Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Hot Chocolate Memory

A mug of cocoa for a squirrel-y mom.

Today is the perfect fall day to warm up with a mug of hot chocolate. I even splurged with a messy glop of whipped cream. Not quite coffee-shop quality, but satisfying. It’s in my favorite mug, too. The one with the squirrel on one side, and a loving sentiment on the other: “Nuts About You.” It makes me grin to think of my son, Peter, who gave it to this squirrel-loving mom.

Smiling at this mug reminds me of a mug from my youth. At my best friend’s house, I was often treated to the home-made cocoa mix made by Helen’s mother. I vividly remember the taste and the surprise of my first mug of it.

Helen and her siblings and I were gathered around the kitchen table, laughing and talking after school one day. Her mom passed steaming mugs to each of us, and the conversation died as we focused on the treat.  Mmm, smooth and sweet. Not too hot, not too cold. It went down easy, warmed me up, then gave me a surprise!

With mug tipped to my mouth, I spotted something emerging from the brown liquid like a swamp monster. I almost spilled it in shock! The expectant faces around the table burst out laughing. The mug had a ceramic green frog affixed to its interior bottom!

I obviously wasn’t the first guest to be given this special treatment. And I wasn’t the last. That mug never seemed to lose its power to create a laugh. As a frequent guest at their house, I got used to sipping from the frog mug. I looked forward to spotting its bulgy eyes peeking from the cocoa.

Hmm, I wonder where that mug is now? I’m guessing it’s still in their cupboard, ready to play tricks on the grandkids.

I'm nuts about you, too, Pete!