Sunday, November 3, 2013

"Buckstahuddha" for a Mug

I just returned from a quick business trip to Albany, NY. It was one of those Friday to Sunday jaunts which leaves only Saturday afternoon for any sightseeing. I decided to drive scenic Rt.7 East to Bennington, Vermont, in hope of "leaf peeping" some fall foliage color and to purchase a Bennington Pottery Trigger Mug.

Whenever I travel for an overnight I bring my own tea bags, because yes, I am fairly picky about tea and I get a bit cranky if I don't have a stout brew in the AM. The hotel had a 24 hour urn of hot water for tea, but it wasn't quite hot enough to get the full tea flavor, more of a tepid dunk really. And while I am thrilled the styrofoam hot cup is a thing of the past, the new paper cups add a distinct paper flavor to plain black tea. I know "whaa," definitely a first world problem, and certainly unimportant in the big scheme of things but after two days of unsatisfactory cuppas I was obsessed. I know I could have picked up something mug-like at a thrift store, grocery or Pier 1, but why spend money on just any old cup when I could take a sightseeing drive (known as a buckstahuddha, in my family) and purchase a souvenir mug from my past.

A long, long time ago... I lived in Maine for about seven years. I am a native New Englander, but in the late 1970's, I moved to the backwoods of Maine for my first job out of nursing school. My rural life was simple, mostly because I was lacking in funds and challenging, mostly because of the extreme Maine weather.  Generally, upper New England back then was fairly unpopulated aside from coastal fishing villages, hunting & logging camps, hippie communes, potato farms and winter ski resorts. Truly, L.L.Bean was the biggest tourist stop outside of the Kittery Trading Post. This time frame was also decades before Martha Stewart discovered "downeast", making the state of Maine a trendy residence. Anyway, gasoline was cheap back then, around 70 cents a gallon, so I drove all over Maine and Vermont exploring. I found the Bennington Pottery and purchased two teal blue Trigger Mugs. I loved those mugs, but thirty years later they had either long ago broken or had been lost. Hence, my road trip to Bennington this weekend to replace them. I was thrilled to find Trigger mugs are still in production, although about four times the 1970's price; the cost was definitely worth it for the quality & nostalgia factor. If you would like to view or purchase some Bennington Pottery, here is a link:

So now, I am back home in Missouri sipping some excellent brew from my delightful new mug. Sometimes, I think it is beneficial to revisit some of the places and possessions of your past; kind of a positive, homey, grounding thing.

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