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Marking lifes journeys on the fridge
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If you have a fancy house and your refrigerator has wooden panels to make it look like the rest of your cabinets, you can stop reading.

If you are like us, and your refrigerator doubles as a scrapbook of your life, then continue.

As a kid, our refrigerator was white, a very popular color for coolers in those days.

Mama had a set of magnets that looked like pieces of fruit. There was an apple, orange, banana and a little bunch of grapes. I enjoyed rearranging them from time to time.

Today, the refrigerator at our house is a hodgepodge of pictures, magnets and other propaganda, greeting you whenever you visit the fridge.

By the way, I refer to the device as the “Frigidaire,” the name of a company that makes refrigerators. Frigidaire made our first one and I guess that stuck with me.

This one actually is a Whirlpool, which is an odd name for a refrigerator. They also make washing machines. That fits better with a name like Whirlpool.

There are other brands such as Amana, which is named for a German colony in Iowa. People who come from Germany know a thing or two about cold weather.

I digress.

As we travel, we now look for Christmas ornaments and refrigerator magnets. Our refrigerator is a travelogue of the great West, including Winslow and Holbrook, Ariz. Winslow was made famous by the Eagles song, “Take it Easy,” when it references standing on a corner in Winslow. Holbrook is the home of one of three remaining Wigwam Motels, a place with motel rooms shaped like concrete teepees. By the way, we have now stayed in two of the three Wigwam motels. The one in Cave City, Ky., needs new mattresses.

We have pictures in little magnetic frames. There is a picture of the day we married. There is a picture of me and my baby girl dancing at a fancy ball. There is a picture of me with the late Nell Wiegand, who I miss a lot.

In addition, you’ll find a lot of “save the date” magnets from an assortment of weddings, most of which have already taken place. We also have magnets with phone numbers of people who repair stuff such as refrigerators.

I did a little survey at church and found many people have similar collections of stuff on their refrigerators. Many said they have become monuments to their grandchildren with postings of crayon drawings made by and photographs of their grandchildren.

We don’t have any grandchildren yet, but we hope that might be in our future.

I had my shortcomings as a father, but I believe I am well-equipped to be a grandfather.

I have officially registered “Papa” with the National Register of Grandfather Names as the name I want to be called. Unfortunately, the first grandchild tends to mutter some combination of syllables sounding like “Dum-dum” or “Ba-ba” and that’s what you get stuck with.

A young man visited my wife and me recently. He asked for permission to ask one of our daughters to marry him. I hope what he was really asking was permission to redecorate our refrigerator in a few years. By the way, both the parents and the bride-to-be said yes.

If this works out, I’ll invite you by for a tour of our updated Frigidaire. You can tell if I’m home by looking for the car with the tag that reads, Papa, Baba or Dum-dum. (Please, not the last one!)

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on

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