Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary

I am pleased to announce the one-year anniversary of this blog. The reason why I can clearly remember the date is that the first meeting was at The Bean Cycle on January 8th, my mother’s Birthday. At the time I felt it was symbolic to have the meeting on her Birthday. She also was a writer. Although never published, I have a folder of some of her essays. One of my favorites is “Buttons” (see below). I love how it is a reflection of a time past as well as what binds the generations together. Just like the buttons, my mom and I share a love of writing.

Looking back to that first meeting I was terrified. My heart was pounding and my armpits were sweating. I feared that no one would show up or that I would have nothing to say or that no one would want to join my group. Em showed up – adorable, excited, full of energy and talk, ready to trust and jump in. Another woman showed up as well, a poet with long wild hair who was still nursing a baby. I allowed myself to imagine that this might have been a step towards a belonging. Finding some women in town who I could relate to.

Our writers have had a busy year. We have a food blogger (Feasting Fort Collins), an aspiring children’s book author, bloggers, and a poet. I feel like as a group we are now getting into a good groove. People are getting excited about the blog and there are many essays to read and critique.

This year I am hoping to see more of our work getting published. If anyone else is reading this and you are interested in contributing to our blog or have writing assignments, please let us know.

Happy Writing!

Leonie W. Aron
Saturday, we talked about buttons. “Do you have any of those pearl baby buttons? Save them,” she said. “They’re impossible to get, nowadays.” She was asking about my daughter. She was planning to knit the coming home sweater for a baby that had yet to be conceived. I have all the buttons, Aunt Gerry. Buttons form my mother’s dress the day she got married. Not the kind of buttons that you would expect. Navy buttons from a green wool dress. In 1934, my parents eloped to far-off White Plains, to be married by a Judge. They had been introduced at a little lunch, cooked up by Aunt Gerry. Once Aunt Gerry took you into her heart, that’s where you remained forever.

Aunt Gerry taught herself to sew. She even took tailoring courses. She made me a hound’s tooth check suit with a pleated skirt. I have the buttons. She made me pajamas with red buttons like raspberries. I have the buttons. She knitted sweaters, made dresses, made handkerchiefs with drawn work. She made beaded bags and crocheted hats, Afghans with roses, and shawls for romantic summer nights. She even made beautiful aprons, some of which I still have. The aprons have buttons too.

In my house, no one left for work or school with a loose or missing button. Grandma sewed the buttons on men’s shirts and kid’s coats. When a new winter coat was purchased, buttons were resewn before they were ever worn, just to make sure. Crystal buttons would be sewn on a blouse to make it more festive. When shopping for clothes my mother would say, “That’s a good dress just look at the buttons.” We never carried safety pins, buttons never fell off.

When Grandma died I was old enough to sew on my own buttons. I hate to sew buttons, though I’ve sewn enough of them. Buttons moved make waists smaller, and years later, looser. Buttons mysteriously popped off baby’s corduroys, boy’s shirts and hand smocked dresses, were livingly replaced. I remember searching through an old dusty button store to t to find sets of toggles for matching kid’s coats. They must have hated those loden jackets, always destroying the buttons. I once had a coat with frogs, I closed them gently.

Brass blazer buttons large and small, some with eagles, buttons with anchors, even buttons with American flags, from a more patriotic era, remain in my collection. Rhinestone buttons, buttons set like garnets or emeralds. Jet buttons both faceted and plain, tear drop mother-of-pearls, I treasure them all. I have a set of buttons that are little brass bells and satin buttons in white, pink, red, and black. “If you are going to get rid of that, save the buttons,” my mother would say. Now every button holds a memory.

When my mother died, all my daughter wanted was the buttons. To this day she doesn’t know why and laughs at herself. She took boxes of them. Aunt Gerry died on Monday. I went looking for the mother of pearl baby buttons. Don’t worry, Aunt Gerry, I have enough for the next generation.


Kristin said...

I am so proud of the progress our group has made and how every person is an integral part of our growth.

And it amazes me at every meeting how we are all so very different and yet we work so well together.

2009 was the year we were finding our legs. 2010 is the year we will absolutely find continued success from our work.

Elisabeth said...

I echo those thoughts... Bring it on!

Peg said...

I am also very glad that we have made it this far and I really think we are getting our momentum going for this year. I LOVE that we are all different and I think that is what makes the group even more special, everyone brings their own life experiences to the group. Thanks to everyone, I learn something each time we meet.