In the Eighties when I was in the ministry, I was serving mostly fellowships who had no building, so committee meetings and so on had to be in someone's home -- like -- mine. Of course we had to have coffee, so I set out to collect blue and white coffee mugs, all different, so that people could tell which one was theirs when it was time for a refill. We thought it was ecologically unsound (and not very elegant) to use paper or styrofoam. To show how long ago this was, I bought the plates to be ash trays. There are a couple of ringers here. I had thirty or more blue and white mugs for a long time, but many of them have escaped by now.
My most recent acquisition really pleases me. I've been looking for a coffee mug that was insulated and this one is, plus it has a lid with a rubber gasket, it's steel so it won't chip, and it has a big rubberized handle plus a rubberized ring on the bottom for soft landings. The lip is nicely shaped to fit my lips and somehow cool so I don't burn my mouth. I like coffee that's really HOT, though I'll drink it cold. The manufacturer is Trudeau in Canada and I like both of those, too. (Pierre Trudeau tops any Kennedy in my opinion.)
For a while in the ministry I was going from one place to another: Clinical Pastoral Care for a summer, church internship for a year, conferences, workshops, training sessions for a week. I developed the habit of buying a new bar of soap (the first time because I forgot to pack one and the place we stayed didn't supply any) in each new town. If I had a lot of money, I'd get expensive name-brand soap at the perfume counter. If I was broke it was an off-brand at a 7-11. The most fun was local artisan soap like pine-scented with pine needles ground up in it. And alongside the soap, I'd buy a mug. Until I came to this mug by Laurel. For a long time -- until I got back here in Montana -- I wouldn't drink my coffee at home from any other mug because I loved this one so much. I don't suppose they're Blackfeet faces exactly, but they could be.
Now I hide this mug because if I have company this is the mug they head straight for and they use it before I can make sure they know it can't go in the microwave because of the gold on it.
Instead of my fancy mug, I got in the habit of using these big tin mugs in the summer for cold drinks. They're wearing out a little now and aren't very good for hot coffee. I have to tip in a little skim milk. They lose heat quickly.
At one point when I was feeling domestic and as though I ought to be more prepared for company, so I bought a set of china -- with Rupert Brooke's blue rings around it -- from Crate & Barrel. These cups have proper saucers -- four place settings. Never used. Well, maybe once.
My mother gave me this orange set which is like soap bubbles. Even my company asks for something else because they are so afraid of breaking them. Anyway, properly they should be used for tea, not coffee. I just enjoy looking at them.
I was telling all this to my biggest fan (literally) so he sent me a photo of HIS fav coffee mug. It holds an entire pot of coffee. I tell him it's not a mug, it's a tankard! He pulls into the McDonald's or whatever, asks them to fill it up but NOT to wash it because it has a "patina" he doesn't want to lose. He likes the taste. He says this monster will stay warm for a half day.
I figure if his hands get cold, he can put them in the coffee.
But it would be much more elegant to simply wrap hands around the mug, like this excellent and creative mug. It belongs to the librarian. You can see her in the previous post. Instead of a handle it has a sort of sleeve to tuck fingertips into.
As far as I know, Kathy is not a Unitarian, so I don't know what she would make of one of our fav mock-hymns sung to the tune of "Holy, Holy, Holy." It's from Chris Raible's "Hymns for the Cerebration of Strife." (The standard hymnal of the time was "Hymns for the Celebration of Life.") It goes, "Coffee, coffee, coffee! Early in the morning! Strong and hot and black as sin . . ." I don't remember the rest. Couldn't find it on the Internet.