April 25, 2014

It's my mother's fault.  I'll just be up front about that so we are clear from the beginning, okay?  She has always been a coffee drinker, and a big red can of Folger's is a permanent fixture on the kitchen counter, in case someone drops by for a fresh cup during the day. 

I can vividly remember that strong coffee smell wafting down the hallway early in the morning, and I would lie in bed and vow to never drink something that smelled so bitter.  Even late at night, my aunt would sometimes stop by for a cup on her way to her third shift nursing position.  After my dad retired his "garage buddies" would start congregating down at the house early in the morning and Mother switched from a regular coffee pot to a crowd sized dispenser.

Of course, with five lively children under the age of ten in the house, she needed coffee to keep her going, a fact I  really didn't understand when I was young.

All through college my beverage of choice was Coke, nice and cold and preferably in a bottle instead of those new fangled aluminum cans.  The bottle always seemed so much colder!  It wasn't until I was working all day and going to graduate school at night that I begrudgingly succumbed to a cup of coffee...just to see if it helped keep me awake during long nights of homework and research.  And (surprise, surprise, it did!) And although I remain a devoted tea drinker (even naming my blog for my love of tea) early in the morning, a great cup of coffee is my morning kick-starter.

So from then on, when I was home visiting my mother, we would have a companionable cup of coffee together.  But there was always a certain etiquette that had to be maintained...tea was sipped from china cups, but coffee was served in coffee cups. Nothing fancy, nothing frou-frou, just practical, every day coffee mugs.  In the '60s and '70s there weren't any Starbucks or expensive lattes, cappucinos and macchiatos. Just a simple cup of dark black coffee (we were surrounded by Norwegians, and they like their coffee STRONG), with maybe a splash of cream if you were feeling elegant.

But then, mugs with cute sayings started appearing.  And all of a sudden, my mother and I had choices...was it the right morning for the "Have a Happy Day" mug?  Or, heaven forbid, a smiley face mug early in the morning??

How about some cute lovey-dovey bears??

Or a little inspirational pep-talk over your first sip in the morning?

And of course there were Holly Hobbie mugs, to start your day in a happy way...

In no time at all, half the fun of pouring my first cup of coffee in my mother's kitchen became choosing the right mug to match the day, or our moods, or the occasion (obviously happy birthday mugs didn't get used very often, and I must confess over the top "perky" mugs weren't my first go-to choice either, as they always seemed a little in-your-face until I had enough caffeine in my system).  So when my husband and I started traveling, somehow it just seemed natural to pick up coffee mugs that remind us of lovely vacations we have shared.  Starting next week I thought I'd showcase a few of our trips and the mugs that came home with us, so until then, remember to choose your cup wisely to start your day off on a good note!

1 comment:

  1. How funny, I've been blog-hopping most of this afternoon and was just getting ready to go make a cup of tea -- having had my fill of coffee this morning! Oh, my, coffee mugs, where do I start! We've had so many, at any given time, to choose from that I finally donated a box-full to a local café {known for serving coffee in mismatched mugs}. Can't wait to see your blog post and the mugs you brought home for your collection. Mugs or spoons, amiright?