Crafter chilled at use of refrigerator as scrapbook

Burt's Eye View

“You should scrapbook your memories,” our enthusiastic crafter friend said.

“We do.” I led her to the refrigerator. “Isn’t it a beaut?”

She peered on either side of the fridge. Stood on tiptoes to peek at the top. Scratched her head. “All I see is the refrigerator.”

“The refrigerator IS our scrapbook.” I plucked an elephant magnet off the front. “This was from our trip to Norfolk zoo. And this rhino magnet comes from the Cleveland zoo. Oh, I picked up this little number in Toronto when I saw ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ And what trip to Canada would be complete without a stop at Niagara Falls?” I tapped the fridge magnet shaped like the Horseshoe Falls.

She shuddered. “There’s a plush head smoking a pipe under the door handle,” she said.

“That’s Sherlock Holmes. My grandson picked it out for me for Father’s Day a couple years ago. Ah, the memories hanging on this door.”

“I don’t think you understand,” our crafter friend said. “A scrapbook is, you know, a book. You take things like photos and newspaper clippings, stick them with adhesive onto a page, and create fancy frames and decorations to go around them.”

“Right over here.” I pulled a magnetic picture frame off the fridge. A comic fluttered to the floor. “Oops. Terry really liked that strip of ‘Arlo and Janis,’ so she clipped it and stuck it on the fridge.”

“In a scrapbook, you get to adhere words to the scenes so you can commemorate the occasion.”

“So do we,” I said. “If you can’t spell it out with the 6-inch alphabet letters, you can use the poem-builder set. It has all kinds of words and phrases all ready to go.”

I brushed past the clip magnets that hold the bills, library slips and to-do lists I need to plan my day. “These letters are my favorite — Terry spelled out ‘I love you.’ If she spells out ‘coffee,’ that’s my cue to sit quietly in the next room until she’s had her second cup. These refrigerator scrapbooks are marriage-savers.”

Our crafter friend pinched the bridge of her nose. “It’s not a scrapbook.”

“I know. It’s better,” I said. “You don’t have to dig it out. It’s already on display. You can see a lot more material all at once, like this really cool thank you note one of the kids at church made for us. I forget now what we did. Or which kid.”


“You can see the giraffe I drew in fourth grade right underneath the pizza coupons held up by the mortgage guy’s magnet. And here’s something else your version of the scrapbook can’t do — magnetized shelves. You can display knicknacks right on the side of your refrigerator scrapbook.”

“I have a headache.”

I popped the tin off the fridge, slid it open and shook out an aspirin.

“What color is your refrigerator anyway?” she said.

“White. Or was it tan? I’m pretty sure it’s not yellow. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I think you can get a peek if you take down that magnetic bottle opener next to the Tetris game pieces.” I lowered my voice to a whisper. “Actually, I’m not certain it’s in there or if those are just a bunch of magnets formed in the shape of a fridge.”

She took the ibuprofen and scrammed before I had a chance to show her our auxiliary scrapbook — the freezer in the garage.

— Hang something on Cole’s fridge at, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.