Coral House 2.4 (copy)

Today's new refrigerators come in retro-styles and multiple colors. Photo by Chassity Evans

What’s the one kitchen appliance that has become the centerpiece to all that is significant to our day-to-day lives? Exactly — the fridge. But while walking through one of the big box stores recently, I realized that what once was merely a necessity to keep stuff cold has now become a multi-purpose way-station that provides so much more.

I saw refrigerators that tell the time, dispense ice and water, indicate the temperature and presumably alert you to whether or not you’re a quart low on ice cream in the freezer section. They’re huge, too! And come in a variety of colors. I remember when the stainless steel options became so popular. I hadn’t realized one could now match the ice box to the color of your mixer, juicer and crock pot.

The ice maker is, admittedly, not exactly a new feature. Most models even provide the crushed or cubed option. It sure beats those trays we all would wrestle with and also eliminates the accusations of determining who put a tray back without filling it with water.

However, without the trays, we no longer creatively produce those Kool-Aid ice pops that were so popular on hot, summer days.

Make a note

But that’s not why we’ve gathered here today. No, I’ve asked you here not to determine if it’s time to update your refrigerator, but to examine if your giant, technologically improved icebox is still employed as a giant sticky-note?

Are there shopping lists, work schedules, child art and doctor appointments attached with various magnets? Are there reminders attached to remember a grandchild’s ball game or dance recital? Are different sides of the fridge reserved for family matters and other areas designated for church or civic meetings? Or is this chilled billboard space fair game for any and all information that will adhere to the surface?

I spend a bit of time each night with the doors open looking ‘in’ my fridge. I clearly don’t spend enough time looking at the stuff attached to the outside. If I paid more attention to what’s on the outside, I’m told I wouldn’t have to ask as many questions about what’s scheduled for the near future.

Is the light on?

In a world of emails, texts and instant messaging, I’m rather glad we still communicate via notices on the fridge. Granted, it’s old school and the various notes and magnets invariably get knocked to the floor or lose their stickiness.

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You know what else makes it worthwhile? It’s personal. Whether it be a grandchild’s coloring that’s mildly outside the lines, or a handwritten note from a daughter thanking you for fixing her car — it’s life-stuff that matters.

We’d probably all be happier and healthier, if we spent less time looking in the fridge and more time noticing the stuff that’s attached to the outside.

Here’s the ultimate fondest fridge discovery. A note on the outside, informing you that your favorite dessert is on the inside. That’s almost as exciting as those frozen Kool-Aid pops used to be.

Here’s the deal, though. If you never stop to read or observe life’s little moments, you miss a lot. And much of it is right there in front of you, as if it’s attached to the fridge.

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