Drinking from My Saucer

It was January 1969, and I had started dating the teenage girl who would eventually become my wife.  That year found me hanging around the Smith household many evenings, weekends, and just as often as Mom and Pop Smith would allow this lovestruck teenager to linger.

My future mother-in-law often enjoyed a cup of coffee whenever we sat around the kitchen table. I soon learned that she had a rather peculiar habit.  Whenever she poured herself a cup of coffee, she always had a saucer under the cup, and she always poured so much coffee and cream into the cup that it overflowed.  She would then proceed to sip and slurp the coffee from the saucer before ever attempting to drink it from the cup.  Well, I declare!

Later, when her sister, Aunt Sugarbee, visited from Louisville, she too imbibed her coffee the same way.  I thought it must be a Kentucky thing.  Trying not to stare, I became fascinated with this rather novel approach of drinking a too-hot cup of Java.  It occurred to me that there was very little difference between a staring look and one of fascination – I displayed both during Smith family after-dinner table conversations.  Yes, these saucer sipping sisters from Kentucky captivated my thoughts until I began to wonder if this behavior was hereditary? The slurping sounds beside me soon confirmed that my beloved had acquired the same coffee sipping custom.  Apparently, in this household, Maxwell House wasn’t just good to the last drop but savored until the last slurp. Oh my goodness. 

These 49-year-old memories came flooding back to me recently when I came across a poem entitled Drinking from My Saucer.  The poem reflected on this quaint habit and how it served as a metaphor for a life overflowing with blessings.

Drinking from My Saucer
by John Paul Moore

I’ve never made a fortune and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much, I’m happy anyhow.

And as I go along life’s way, I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

I don’t have a lot of riches, and sometimes the going’s tough.
But I’ve got loved ones around me, and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for his blessings, and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ’Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again.

So God, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I’ve hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage, when the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings, I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy, to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer, ‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

I may not sip hot coffee from a saucer, but I can relate to a cup that has overflowed.  Yes, I have known disappointment, heartache, and suffering.  I am more than familiar with the pain of loss.  Yet I cannot help but be humbled by the grace and mercy of the God who has blessed me beyond measure.  Psalm 23 reminds me that “my cup overflows.” So I write this Reflection in hopes that should you ever witness someone drinking from their saucer, do not think them ill-mannered, or Kentucky born, but rather, give praise to God that here is someone who reminds you that the blessings of life can be simple and, more often than not, right there in front of you.  And should you get the urge to sip and slurp from your saucer too, be grateful that your cup is one that has overflowed.

Still Sipping and Slurping.

Note: This is an updated post from an email I sent out in May 2017

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  1. Sandy Henderson

    I love this reflection! Thanks for sharing-S



  2. Darryl

    Fond memory of my grandmother pouring her tea at 4 pm sharp each day. A little went into the saucer for me. Perhaps it was her way of sharing that her cup was overflowed. Thank you Lord for blessings great and small.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MoonChild Nova

    Ive never heard of such a thing ; but, now I hope to see this in life one day. I adore the metaphor, and that your heart accepted it’s unique nature. Thank you for sharing this memory with us 🙂


  4. Katy Hall

    This brought tears to my eyes because my cup has, indeed, overflowed! Thanks for this!


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