Cleaning Out the Excess

We are a family of collectors. When we would go on vacations or Dad would travel on business, shopping for key chains, postcards, and magnets were always at the top of the list. Dad’s office is filled with his collections: golf tees, golf balls from memorable courses he has played at, and baseball caps. Grandma has her wall of Irish sayings and I have my assortment of mugs, teapots, and Christmas ornaments.

As my eyes gaze up at my mugs sitting atop my kitchen cabinets, I realize how long ago that particular collection began. Two mugs in particular date the collection, because they are each from the two colleges I attended. Forty-three years is the magic number.

Next to my Rutgers University mug is a Boonton USA mug with a picture of the old Boonton railroad station, which had been made into a small shopping station back in the Seventies. Our trips to Hawaii, Bermuda, California, and Bryce Canyon are memorialized in my collection, reminding me of our carefree travel days before we became parents.

The Bermuda trip was a cruise back in the days when guests were permitted aboard the ship to celebrate with its passengers prior to setting sale. Since 9-11, those loose days of security are long gone.

When we cruised the Hawaiian Islands, we were so exhausted after the long back-to-back flights to San Francisco and then onward to Honolulu that we slept through the farewell party. The Bryce Canyon and California vacations were one of several trips we took piggybacked on top of one of Dad’s business trips.

Several of the mugs were gifts: The Cat on Skates and the Ed Asner mugs were from Grandma Rita, the Texas mug was from Aunt Linda, a mug from France was from my friend Karen when she lived in Italy, and a blue and white mug with a windmill is from our honeymoon.

Perhaps I should begin shedding these mugs from my life. Like the teapot which Grandma gave me years ago so I could enjoy them now and think of her each time I look at it, maybe all of my loved ones should choose one now for that very same reason.

I will mention that there are a few mystery mugs—interesting to look at, but with no clues about why or where I purchased them. I am thinking garage sale or the recycling bin. So long, farewell!

Ed Asner Mug

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