Everywhere I go, I pick up a refrigerator magnet. It doesn’t matter if it is to a local historical site like my recent trip to Fort Ticonderoga, or on my furthest adventure out to the Oregon Coast, I always bring one back with me (sometimes more than one). While it might seem trivial or kind of kitsch, I love my collection. They are constant, visual reminders to me of all the places I’ve been, the things I’ve seen and learned, and the other travels, hopefully, still to come.
Small and portable, magnets fit easily into bags or overstuffed suitcases. I used to collect coffee cups, too, but those were bulky and easily broken (and took up way too much space). Many of the magnets are funny, bright and colorful, and almost always an example of design that I like. They pack a lot of memory into a very small space.
I also have my inspirational magnets, some filled with bits of sage advice, poems or pretty photographs, and other miscellaneous ones I just really liked or found amusing. Whenever I grab something to eat from the fridge, my old friends are always there to greet and enlighten me all over again.
I curate my little gallery carefully, taking a lot of time to place each one and create a pleasing overall arrangement of color, line, and shape. I sort them, too, by texture, and whether they’re three–dimensional or two. It’s a pleasurable process, and one that begins anew as additions arrive.
When I moved from Hartford back to Glens Falls, one of the first things I brought with me was my magnet collection. Most of them had already journeyed through several moves. A refrigerator door is the perfect blank canvas in my eyes, ready to be covered by mini-memories and tiny pieces of art and advice, and I can’t wait to fill it up with mine. Any space, new or old, just does not feel like home without them.