Oh that calendar. After the evening dog walk (where solitude yields thoughts that solve most of the world’s problems, though solutions vanish in passage through the front door) I return maybe to tinker in some code or blog something… and a pop up reminder.

Tomorrow is February 8.

With arithmetic, on February 8, if Mom were here, we’d be celebrating her 88th birthday.


Instead I am rummaging around my house for the reminders. I eventually find searching in my flickr memory I’ve done them all before. Multiple times.

It’s the butterfly mug that works the magic. She found them at a Fort Myers flea market and eventually everyone in the family had at least one. In normal state, the outer decorations are dark matte color, but fill the mug with warm liquid and they turn to bright colors. I set up the photo above as a shut in my cabinet.

I poured some water in from the kettle that I had used to make tea earlier. No change. Hmm, well the water was not much warmer than room temperature.

Hot water from the tap.

No colors.

Was the magic gone? I’ve been more worried about the day I accidently drop her mug on the hard tile floor, and I cry at the busted shards.

One more try. Microwave it.

Whew, the butterflies showed their colors.

Wondermug and Mom magic.

She had this thing about what butterflies meant to her, I recorded her explaining:

Mom explains the butterfly story

My friend Diane remembered Mom’s story too, and gave me the memory gift after she learned of Mom’s passing:

And one hangs near my favorite photo of Mom– this was on her last visit here in Arizona in 2010 when I asked her to try and recreate her high school yearbook pose.

Thanks, calendar, after all.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. Thanks for the lovely post Alan. I have enjoyed coming to ‘know’ your mother through your loving posts. We had a family party for our late father’s 100th birthday in 2009, and you have reminded me it’s my late mother’s 100th later this month so I had better get a post ready.

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