Oughterard, Ireland

My brown coffee mug has a broken handle; I super glued it back together a couple of months ago. It still serves it’s purpose as well as it did before the three cracks were there. The mug has Easter egg green swirls on it. But ‘Easter egg green’ may make you think of something childish. The swirls look more seventies sophisticated than they do childish. Actually, now that I look closer at them (I don’t think I’ve yet to properly study them and define them until now) they are swirling lotus flowers; it’s almost like they are doing yoga on my mug, and aptly so – lotus flowers, yoga, lotus position. My grandma gave me this mug and a couple others that used to sit on a shelf in our family cottage in northern Wisconsin. The cottage sits on the edge of Parker Lake. The fact that the lake has a name might make you think it’s a large lake; it makes me think that it should be a large lake. But it isn’t. It’s about a mile run around; my mom and I have to make three laps to get in a good run. I feel that lakes like Parker Lake probably shouldn’t have names, though I am glad it does. I used to catch tadpoles and frogs in that lake when I was little. Sometimes my Uncle John, my grandma’s youngest son, the one with the dirtiest mouth and the biggest heart, used to blow them up. I don’t remember the death of the frogs being as upsetting as maybe it should have been, looking back. Maybe I didn’t care because I love my Uncle John more than frogs, and blowing up the frogs made him happy. My grandma, Mary Anne, gave the mugs to me the summer before she passed away. I wasn’t around when she passed away. My sister and I were in Ireland when we got the email from our mom. It was really strange, actually, finding out that way. It was just Nan and I sitting on her hostel bed in Oughterard, Ireland so far away from family, from the cottage, from my uncle, and the tadpoles and frogs.

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