Friday, February 8, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Fridge Space - 2/10/08

The prompt “fridge space” had me totally baffled at first, but as usual a night’s sleep on the topic extruded an idea:

I decided I would write about something totally Americana: refrigerator art. Oh, I know that other countries probably understand and have embraced the concept of magnets and attach items to the front of their fridges. That concept, in itself, is not indigenous to America.

But, in my travels, I have found that most of the world’s refrigerators are not large enough to truly display all the elements of a person’s entire existence. I have owned standard German, Italian, and English refrigerators. Not only can none of these hold a gallon of milk or a 2-liter Coke, there is scant space on the door or sides for proper display. You will probably note that Canadians have American-sized appliances. I cannot dispute that, but a huge freezer in the garage containing an entire moose lacks the convenience of a simple kitchen display, as discussed here. And Canadians have the option of just placing their frozen foods outside their window for safekeeping. OK, I am done Canadian bashing. At least for this post.

This weeks offering is a photo study. I have included photos of the refrigerators of friends and family. I believe that you can learn a lot about a person by what is displayed on their refrigerator. With each I will include a short narrative. I will start with mine:

My particular refrigerator door is rather austere and barren, pretty much like the contents. When my kids were growing up, it contained their art, report cards, photos, notes, appointments, youth sports schedules, and anything else that warranted display or quick reference. So much so that every time someone entered the refrigerator they would have to retrieve and reaffix items that had fallen to the floor. And with three children, that door opened and closed often and sometimes violently. I always found it interesting that even though we know the exact contents of our refrigerator at all times; we still find it necessary to have a look-see every so often. Maybe someone broke in and added something since our last visit 20 minutes ago. I have never had one of those 25 cubic foot behemoths that are found in many American kitchens these days. What a wonderful canvas for fridge art that would be. Heck, my entire kitchen might not be 25 cubic feet.

Since my kids are grown and long gone and my grandkids do not live close enough to drop by with object d’art, my refrigerator door has become quite utilitarian. It includes the most important people in my life: my dentist, massage therapist, and stockbroker. Plus, anything that I happen to find that is magnetic generally finds its way there. I have several magnetic hooks that immediately fall to the floor if you place anything heavier than air upon them. So they remain empty, but ready. I have a magnetic photo of my favorite breed of dog, the dachshund. I have a crest of Nottingham England, one of my favorite cities in the world. I am sure a future blog will relate why that is. Perhaps a Sunday Scribblings prompt of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest, or favorite cities on the River Leen will elicit such a blog. You might think that my fridge display is very sad compared to those below but please consider that all the others pictured have a woman involved. I believe that women are much more proficient at refrigerator art.

This refrigerator belongs to my oldest son, Rick, and his wife Jennifer. My granddaughter, Maris is nearly 4. She loves playing with the numbers and letters. I can only assume they spelled out Gators because they did not have enough e's to spell Yankees. That is a private joke. I am certain that when my kids were growing up we could not have had letters like these on the fridge as they would end up as profanity. I don't think I could have resisted. You thought I meant the kids, didn't you?


This is the fridge of my blog friend Lucy. I think she cleaned it up nice and tidy before she took the photo for me. She is obviously a mom. I love the South Park characters and the hat on the dog on top. I would definitely play golf in that hat.

This is my daughter Carly's fridge. She is the single mom of my grandson, Carson, who is just turning 4 and is a total handfull. She is the best mom I know. As you can see there is no time in her life for arranging her display neatly. I don't think that fridge space should be neatly arranged. It is more interesting when it is just a hodgepodge. This shows a nice mixture of Carson's priceless artwork and their mother-son memories captured in photos for all-time. Carson has obviously not yet learned to arrange the letters into profanity. I will work with him.



This is the fridge of my friend Judy. She is obviously a grandma. She also was the only one of my sample size that utilized all three available walls of her fridge.

This is the refrigerator of my Vemma friend Sharon. The only thing obvious here is that Sharon does not cook much. Lots of take-out menus. No recipes here. My kind of woman.

This is the fridge of my daughter's friend and co-worker Katie. I do not know much about Katie, other than that she is beautiful. Carson and I both think so. He is 25 years too young and I am 25 years too old. This fridge space reveals a very busy young woman and I appreciate her taking the time to submit her photo to my collection. What you cannot see clearly in the photo is that the schedule shown is a workout schedule. I am certain that is one item that will never appear on mine.

I have saved the best for last. This is the refrigerator of my son Josh and his wife Tia. They have no children, but are aunt and uncle to many, some not blood relatives. As you can see, they share my love of dogs. This is what a fridge space should look like. God bless America.
If you have a fridge that you would like me to include in my photo array, email it to me and I will do so.

This is a late addition from my ebay friend Dar. Her fridge is definitely eclectic. She is definitely a Penn State football fan. I hope those magnets haven't been there since Penn State was good. She has a definite nautical theme. I find it interesting that she needs two calendars. I guess it is important to get a second opinion. Is that a classic Lucy picture?

I was so happy that another of our Sunday Scribblings community, Sherrie, submitted her fridge space to me because it meant I no longer had the only dark fridge. She explained to me that since her daughter had grown and flown the coop, sadly there is no children's art to decorate with. She would probably have a bare door but her dear friend and artist, Violette, gives her magnets that she cherishes and displays proudly. Like me, she afixes whatever magnets businesses give her, including an emergency pizza magnet. We all need that.

Another addition sent to me by, Dana, one of my Canadian blogger friends. At least they are not all upset with my Canadian comments. She has obviously sliced her moose into smaller packages that will fit in a domestic refrigerator. By her door, you can see she is definitely a mom. Southpark and Sponge Bob. Lots of kids and pet photos. This is a great fridge and a wonderful addition to my collection. Keep them coming.

45 comments:

Lucy said...

Rick... You are my favorite read each week! I LOVE your take on OUTER fridge space.. I bet NO other blogger went this route baby! haha VERY Smart, very entertaining-.. and Unfortunately I Didn't clean up my fridge for the photo ( I took and emailed it to you in between clients today, I had 3 minutes!!) I am just a tidy Nut!
I loved seeing all the fridges, hope more get sent to you! :))

myrtle beached whale said...

Lucy,
If I ever get boring and predictable please let me know. My dream here is to create a refrigerator blog in the vein of Kramer's Coffee Table Book about Coffee Tables.

Little Wing said...

Thank you for the great comment you left on my blog, on my post about homeless veterans.
I have been reading your blog for about 20 minutes, and you are so funny!
You have a way with words, that's for sure.
I also see a very honest emotional side to you such as when you talk about your father dying.
You have a great blog here, and I will be back, be warned, lol.
Oh and Rick? Welcome home.

Shyam said...

You're getting to be one of my favourite reads! You're just so imaginative - and better still, funny with it!

Just Jen said...

Hey!! I'm Canadian and I can honestly say I have never had a moose in the freezer nor a freezer in the garage. (we did have venison and the freezer was in the patio at the time)Only once did we put our fridge stuff in the snow and that's when the hydro went out in the blizzard of '77!
so there ;~p
hehe

myrtle beached whale said...

Little Wing:

You read my blog for 20 minutes and your brain didn't turn to mush?

Shyam:

I am humbled.

Just Jen:

Thanks for the hilarious comment, eh. You are not supposed to be funnier than I am on my own blog. eh

gautami tripathy said...

At least here I got to know your name..Rick. Not that you would kept it a secret if I had asked you.

I only have one magnet on my fridge. Placed by my youngest nephew. Otherwise it is uncluttered.

No, don't be scared. I am not as dark as my poetry.

myrtle beached whale said...

gt:
I have no secrets. I am an open book. Although after reading your poetry I will set the deadbolt and sleep with a light on.

http://keithsramblings.blogspot.com/ said...

Fantastic and a great take on the post. I've been here ages and it was worth every second.

myrtle beached whale said...

Keith:

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Anonymous said...

Well written and your stories kept my interest and of course you have good flow moving from story to story. So do we have to wait for all these blogs to acumulate before we get a book or what?
Miss Rose

Anonymous said...

Lovin It!
Of course you knew that already. Right? Think I'll read blogs more.
See you later I hope you have had a great morning!
Loved your blog.
Now if we could just find a publisher.....HUMMMMM>>>>>
Sharon
the vemma lady!

Blondie said...

As always, a great post! I agree to our refrigerators are a reflection of our personalities. I had to buy a new refrigerator last year. My color choices were black, white, and stainless. Black seemed too "Darth Vadarish" and white too glaring, but magnets don't stick to Stainless Steel, and I had to have a refrigerator for my magnets. My daughter loved playing with the magnetic letters and numbers when she was a toddler. So now, whenever I go away on a business trip, I always return with a magnet to commemorate where I've been. Magnets are cheap and easy-to-find, and my daughter loves them. Most of our magnets aren't holding anything--they are just there for display. I finally settled on a refrigerator that looked like stainless steel, but really wasn't (I believe Sears calls it their "Satin Finish"). I paid $400 extra just so I could preserve my magnet display. I suppose my refrigerator screams "single mom" as there are several pictures of my kids and me, but no men (unless you count Rhett Butler on my Gone with the Wind movie poster magnet).

myrtle beached whale said...

Blondie:

I did notice that I had the only black refrigerator of the one's pictured. It would not have been my choice but came with the condo I bought. But now that you called it "Darth Vaderish" I have new respect for it. "Get me a beer, Luke."

Leonard Blumfeld said...

Wow! What a gallery of family fridges! I'm awed!

Too true about minuscule European fridges :)

Devil Mood said...

Wow, I feel like I've been through those people's most intimate drawers. You weren't kidding!

deathsweep said...

Wow! What a clever use of the prompt "fridge space" - never thought of the outside space! Great post.

ratanaong said...

I like best, your description on the changing times and how you've adapted the fridge space through time. Good research work on how we can make use of the fridge space.

forgetfulone said...

Great post! And so original!

Caroline said...

If you wrote all this with a smirk, where are the ink blotches?

:-)

M as in Mint said...

Oh, so this is the pretence you use for securing those paparazzi pictures, huh?!! And thank god, it was only 'fridge space' ... ;) !! A really amusing take! Enjoyed it to the profane-t! :)

Melody said...

Oh, I love fridge magnets! I started collecting them about two years ago... it has became an addiction since. Enjoyed reading your post!

Remiman said...

I think you've admirally displayed my point; that fridges are indeed anthropological diaries. ;)
rel

MedStudentWife said...

Fridges, in garages, containing moose meat !!! ???? Here all along I thought they were for beer :0

Beatriz's suitcase contents said...

Thanks for a fun take on fridge space. To help you with your anthropological survey, I'll tell you that as a Colombian I found refrigerator art messy and not appealing at all. I have assimilated now, as I use my refrigerator for some displays (I edit a lot of stuff out)

Robin said...

Well crap, mine (pic posted) is worse than all of those.

*hanging head in shame*

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Wonderful pics ... I love your "community" of fridges! Peace, JP/deb

gkgirl said...

loved the pictures
of various fridges...

and your amusing
canadian comment....
would love to be able
to keep the groceries
in the snow...
but unfortunately
more ice than snow
this winter...
bah.
:)

Linda Jacobs said...

You never disappoint! I love your way with words! Thanks for the chuckle!

tricia stirling said...

wow, you did so much work here! and this was a really cool, interesting post. maybe you could write a cocktail book on fridges. Or a calendar? Yes--a fridge calendar for people to hang on their fridges.
it is so true that we keep looking inside the fridge to see what is in there, even though we already know.

giggles said...

I found this prompt daunting....and haven't done it yet! This is excellent, however I wish that I could have put all my food out my Canadian window to keep it cold or frozen. Especially when my fridge was in the process of a slow death for well over a year. Contrary to American perception I do not live in an igloo or a tent!!! I promise...lol. You should visit the southwest of Canada one summer... bring your parka...just in case...

Hugs Giggles

Awareness said...

Hey there! GREAT idea! Wish I had looked at this prompt from this angle. I love it! Refrig art has always intrigued me. My fridge art has transformed over the years......and can completely relate to almost every photo you've posted. The fridge covered with numbers and letters? I had one of those FOR years when my son and daughter were Maris' age. My son is a number's freak....since he was 2 years old. He spent hours sitting there working out number sentences.

As for the large Canuck freezer thing? First off....I don't have one, which makes me in the minority up here is the land of snow and ice and moose. I YEARN for one.... But, I do have my back deck which at this time of year is just as useful.

I have a Canadian freezer moose story for you. I know this guy who is notorious for hunting off season. Around these parts it's called "jacking deer or moose"......which is a short term I think for hi-jacking maybe? Anyways.....it's illegal. One night years ago, the hunting police came knocking on Hal's door to follow up on a tip they had that he had a moose in his freezer. However, Hal saw them coming (or one of his buddies called him to warn him). So, you know what he did? He grabbed all the wrapped frozen pieces of moose meat out of the freezer and put him in the one place the police wouldn't check.......in bed with his wife, Dora!!! HONEST TO GOD!

Hal never got caught red handed. heehee!

ps. hope you win the maple syrup! :) oh........and have taken a pic of my fridge and will send it to you.

myrtle beached whale said...

I am so excited about hearing from my Canadian readers and that they are for the most part supporting my stereotypes. I do have to admit that several years ago I went to Vancouver to have my eyes lasered. I found it to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. If the weather was better I would consider living there. Rains a bit too much for my liking. Rained about (pronounced a boot) every day I was there.

Patois said...

In our house, there is no other reason for a refrigerator aside from being the easel of my youngest lad's. Everyday, he changes it. No, several times a day he changes it. It's never the same fridge twice.

Awareness said...

Vancouver is beautiful, but on the wrong side of the country. East is where it's at......and not so much rain. however, can I sell you some SNOW??? It's been unrelenting this winter. Very difficult to believe it will ever go away......even more difficult to believe there are flowers ready to bloom in a couple of months under all that white stuff.

I must say.....my fridge looks better on your blog than it does in my kitchen. :)

sarala said...

What a great idea for a post on the theme. Good job! It reminds me that I still regret getting a fridge with a wood face to match our cabinets for the very reason that I cannot clutter up the front with personal memorabilia. I think that was my husband's secret clutter-reducing plan when we picked the fridge.
I'll be back to read more.

Cricket's Hearth said...

I enjoyed listening to Jerry Lee while viewing your post. Both were very intertaining.

nonizamboni said...

Your imaginative post really hit home with me. I think that's been the saddest part of the empty nest is that I had to clean off the fridge of all the emphemora from my kids when I moved. Thanks for such a light hearted look at fridge art!

Writer and Artist on Board said...

Great post. Thanks for your flattering comment. My so-called blog is moody and changes all the time. Comments even change every week. Some friends complain. I stick them underneath my fridge. The complaints, not the friends. (That would be wrong.)Thanks again. Fun blog! -Alex

Heather said...

This was SO much fun, reading about and seeing so many different fridges! Mine would most resemble the description of yours when the children were home, complete with everything falling off whenever the door is opened. lol

Thanks for the fun, fun read!

tumblewords said...

Argg. I'm so embarrassed for my fridge after seeing all the novel ways it could be used. I'll be changing my style soon. Thanks for a friendly, fun and fascinating post!!

Steve said...

Marvelous! Had ya baffled huh? Then ya go and write a book on the Prompt!

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

nicely done!

Laura said...

My fridge art looks pretty skimpy in comparison to most of these.

Inland Empire Girl said...

Great minds do think alike! I should have gone on a tour of other frigs. Mom's is a classic in Kellogg. It is just covered with Kellogg paper clippings, magnets, pictures, granddaughter work, and other misc. stuff. I always dread opening the door, knowing something will fall off.

susiej.com said...

It was an odd prompt... I like what you did with it.