2008.04.16 Midnight ramblings on a naked refrigerator

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

When was the last time you saw the frightening sight of a naked refrigerator? No magnetic word games. No photos. No wedding invitations. No naked David statues ready to be dressed.

Colleen has cleaned off the face of our refrigerator and it now appears enormous.

    —David Green, April 5, 2008, statelineobserver.com

Yes, our refrigerator loomed large after I removed all the magnets, photos, recipes, Mother’s Day cards, et cetera. I left it barren for about a week, but that was about as long as I could stand it.

Every time I worked in the kitchen, the hulking big hunk of white felt like a stranger in my midst. Preoccupied with whatever I’d been making, its presence scared me whenever I turned toward it. I was going to leave it devoid of the detritus of our lives, but I just couldn’t do it.

I started adding my favorite magnets one by one: first the pretty magnets, then the powerful magnets followed by the  advertisement magnets, then the magnets with sayings I try to live by, but never notice when my fridge is densely covered with so much stuff.

“March to a different drummer.” “Treasure each day.” “Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused.” “The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.” “If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing.” 

That last one is a Zimbabwean proverb, which must have been coined before they heard me sing or saw me dance.

I cleared off the top of my fridge, too, and was amazed at the dust and debris—and the little beauties hiding out, such as the two pysanky eggs I made in a long ago era of crafting with my kids.

My mother must have kept a pretty clean refrigerator top because I can remember my father setting me on top of it, clapping his hands and catching me as I jumped into his outstretched arms. I didn’t especially like my father—he had a terrible mean streak when drunk, which was most of the time—but I didn’t let that get in the way of exciting activities such as jumping off the refrigerator or climbing up door jambs.

It’s hard to reconcile my aging body with my former “Monkey” self. That’s what my oldest sister used to call me; my high school friends called me “Gumby.” I’m just not as limber anymore, nor as strong. “Sluggy,“ or “Slothy” might be more accurate monikers. I never used to nap, but now I yearn for them, even though they sometimes leave me groggier than I was before I laid down.

After my nap episode this past Sunday, I told David the dream I had had just before dragging myself off the couch. He’s never interested in my dreams, but that doesn’t stop me from recounting them to him, in detail, nor him from constantly trying to change the subject.

I was going to take a nap for 45 minutes, but I couldn't get up and was pretty much a zonked out zombie queen. I had weird, weird dreams.

Cars were coming at me in the dark, with no headlights, I told David. I see them just before they hit me, except I am able to get out of the way, just narrowly, before they hit me.

It happened three times on my way to some happy place where Steve and Barry's (the clothing store) was skipping right through April and once you entered their city you were in May.

“Isn't the phone ringing?” David asked half-way through my dream talk. He has no patience for my dreams.

He’d rather hear tales from my fighting days, such as the legendary episode of the time I punched a girl because she kept trying to jump the line at the Laundromat in the Bronx, putting her clothes in the dryer before me, even though I was next.

I still get pretty burned up when someone tries to cut in front of me. At the grocery store, for example, I often let people go ahead of me when I have a full cart and they only have a few items. But when someone rudely cuts in front, ewwwwww, I just burn up. The injustice of it all!

And then I read this weekend a piece by Garrison Keillor in which he describes how a woman blatantly cuts in front of him at the boarding gate.

“A few years ago,” he wrote, “I would have felt like pulling her hair out by the roots and spitting on her shoes and saying a few words about the importance of civility, but I am over that now.”

He wrote about grace being “afoot in the world” and finding you and passing out its gifts of “faith, love, hope and a sense of humor.”

But that simple phrase, “I am over that now” is one that resonates with me, one I need to live by.

Maybe I could get it printed on a big magnet and have it prominently displayed on a naked refrigerator.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016