Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On My Fridge

by Elizabeth
Pilates of Caribbean etc.

Last Sunday, as I was drinking coffee and thinking about what I'd write about in my next blog post, my husband asked me if I'd read the comic strip Pearls Before Swine. Not yet, I said, since I'm usually the last one to get my paws on the comics section, having to make do with Travel and Texas Living while everyone else gets their Baby Blues on. But when I did read it, I had to laugh. The only thing Stephen Pastis got wrong was the amount of time spent on Words with Friends. I promptly clipped the strip and stuck it under a magnet with the curling collection of my favorite strips pasted to my fridge. No too many strips make the cut.

Funny Pamela should write about her love for movies and books the very next day. That strip and its arrival on my refrigerator got me thinking about the things I most love, and how I remind myself of that. And it was right there in front of me, under a magnet or a magnet itself.

A few weeks ago, in a fervor of de-cluttering, I eliminated much of the detritus littering the front of my fridge. Goodbye to old receipts, to business cards whose owners I'd forgotten; farewell cake-in-a-cup recipe and expired coupons! But the magnets that I began collecting several years ago when I realized what I wanted to commemorate the places I've been with magnets instead of stuff?--those I decided could remain. Should remain. Deserved to remain, and I wanted them to, because they were decorative yes, but mostly because I love them. They represent where I've been, both on my own and with my family, and every time I fill a glass with ice I'm reminded of the places I've been and inspired for the adventures I hope to yet undertake. And now there's room for so many more.

The map  of the London Tube
underneath Jefferson's words! 
Books aren't left off. One of my favorite magnets doesn't feature the architecture of the house or fauna of its grounds but the words of the owner. About five years ago, my kids and I, along with my mom, stopped at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's beautiful home. After marveling at his genius designing the house, being awed by his accomplishments and legacy, we stopped in at the gift shop and what grabbed my attention and affection was a line to a letter he penned to John Adams, one of his greatest friends and foes. "I cannot live without books," he wrote in 1815. Interestingly, that's the same year his entire collection, over 6700 books, was sold to the United States to replenish the Library of Congress, whose collection had been burnt by the British during The War of 1812. By the time Jefferson died in 1826 (and Adams too, on the same day, July 4, the fiftieth anniversary of the document both men created and signed), he'd amassed some 1600 fresh volumes.

That's love. The comic strips are love. My magnets of Krakow and the Great Smoky Mountains and the Kona coast, all of it, all of it love. Front and center, a reminder to me every day when I grab an apple or milk for my coffee of what I love. Reading and writing and travel and family. The other side of the fridge? Pictures of my family, of course.

1 comment:

  1. I think we forget about what stories our fridges tell about us, Elizabeth. Like the contents of our handbags or cars, a lot can be said about us by what we deem worthy of posting to the kitchen's magnetic collector of important, small artifacts. A good character study when writing fiction might be to ask: what would she post to her fridge? A comic? A recipe? An oncologist's appointment card? A child's artwork? Hmmm ...


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