This post has absolutely nothing to do with grief. And reading it may be a waste of your time. But, hey, what else are going to do the next five minutes? And there are pictures of cool mugs! (The last part is really about grief.)
As he journeyed the country through the years, Ron has gathered handmade pottery coffee mugs. The collection started when our oldest gave him a cool mug for Christmas one year.
We display some of our mugs in glass-front cabinets. These are all handmade except for the Minion mug Margaret gave him and the mug from the Broadway show “Once” which we saw twice:
My favorite is just above and to the right of the Minion mug. We found it when we journeyed through Vermont. The picture doesn’t show all the lovely colors in this mug! And it is the perfect size for hot, steamy soup in the winter or ice cream in the summer!
Ron loves coffee. While driving, he often stops for a cup or two. When he saw the “You Are Here” mugs on a trip to Colorado, he thought they were awesome! He grabbed a Colorado mug for himself and a Denver mug for each of our two kids who once lived there. Soon he was gathering theses mugs during his journeys, trying to get one in each state he visited.
When I began to travel with him, finding mugs became my responsibility. Each time we journey through a new state, it is my job to find out if there is a mug for that state or for the cities where we will be traveling. As we journey through less populated states, I often fail at my job of finding mugs.
It makes me sad to be a failure. 😔
Not really. They are just mugs, silly! Nothing to get in a tizzy about. And they only make them for selected states and cities. Can’t do anything about that.
But I do get excited when I find one! There is no central list of mugs, and they are not available on the Starbucks website. I have to find a store and call or go in to ask if that town or state has a mug. It’s a challenge! Sometimes I have to call five or six stores to find one that has the local mug in stock.
Not all states have their own mugs. Many states don’t have a state mug, but cities within those states may have mugs. For example, there is no Minnesota state mug, but there is a “Twin Cities” mug.
We could not find “You Are Here” state mugs or any cities mugs in Vermont, New Hampshire, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, South Dakato, or Wyoming. How sad for these states. (Update: some of these states now have mugs! See the updated list below. Feb 2017)
Ron will only buy mugs in places where he actually went in and bought coffee. No online shopping for this man! So even though we drove past Disney World, we didn’t go in, so don’t have any of the Disney mugs. I think we need to go to Disney just to get the mugs…and get a selfie with Pluto or Goofy, because a friend of Andrew works there and sometimes dresses in character costumes.
That is probably more information about our mugs than you wanted, unless you, too, collect these silly Starbucks mugs. But thanks for reading anyway.
Since you have stuck with me this far, may I share one more thing?
Like our mugs, I have gathered memories from our journey raising seven amazing children.
We have lots of pictures. (but never enough!) I have toys, books, and knickknacks from each child. Trophies, ribbons and certificates from sports, Bible Quiz, 4-H and Scouts are found in every closet and bedroom. I’m glad for these memories.
The most precious memories are those stored in my heart. I love when our kids put their memories on display, when they get together and tell stories! It took months after The Accident before they told stories about Andrew without a few tears. Often the tears were mine. Now we tell funny stories, sweet stories. And we smile and laugh.
If you have lost a child, I encourage you to purpose to remember the good times, the sweet things rather than concentrating on your pain, the things that will never be, or the details of your child’s death. Make a list of the precious memories. And take time to be grateful. Thank God for each of them. It may help you on your journey of healing.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9 | NIV
Oops! I was wrong. That last part was about grief. 😊
Here is Ron’s collection. 40 mugs in about two years. I am sooooo glad they don’t make these for every state! I’m running out of counter space! (Update Feb 2017: we now have sixty!)
Here is a list of our mugs:
- Kansas City
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New Jersey*
- New Mexico*
- New York*
- Niagara Falls
- North Carolina*
- Pikes Place Market
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- St. Louis
- The Hamptons
- Twin cities
- Washington, D.C.
^Mugs from Canada
**International mugs sent to us by a friend in 2016