This morning I brought my “Mahalo mug” to work with me. I had filled it with coconut caramel coffee from the Kauai Coffee Company …delicious! This is the mug I got from the resort Rob and I visited in October in Kauai. You may have seen these deals on vacation: you buy a mug from your resort, and then get free refills on coffee, tea, sodas…it’s a gimmick, but not a bad one, and you can bring the mug home if you choose to. I’m not usually one to need souvenirs labeled with the place names of vacation spots…no spoons or knick-knacks for me with national park logos or island names. But who can’t use an extra coffee mug? So I threw it in my luggage when I packed.

Southeast Alaska is getting chilly. Although Ketchikan is on the coast and the temperatures here are nothing like the frozen north of Alaska, we have frost and the occasional snow during winter months. This morning I came out to my car and had to run the defroster for several minutes waiting for the windshields to clear. (My 80 year old house has a tiny one-car garage, designed for a model-T, not a modern day SUV.) So I park outside, and this morning the cold air had frosted everything.

I set the mug on my desk when I got to my office, and looking at the image of the resort pool, I was instantly far away in a warm and sunny place. We all know that music and fragrance can transport us to another time, another place. Who knew a plastic coffee mug could do the same? The little things in life…I’m reminded again and again of their importance. Even if they are plastic and sport a resort name. Sometimes it is less about the object, more about what it evokes. Hawaii is magic…can’t explain it, but it is. And even a cheap coffee mug can’t detract from its allure. In the end, whatever brings you to a happy memory, a good place, is also touched with a little of that magic. So even though I’m not one to be sentimental about coffee mugs, I think I’ll choose this one for a while. Winter is a good time to remember the sun on the sand, the warmth in the air, the exotic aroma of the Hawaiian frangipani, and a week with my favorite husband.