You can tell a lot about Canadians by looking at their refrigerators. Not just the food inside, but by what is on the front and sides.
Is it like that where you live? Can you learn about people’s lives by what they display on the fridge?
Is there a calendar? Family pictures or photos of friends? Cartoons clipped from the newspaper (back from when there were newspapers)? A grocery list? Other reminders?
My family fridge in Germany has been cluttered until now. The grocery list was a major item – my wife used it to improve my German vocabulary. Missionaries we met would give us prayer cards, which we would put on display as reminders to indeed pray for them.
There were family photos, and pictures sent by friends of themselves, their children and grandchildren. And magnets. Lots of magnets to hold everything up.
As we age, the desire for clutter recedes, to some extent. But i thought it would be nice to pick up a magnet whenever we visited someplace new, a practical souvenir.
There hasn’t been as much travel in my life as I had hoped, especially in the past couple of years. Still, the fridge had magnets from the Black Forest, from Rome, from Athens, from Vienna and a few other places, including Maine. Each time I opened the fridge a memory would pop off the door.
But today the fridge is naked. No photos, no magnets, not even a grocery list. It is depressing, and exhilarating.
It has been part of our family for almost four years, but the fridge is going to a new home this week. Someone else will get to adorn it with their life.
When we say goodbye to the fridge we will as well say goodbye to our apartment. It hardly seems real. We will stay at a friend’s place for a couple of weeks, then move back to Canada. The German adventure is almost over.
It doesn’t seem real somehow. Sulzburg has become home, even if I do struggle with the language. The sights and sounds are what i have become used to.
Will the move back to Canada bring with it a reverse culture shock? Will much have changed in four years?
Those are thoughts for another day perhaps. Right now I am staring at the naked fridge. The reality of the impending move is now beginning to hit home.