I don't know how to link to other people's journals yet, but those of you who read the dragon log will have followed the button story. I still have a button box, too. Mine's in an old cigar box. It was my mother's button box and I played with it when I was small, and the dragon when she was, lots of neighborhood kids, and maybe grandchildren will before all is said and done. It has junk buttons, and buttons that look like little cakes, and flashy buttons, and shirt buttons and coat buttons and little wooden balls and ones that have holes in odd places, and yes, button boxes are for the young, and for the the young in us, too. I don't play with my button box like I did when I was five, but I still get it out and remember, and it keeps me in that resonance of wonder and imagination and joy, and in the line of my for-mothers who had it before me. It connects me, and even more it connects me when I get it out for some small child, or for some lost button bearing waif who appears at my door in search of mending. We who have the button boxes carry the tradition of personal attention to the small wonders of life and the boo-boos of others. It is a tradition of caring in things large and very small. Button boxes are not, indeed, just about lost buttons, but about mending things with wonder and with joy. Children do this. We do this. We are not all women, but in Western culture it has been predominently the women who have done these things. More men do these things openly now (they used to do them in secret if they dared at all) which is a blessing to us all. So treasure your button boxes, your mother's and grandmother's button boxes. Add to them, for the next person who will have them. Add neat stuff and more junk buttons, and, yes, clips and hair pins, and costume jewelry bits that you don't know what else to do with. The button box will find the next person who will hold it - it might be your decendant, or someone you don't even know. I buy them occasionally when they come up at auction for next to no money, because no family member was ready to take the button box on, and take them home and look through them and play with the stuff that some other person thought was important enough to throw in the box with all the junk - just to good to throw away. Some of it goes into my box, some goes elsewhere, sometimes the whole box goes to some other person who shows up and needs a button box. I always add stuff to them. When you get to be this age in the tradition of button boxes you begin to see the people who come into your life who need these things, and you can help them connect with it. So that's what happens with button boxes. They find their place. We never had ammo in ours, though, because live ammo never belongs in button boxes. Button boxes are, indeed, for the young, and that's a hazard children of all ages shouldn't be exposed to casually.
Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling