We tend to do a lot of cleaning up, throwing out, and organizing in the early days of a new year. A few found items have me recalling some happy times.
Take this coffee mug with a broken handle that’s been glued back on.
The mug shows the logo for WAAY-TV where I worked as a television journalist for two years in the early 1980s.
Everyone who worked there got a coffee mug. The coffee maker was in the general manager’s office. We were told it was his way of getting to know everyone.
If we wanted caffeine, we had to go through him.
Those of us in the newsroom were often so anxious to get coffee, the general manager’s secretary started making announcements over the station public address line. “Attention, the coffee is ready.” We’d make our way to the manager’s office, say hello, and fill our mugs.
The cup went with me when I left for greener pastures. The handle likely broke during one of several moves to new cities and new jobs. I held on to it all these years because of the memories it generates.
Father’s might expect a number of tee shirts, coffee mugs, or hats for Father’s Day, birthdays, or Christmas.
I had my share of specialized gifts from my two daughters over the years.
But this coffee mug was special as it came to me later in my life. My daughters got it for me a few years ago, but unfortunately, it would not last long as a holder of coffee.
I dropped it within months, rendering it useless for beverages. But as with other broken special mugs, I repurposed it to hold pencils and it sits on my dresser.
Over the years, I have collected coffee mugs from the many places I’ve worked, cities I have visited, or as gifts from friends or relatives.
One of my going away gifts from New York State was a ceramic mug made by a clay artist who lived in the community where we lived at the time. I used it for a while, but now it rests in a cabinet in our foyer; it’s a memory from a very special time in my life.
I just put away Christmas tree decorations and came across a special mug featuring a photograph of our daughters from a visit to Disneyworld back in the 1980s.
We cherished the mug so much and never used it for beverages. It remains part of our Christmas house decorations.
There’s a mug that plays to the characteristic of northern New York winters, a mug from the farewell party of a beloved priest friend (that one includes a prayer for vocations to the religious live), and many others.
Each mug has a special meaning for me.
But the two with the greatest emotional attachment are those two cracked cups. Each mug holds a special place in my heart.
Steve Newvine lives in Merced.
He has written California Back Roads- Stories from the land of the Palm and the Pine, available on Lulu.com