Refrigerator Photo Gallery
Over the years, in addition to displaying my daughters’ art work and photos of them, all secured with magnets from our travels, our refrigerator had served as a giant photo album. I have 15 nieces and nephews, and each year I changed their photos, whether they were school photos or the photos that came with Christmas cards. I also added my friend’s daughters who are like nieces to me, and my daughters’ friends as well.
I don’t remember why I started this tradition. But I do know that it was a popular attraction in our home. Every time one of the featured children would come into our kitchen, they would stop to find themselves. I noticed their pride and a level of their satisfaction that they had been included. And I am not just talking about the little ones. I can remember the teens laughing over one of the photos of them in our pool. They all took it very seriously, too. The year that my sister-in-law forgot to send updated photos did not go down well with one of my nephews who was disappointed his new photo wasn’t on display. My sister-in-law had to mail them right away. I enjoyed the fact that they all took away from the experience that they mattered to us.
And now my true confession: Last year when said refrigerator decided the week before Thanksgiving was a perfect time to stop working all together, we replaced the old bisque-colored side-by-side with a stainless steel fridge, because the sales person said that stainless steel appliances are better for home resale value. When it was delivered and set up, I made the decision not to have the face of the fridge be my photo gallery anymore. Frankly, keeping the photos safe from the water from the dispenser is not easy. And cleaning stainless steel is also a challenge. It was so much easier with that “old-fashioned bisque” surface that never showed fingerprints. Further, I am simply too busy to repeatedly take down all the photos, clean the face of the fridge, and put them back up again.
But there’s another reason it seemed it was time to give up the display. My girls are older, so their friends haven’t been coming over as frequently, and my nieces and nephews are getting older too, so they don’t seem to care quite as much about seeing themselves on display in my kitchen anymore. I suppose my husband and I have moved on to that stage when the house is more for adults than for kids. While the cleanliness and organization of that is awesome, I found myself remembering my refrigerator photo gallery this morning with some sadness. There are so very many passages of time as parents, and this is just one more. Until the day I proudly display my grandchildren’s artwork and photos, of course!
Do you have any stories to share of how you use your refrigerator face? I’d love to hear it.