Saturday, September 17, 2011

Coffee Cups

We have a cupboard -- you know, the kind that goes back way deep into the corner -- full of coffee cups.  We have bits and pieces of acouple of  matched sets, plus several tall, colorful "theme" cups; one has snowmen on it, another is one I painted at a ceramics shop.  Several we've had so long, I don't know where they came from, and I don't know why I keep them - like this one, for instance:

I was pulling out a cup after Mass this morning, to serve as a middleman from the coffee pot to my lips -- as I am feeling in particular need of a caffeine jolt --  and this little old brown cup was front and center.  Where it came from I have no idea, but look at that cup.  Check out the little tiny handle on it.  My city grandfather (whom we called "Pappy")  was a big coffee drinker.  Got up at around 5 a.m. every day and drank black coffee until the early afternoon, when he switched to Schlitz.   We loved it when Pappy came to visit, as he was generally a very jolly grandfather, but coffee at our house never started his day off well because he hated our coffee cups; the handles were too small.  Like those on that brown cup. 

My grandfather had the thick, craggy hands of a man who had spent a long life working hard with his hands, and it offended his sense of manliness, I think, that our cups were too small for his fingers. He also had a problem with the lid of our sugar container, because it required small, dextrous fingers to get ahold of.  And, though I don't remember him actually complaining, I wouldn't wonder if he weren't underwhelmed with the coffee in the cup, as well.  My grandmother brewed a serious pot of coffee, black as night, strong as Atlas, with enough punch to propel you into the next day.  My Mom's coffee was (and is) dainty and subtle or -- as Pappy probably thought -- pretty limp-wristed in comparison.  Though we kids did our best to keep our grandfather on his toes bright and early in the morning, I think he'd rather have had some nice strong coffee in a more manly cup.  Poor Pappy.  I'm having a good strong cuppa joe thinking of him this morning -- and it's in a cup with fairies and flowers painted on it but the handle is big enough even for his thick fingers.   

Funny the things you remember, isn't it?


Sharon said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandfather! It's the simple things that we remember the most, I think. My grandmother had a tough life, and she didn't smile a whole lot, but when she did her whole face lit up, and she had this wonderful full-belly laugh that I loved, and miss even after she's been gone these last fifteen years. (BTW, I like strong coffee and a nice big cup handle, too!)

Anne said...

Someday...someday Ill have coffee cups with the handles on them..some day they won't all be broken off...sigh...
Anne, who likes her coffee not east coast strong, but full of flavor for sure!

MightyMom said...

All I want is a proper pot of coffee
Made in a proper copper coffee pot
I may be off my dot
But I want a proper coffee in a proper copper pot!