What does your ‘fridge door say about you?

Our household revolves around Phoebe—the gentle white dog that came into our lives four-and-a-half years ago. She came from Omaha, Neb., where she lived four years. But her first year is a mystery.
She was adopted from the pound when she was one year old. The mystery is—why did this beautiful dog that had companion training end up in the pound?
Maybe her companion died, but we will never know the answer for sure.
Like a toddler, Phoebe strews her toys around the living room floor. A bright orange teddy bear, a white bone, a pink pig, a multi-coloured dragon, and two footballs. And all of them squeak.
I never mind picking up Phoebe’s toys. It’s so much fun when she comes to her basket to get a toy when she’s happy. Squeaking is her way of laughing with us.
Phoebe licks my hand when it’s time to get up in the morning. She welcomes guests, saying hello to each person. Then she escorts them to the living room, where she takes her place quietly under the coffee table.
She barks at big burly strangers—even before she sees them. She’s very brave, except during thunder storms and on the Fourth of July.
Phoebe is soft and cuddly, and she can never get enough petting. And she dominates our refrigerator door.
There are pictures of Phoebe playing with a toy, guarding her street in Omaha, kissing me while I hold a tiny 10-pound guest—a Maltese.
There’s a photo from “Parade” magazine of two Phoebe look-alikes riding in the front seat, one with a hat on just like her master, who lives in Tucson, Ariz.
And there’s a yellowing “Howard Huge” cartoon with a man barbecuing while he asks his dog, “Are you trying to hypnotize my steak.”
With so much Phoebe focus on the refrigerator door, I was interested in what “Family Fun” magazine had to say—“the refrigerator door is the window to a family’s soul.”
So what else is on my refrigerator door? Pictures of the tiny Maltese and her family from Canada, a college friend on a trip to Nashville, my uncle from Ohio reading in our living room, and friends from Edmonton smiling so happily that you’d never guess she is struggling with the early stages of Parkinson’s.
Friends who matter. Friends we rarely see, who live thousands of miles away from us.
The magnets themselves also are important. There are two “Larry’s” made by our son years ago when he was in art school. There’s a Yoga Center magnet, a magnet from our alma mater in Goshen, Ind., and a tiny magnetized calendar from one of my papers in Jackson, Mich.
And two magnets with a jigsaw design that say “Curtis Cafe ‘puzzle’tively the best food in town! Stafford, KS.” A remembrance from a fun day-trip with our Sunday School class to a restaurant that had dozens—maybe hundreds—of jigsaw puzzles papering the walls.
Come to think about it, our refrigerator door records what is important to us very well.
Take a look at your refrigerator door. What does it say about your family? Do you have pictures of travel, of your grandchildren, of sunsets, of your college friends, of a picnic at the park?
And what other memorabilia is there?
Remember your refrigerator door is the window to your family’s soul. It tells you who or what is important to you? Read the narrative and be sure to live by it.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist.

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