Mugs and Memory

I don’t know when it started, but maybe it started after my husband and I had collected seventy-two stuffed animals, and we realized that they were taking up valuable real estate. We needed to stop buying stuffed animals for each other for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. I think that’s when we turned to coffee mugs. We now have far more than seventy-two mugs. I periodically have to cull the chipped and cracked ones. It is hard to do. It’s like saying good-bye to an old friend.

To keep them safe in my memory, I thought I would photograph them and write about their lineage. They are nothing flashy, just some cups that caught my eye or were given to me. Their power is in the memories they hold: who gave them to me, why I gave them, where did they come from? They are creating a timeline of my life and help me to reflect on the past. They are artifacts of my time here: my time sitting down with a steaming cup of coffee, tea, cider, or cocoa, my time meditating, inhaling the cup’s contents and feeling at peace, at least for a little while.

16 thoughts on “Mugs and Memory

  1. The mugs you share aren’t simply drinking devices, they are are holders of memories. I appreciate that you chose this topic. I am curious about the animal collection too.

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  2. What a fun scrapbook of mugs! When I was living in Asia as an international teacher, many people requested Starbucks insulated mugs from various cities. Anyone who has traveled internationally knows that this is a labor of love since mugs take up a lot of space when “carry-on only” Is the Everest of travel goals. Mugs as souvenirs is virtually booking the largest suite in a hotel and asking someone else to foot the bill. But when someone does it . . . memorable!

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  3. What a fun post! I loved reading about your treasures. I have quite the collection of mugs, too. They make me feel at home somehow. My children make fun of it!

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    1. Thanks for sharing. I like mugs too but we have moved twice in the last year so we have had to downsize our collection quite a bit. What sweet memories you have!


  4. I too collect mugs, each special for a different reason. But I’m restricted to one spot in the cupboard. Your post makes me think I could do a mug slice too! It’s true that they evoke memories and feeling the moment we pick them up.

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  5. Collections. They tell so much about a person. This is such a practical collection. I could see a great coffee table book here of your mug collections!


  6. It was so fun to read about the memories each mug holds. You’ve got such special ones! I love this line: “Their power is in the memories they hold”.


  7. Joanne, stuffed animals and mugs! Such a cute glimpse into your life with your husband. I love the idea of photographing and documenting their history. Sweet collection. I like the impractical turtle mug!

    I may need to take my mug life more seriously, as most mornings I use a “Gevalia” mug for my tea. There is no significance at all!

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