For a while, I wanted some artful way to celebrate the many places that I’ve lived.
I waited patiently for the right idea to arrive. I needed something practical and stylish. A framed postcard or print didn’t seem quite right.
At the same time, I was admiring the new Edinburgh mugs that had popped up at Starbucks. Edinburgh offers many an adorable souvenir that I would want to own if we moved away, featuring sites we can see in person just a few steps out the door.
When my friends Edwin and JP visited, we talked about souvenirs, and JP told me about his Starbucks You Are Here mug collection. I realised he was describing the cute Edinburgh mug. ‘Wait – there’s a whole collection of them?’
I had not seen the others, but this makes sense as I tend to seek out independent cafes on my travels, and – as I would soon learn – not every Starbucks carries them.
So I started a Starbucks mug collection.
Here was my answer! I became a temporary collector for a few months as I gathered the mugs. I happened to be returning to each of my previous homes, except Ohio, which my parents were passing through.
My set is now complete. While I enjoy seeing the designs for other cities (and lands at Disney World!), I’ve capped my collection at places I’ve lived.
I feel complete as a mug owner.
Cute mugs are among the most tempting objects to acquire, due to their ‘practicality’. Having a meaningful, matching set of just enough mugs deters me from purchasing new ones that I don’t need.
There is a beautiful simplicity in my set, which stacks and displays nicely on our tea shelf.
Part of my daily practice
When I take my tea in the afternoon, I choose which home to remember each day. When guests come over I ask them which location they would like. It’s a nice way to welcome people in, to weave story into my everyday life.
Celebrate the places that you’ve called home in a usable collection that holds meaning for you.
Put a cap on a collection to enjoy the acquisition of items, but not go out of control.
How do you remember places that you’ve lived or visited when you’re at home?