At last count, I have 46 coffee cups on my shelf, and, I am the only one who drinks coffee. When I was younger, I began collecting them as souvenirs; an easy way to preserve a memory, and remember the places that I had visited. As I got got older, I traveled less, apparently needed more caffeine, and I started to search for larger cups to begin my morning with.
Even though travel was no longer a priority, I still liked the idea of having lots of different cups. Ever fussy, I decided the new cups had to have meaning – a saying, a symbol, or simply something that made me smile when I reached for it.
I don’t know if other people do this or not, but I decide on the cup before I make my coffee; do I want a large cup, so that I can keep my hands warm when it is really cold, a special one that was a gift from a dear friend, or my ugly Frida Kahlo self-portrait mug that makes me happy because she was so talented, but sad to think that she thought so poorly of herself when she looked in the mirror.
They all have a story, and they are all precious in their own way, but they also need somewhere to live.
Years ago, we used to have Mug Trees that sat on our counter. Mugs came in matching sets, and often the tree was made of wood, with little wooden arms sticking out on an angle to hold the handles (I guess that is why they called it a Mug Tree). But, they did take up extra room on your counter, and I always worried that they would tip over if they weren’t balanced right. I don’t want to think about the careful placement of my mugs when I am putting them away, so I never quite embraced the Tree.
Another thing I have seen, is to find a wall mounted, or ceiling hanging, decorative holder. They are usually made of wrought iron or stainless steel, and it is a nice way to show off a few special mugs, while adding a bit of color to your kitchen wall. Even a pot rack, with those “S” shaped butcher hooks, might look interesting filled with cups and mugs in a lovely large kitchen.
Have to confess though, my favorite of all, is the simple cup hooks with the safety tab. They easily screw into the bottom of a shelf, give you twice the amount of space, and will hold cups of all shapes and sizes safely. (I have been using the same ones for nearly 20 years, and they are less than a dollar each).
I am sure not everyone spends time thinking about their coffee mugs, or confesses to having 46, but however many mugs you may have, and regardless of how you store them, why not enjoy them as a collection of memories instead of just things?
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/