The Mug

The mug…the other day, I finally, for the first time ever, used the mug. It was a present from my cousin Denny. We all received one from him along with other gifts from his sojourn to Hong Kong when he was serving in the Navy. It was during the Viet Nam War although his ship, a destroyer, apparently never went near the country, but I digress.

By we, I mean, my parents, my sisters, and I. Every mug was different, and yet the same. Each had our name on one side of the mug, and the other side sported a cartoon character of the times. I seem to recall that Dad had “Pa” and Mom had “Ma” from the Katzenjammer Kids comic strip. My sisters and I had various characters from the Peanuts comic strip. I think my sisters had “Sally” and “Violet.” Mine was hapless “Charlie Brown,” out in the baseball field waiting to catch the ball, or at least,  a reasonable facsimile of him.

For years, they were stored in the cupboard at my parents’ home and never used. They were too good to use; they were a precious gift; what if they were broken or chipped; none of the kids drank coffee or tea; there were lots of reasons, but the result was that none of us ever used them.

After some time, I moved away from home, never thinking to take the mug. Besides, it was in perfect condition, and all the reasons for not using it then still seemed valid. Yet, after my parents died, and my sisters and I were cleaning out our home and we all took our mugs to our individual homes. What happened to my parents’ mugs, I can’t say although I suspect they were never used, just like the Japanese coffee set Denny gave my Mom at the same time. That pristine coffee set was given back to him as a gift after their deaths, but I digress.

Several months ago, a dear writing friend talked about having dishes she rarely, if ever used, crystal that stayed in the cupboard except for special occasions, and she went on to say that she was going to starting using her finest dishes and crystal on a daily basis. I have to say that is when I started using my crystal wine glasses every day because she was right. Having those dishes and glasses sitting around gathering dust was not honoring the gift giver, nor was it the reason they were lovingly given, and frankly I love drinking my Riesling in a wine goblet now. It makes those happy hours spent with my husband a little more special.

Back to the mug, the virgin, unused mug, the mug given oh-so-long-ago…my husband made me tea in it the other day. He just grabbed the mug from the back of the cupboard, and I was exhilarated when I realized that this was the first time, that the reasons were silly, that life didn’t end. After more than fifty years, I think it was time. Since then, I have used it again just as it was intended all along.

Now, if at some time it breaks or chips, then it won’t be because it just fell off the shelf (and that has happened to me more than once), but lived the life it was supposed to have lived.

How many of us do the same thing? Keep everything in perfect condition, only to realize later how ridiculous it may be. My sons probably won’t want my crystal, nor will my nieces. I wonder if my parents ever used those mugs; I wonder if my sisters have. As for me, I intend to continue. Life’s too short.

fall afternoon…

Charlie Brown mug

christened with tea



About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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12 Responses to The Mug

  1. This is so wonderful and wise! I love that you are using your treasured mug. I bet everything it holds will taste sublime! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Barbara…it was either you or Jane who set me on this path of using my crystal, and Rob for making that first cup of tea in the mug. I doubt he knows what he started either. And yes, everything does taste sublime. ~nan


  2. sammee44 says:

    I totally agree that life is much too short and it’s more fun using what we use to call our “good stuff” now rather than never using it at all! I’m glad you finally used your Charlie Brown mug–definitely much more fun than sitting in the cupboard. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sally says:

    Yes I have!😍


  4. julespaige says:

    I too remember reading an article that stated two things. Use your gifts, because when you do have to pass them on the ones that are used will be the ones your family wants to keep and treasure. If a gift is never used, the giver will be forgotten and most likely the gift will end up at a thrift store…

    Once you are given a gift then it is then yours to do with what you wish without guilt. Besides any sentiment, it is yours to re-gift or even toss if you don’t like it. Another idea was to take a photo of the item before giving it away…just so someone in the family would know who it was from and that you had it at one point and cared enough to share it after taking that photo.

    Which reminds me of a comic I saw; A young bride is out with her bridesmaids searching for that perfect gown, especially so she can share it or gift it to a future daughter. One of the bridesmaids asks – “Why don’t you borrow your Mother’s gown?” To which the bride replies; “And be caught dead in that old out dated thing? No way!” I would have worn my own Mother’s that was made by my Grandmother. All of her daughters wore it. It belonged to the eldest daughter who would not mail it. So my Grandmother ended up buying my gown. Which was not extravagant. Having no daughters… I ended up donating my gown to an organization that gave them to women who could not afford their own. I can only hope it has been used at least once and maybe even more than once.

    May you continue to enjoy your mug. And the memory of the generous giver.

    The Bed and Breakfast that I stayed in supposedly had a child ghost. We (the ghost and I) never did meet. But when I left I said good bye (to the ghost) anyway. Respect is something everyone can give. Glad you enjoyed the PC’s I forgot when postcard day or month is, but I remember you collected them 😉

    And FYI if you have an old US flag – The Boy Scouts can dispose of it properly. Either by burial or ceremonial burning (I forget which) – I just remember that they can help with that. The Post Office also has a food drive called ‘Stamp out Hunger’ but I don’t remember when that is. 🙂

    Hugs, Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you are a fount of wisdom. Not only that, but your words resonate and you are right about using a gift. Every time I use the mug, I think of my cousin and his generosity. I like the idea of donating your gown. I didn’t have any daughters, either. I wish one of my sister’s daughter had worn hers. It was handmade by one of her friends, and it was gorgeous. Alas…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Paula Cappa says:

    Yes, yes, we all do this, save the good things for special events. When I was a child, my mom insisted that I save a sailor dress to wear for a special occasion. I waited and waited and no events turned up until one day when dying to wear it, I put it on. And, of course, I had grown out of it completely. I was crushed. And so mad at my mother. I hate sailor dresses now. Ha!


    • How sad that you never got to really enjoy wearing the sailor dress. I think your mother and my mother must have grown up at the same time. There were clothes we could never wear except for special occasions, but how many special occasions do you recall in your childhood? If you are like me, not many.

      Thanks for responding. ~nan


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