Monday, September 21, 2009

Hugs for Coffee Mugs

I turned the dishwasher on last night and this morning, after I made the coffee, Starbucks earthy extra bold Sumatra, I opened the machine and there before me filling the entire top rack were all of my favorite coffee mugs. I sleepishly starred down and quickly realized I had to make a decision this early in the day and had to do so right then and there. I had to decide which of my children was my favorite!?!  I didn’t think too much about my collection of mugs until we recently moved and our daughter was helping to unpack the kitchen boxes and made a comment about (I’m sure there was a whine involved) the number of mugs we have and who is going to drink out of all of these, anyway? I mean mom, don’t you just need enough for say a week and then wash and re-use??!! Hmmm. She had a point. And yes they do take up a lot of room in the cupboards so I made an attempt to cull them by tossing about ten of the “old favorite” logo’d mugs from my many years in the TV business and I still had far too many. I felt like one of those women in the show Clean know the ones that just can’t give up stuff that looks like junk to the rest of us but the poor woman has a ton of baggage wrapped up into why she just can’t part with her rubble of guilt and regrets.  Back to the mugs. What makes certain mugs our favorites? Why do we even have “favorite coffee mugs”? It’s all very much like art - they have stories, they talk. We seem to naturally pick the mugs that fit best into our hands and homes and we like the ones that say a little bit about who we are and maybe where we’ve been. Take the one in the picture. This is one of my favorites because it was handmade on Cape Cod with Nauset Beach sand by Steven Kemp. I buy something from the Kemps before I get on the road to go home after visitng my parents and I hear many people do this, too. I almost always buy something from the green collection and those that that fish on them. I have a number of fish mugs, fish bowls, and light switch plates with fish on them as I love the soothing nature and natural balance of his work (and of his son’s who is now also potting) and I love to have anything that is hand made in my house. But it can’t just be something with a fish, it has to be a fish that appears strong and wise for just being a fish. One with a soul. And I like the mugs that when you hold it, look at it, or share it with someone you feel it is an extension of yourself and has become part of the family. This mug has just the right balance between function and beauty.  I’m going to hold on to my favorite mugs and I can’t imagine not buying more from the Kemps but every once in awhile I will pack up the ones that were store-bought or whose stories no longer seem strong and find a good home for them. Java! - yf -

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