Friday, March 3, 2017


I'm still in Florida, taking care of my mom who had a very brief bout with pancreatic cancer, dying only three weeks after hearing the diagnosis. We had one good week together where we had some fun together and some tears, and her calling out our names in threes "Karen, Karen, Karen!" or "Girls, girls, girls..." On her last day she had a sponge bath and got arranged comfortably in bed, quietly taking her last breathe while we were each off doing something else. It was a quiet moment to say goodbye to this world.

In taking care of her household belongings, we have found some interesting things I hope my readers would also like to hear about. While she had sold her sewing machine to a friend of mine for her daughter decades ago (I think it was a Singer Fashion Mate), she still did some mending and had a long ride with counted cross stitch projects. We did find a sewing drawer where she had spools of thread, ribbons, snaps, and all those kinds of things for minor repairs. And she had buttons, lots and lots of buttons:
Buttons, buttons, buttons!

At first it was a jar of tiny zippered plastic bags with spare buttons that come with some clothing. I opened up each bag and put the buttons in a smaller jar, keeping those little bags for other items.

Buttons from recent clothing purchases
Then we found more jars of buttons, and finally THE jar of vintage buttons. Actually, it was a box that had been covered with Contact paper but I recognized it immediately from my childhood. Wow, I knew these were dating from the 1940's so I gladly put them in a safer place.
Vintage buttons

Then my husband found a tiny tube that contained three needles. Rolled up inside was a note from when I gave it to her over thirty years ago:
Thi note was kept since 1986?

One time when we were talking about gifts she told me this little tube was such a simple thing and something she loved very dearly, saying you just never know what is going to tickle your fancy. Apparently, this one did:
Wood tube painted to hold current project needles
It just goes to show you that you never know what is going to be valuable: sometimes it's a jar of old buttons, sometimes it a wooden tube painted with flowers to hold your sewing needles. It's about making memories along the way, loving those you hold dear, and letting them go while keeping your memories alive with buttons and needle holders.


ML said...

My condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing that lovely story about the needle tube, it really does seem like the little things that we hold dear. I've always enjoyed reading your blog and wish you well during this time.

Thin Man Sewing said...

I am sorry about your mother. Yes, lots of emotions when going through belongings. My father died in January, and it's tough. I empathize with you.

Deborah Chapdelaine said...

My sympathies for you and your family as you grieve. The photo and story of the needle tube was very touching. Thank you for writing such a great blog,