So I said, somewhat self-importantly, to Dave, “My vision for living large in a small footprint means that we won’t have a lot of stuff, but absolutely everything we do have has to be something we really love.”
And I’d pretty much pre-determined that we’d achieve that grand vision (at least in the Fabulous Fifth Wheel’s kitchen) with a quick trip to IKEA when we got to our stop in Houston.
We did make that trip. There is über contemporary new flatware in a drawer and a set of knives in a very cool knife holder that now graces the counter. But the dishes we decided we loved the most came with us—a discontinued pattern from Dansk that we found at our friend Ray’s yard sale. Ray used to be a manager at Commander’s Palace, so his cast-off dinnerware is fabulous by anyone else’s standards. The cobalt blue glass bowls we found to go with those dishes are from Walmart.
And then there are the mugs. Some pretty, some not. Some handmade, some not. What unites them as a collection is that each has a story that made them worthy of the journey.
There’s the left-handed mug I bought from Joe Polotzola, a retired radiology tech turned potter and healthy cooking guru. Drop by his little studio in Amite, Louisiana, and while you’re admiring his beautiful pottery he’s likely to offer you something he’s just steamed up in one of his hand thrown steamers. (Fun fact: Dave is left-handed, while his identical twin is right-handed. Such twins, it turns out, are actually genetic mirror images, a lesson I learned when I presented him with the mug. So it clearly had to come along.)
Then there’s the 30-something year-old Astroworld mug that my kids bought for me on a trip there in its heyday. It’s personalized with my name above a drawing of the Tazmanian Devil cartoon character. I’m not sure if they intended to make a statement there. That was the summer I’d planned another trip for us all to Disneyworld, and was dismayed when I got a lukewarm response to the announcement. Turns out that there just weren’t enough really scary rides at Disneyworld to suit them and so Astroworld it was, where we stayed until the park closed one evening while they rode the same rollercoaster over and over again. I was a little nauseous just watching. And the lesson I carried away is that Disneyworld is really for adults—the kids are just an excuse.
And then there is this mug from which I’m drinking my morning coffee as I write this, a gift from my lifelong friend Terry with whom I grew up in Iowa. We’ve been friends since grade school, but we’ve both spent most of our adult lives far from home—Louisiana for me, Mexico City for him. This mug was his tongue-in-cheek reminder of the roots from whence we both came. Roots from a place that excels at growing them deep and strong. Roots that have served us both well.