Anniversary: A Travel Cup Commentary


Some things in life are worth holding onto. Some things in life are worth letting go.

Most things, just aren’t made they way the used to be. Those old things, those are the ones worth holding onto, most of the time.

Week day mornings for the last 10 years have mostly started with the same object in my hand while I commute from home to work. It has travelled as far as I have over those years.

My trusty Starbucks travel cup bears the signs of use, and lots of it. It has kept me company in the car and has made my mornings that much easier to deal with the day ahead. Sure, it isn’t as pretty as it was when it was new, but I like it just the same.

When it was new, it was blue. The color has been long since worn away and now it is just a plain stainless steel, double walled shell. It didn’t have dents along the bottom ring, or a chipped lid. It certainly didn’t have a nose print (yes, that ring is a nose print) or a whisker burn on the lid. Some of the wear and tear has come from riding in a cup holder, taking dives off the top of the car, being tossed into the back seat, shoved into a bag, or just plain doing what it is supposed to do. But it has withstood all the travel and abuse.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t leak! The original rubber ring that closes the seal between the lid and the cup is still intact. The rubber nub that keeps the air hole closed on the lid is still intact as well. Not only does it not leak, but it also keeps my coffee hot for my entire commute (provided the coffee lasts that long), which can sometimes be more than an hour.

My wife gave me the cup just a little over 10 years ago for my birthday. We had just started dating then and it was the first of my birthdays we had been together, so who knew what kind of life it, let alone we, would have since then. She told me the other day, when I mentioned it was now 10 years old, that I should get another one. My response? “No way! I love this cup.”


The thing is, there really isn’t anything special about the cup. It is, after all, just a cup. But, what is special about the cup is that my wife gave it to me and it has been a part of my mornings for so long, I can’t imagine using a different cup. It is kind of like that old pair of sweat pants or shoes, that old t-shirt or sweatshirt that is so worn out and thread-bare, but you just can’t give it up. Why? Well, because it is comfortable. When you wear them or use it, it just feels right. It is a piece of you, to some degree, so giving it up would be like giving up a hand, or leg. Ok, well maybe not that drastic, but you know what I mean.

I get it. Some people would say, “But there are new ones. New is better. It has more bells and whistles. It looks better.” I say, let them say it. Replacing something just because it is old, isn’t the answer and it is over-rated. Period.

They don’t make them like they used to…and some things are just worth holding on to.


What thing or things do you have in your life that is worth holding onto because it is familiar, comfortable, and just plain made better?

The Passing Lane

imgresWhy? Why is it so hard for a trucker to pull into the “slow lane” so that the backed up traffic behind him can get by?

I commute 45 miles, one way, to work each day and I am constantly befuddled by this bad behavior. State law (I’m in Washington) says that if there is a backup of more than five vehicles the offending vehicle is to pull off the road to allow for faster traffic to pass. Most of the time this law is violated by the big rig trucks. It also happens from travel/recreational vehicles, but mostly by trucks. But my grumpiness today has to do with trucks.

Just this morning the offending monstrosity was a giant vacuum for storm drains. I had to follow it for more than 15 miles (granted I was in a long string of cars also following it) before we reached a passing lane. At the first passing opportunity, it SPED UP?!? What is with that? So, only two of the trailing victims could get by. At the second passing opportunity, it NEVER EVEN MOVED OVER into the passing lane, thus causing all trailing vehicles to move over and speed up to go around it. Now, why does that have to happen?

Maybe all big rigs should be required bear their loads between certain hours of the night. Maybe they should only allowed to navigate from sun down to sun up. Maybe they should follow the traffic laws and not torture other motorists simply because of their size and because they can.

I’ll be commuting home this evening and I’ll be, more than likely, shaking my fist at another tyrannical trucker.