It’s a Long Way to Tucumcari

I recently stopped into the nearest java joint for a cup of caffeine. A barista admired my travel coffee mug, which to my taste seems a bit garish.

On a trip to New Mexico last summer, I found myself drinking coffee out of Styrofoam cups. That doesn’t taste good to me, and it grates on my environmental sensibilities to use things once and throw them away. 

So, en route to Santa Fe, I pulled in at a Love’s truck stop just over the Texas state line. I bought the only ceramic mug with a design I could relate to, one with an upbeat musical theme: piano keyboards, saxophones, guitars and treble-clef signs, in orange, aqua, black and chartreuse.

The barista back home asked where I had bought it.


“Where’s that?”

“New Mexico.”

“Sounds like it might be in Ireland.”

What does she know? I thought. She’s probably never been to Ireland.

I puzzled over the remark for hours, pondering the names of places I’ve traveled in the Emerald Isle: Ballinasloe, Connemara, the Burren, Galway. Those names don’t sound anything like “Tucumcari.”


Sometimes I think I’m so smart. What took me so long to figure it out?

Maybe I needed another jolt of java.

This entry posted in Ireland, New Mexico, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. 

12 Responses to It’s a Long Way to Tucumcari

  1. I do the same thing….Sometimes thinking I’m so smart and then asking myself: “How would YOU know?” I’ve never traveled outside the USA, or not very far in any direction. Exceptions to the rule are, Montreal, Matamoros and Galveston. After checking out the other persons statement….and finding that it’s entirely plausible, I feel like a nut. So, “Sometimes I feel like a nut. Sometimes I don’t.” applies. Love the cup; and it’s so fitting to your musical self.

  2. Joybird says:

    Yeah, I have those moments where I carefully look past the obvious.

  3. Belinda says:

    Ha ha. A familiar feeling conveyed effectively. Maybe we’re all really so smart?!

    Visiting through Emily’s Imperfect Prose.

  4. brian says:

    if that is it i kinda like it as well…i need my joly in the AM to get going as well…as far as the barista, we always think we know best right? smiles,

  5. David N. says:

    Been to New Mexico, but not to Ireland. You’re making me jealous!

  6. Oh, yes. I do this often!! lol 🙂

    And I agree…coffee doesn’t taste good in styrofoam!

  7. the cup is gorgeous! 🙂

  8. Kati says:

    Haha! I’m impressed by your willingness to be open for an alternate explanation and your humility in believing there was one. Tipperary (did i get it right?) is also a bit obscure and different from Tucumcari (did I get that one right?). So if you want to give yourself the smarts benefit, I’m cool with that. But your humility and thoughtfulness as described here probably counts for a lot more!

  9. ha ha! oh carol… i love how honest you are. and i absolutely adore this travel mug. you have excellent taste.

  10. Seré says:

    Oh, this was fun…And something all of us can relate to. Thank you, Carol!

  11. laura says:

    This just makes me smile and isn’t it true? Coffee tastes better in a stylin’ mug. I pray you are off on some wonderful rambles today :).

  12. Chelo says:

    Oh yes, moments like this keep me humble, along with other things.

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