buttons. They were tiny pieces of Art Work. Artists were actually hired to design buttons before this modern era. It was like opening a Gallery of Tiny Miniature Plastic and jeweled art. No more, They don’t make them like that anymore! The Button Store is out of Business at the North Shore mall since the ’60s. Most of the population doesn’t appreciate these unique wonderful buttons anymore! Others collect them. Why, I am reminded. . . .there is actually still a Button Club right here in Penobscot County. And as I look on the internet their is a National and International Button Club Society. WOW! So Charles, there’s still a whole world of button lovers out here, still marveling, still losing, still collecting, our buttons. What a fun post!

    • If you look beyond the box and jar in the picture, you will see a couple of those cookie tins full of buttons. And, you are so right about the old ones. I haven’t looked at them for years, but think I need to pour them out and poke through them again. They truly are fascinating! (I’m NOT, however, gonna join the Great Button Society!)

      • r2a2r2j2 said

        Me neither. not my thing. I might make some polymer clay buttons though, just for fun.

      • ah’ight den

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