Reflections on an icebox door
''Perhaps it's on the icebox door,'' I replied when my son called for information about picking up his aunt and uncle at the airport. Of course, the fact that he was downtown (and the one to pick them up) and I was at work didn't help. But when he called again after I returned home, I did find the time and flight number firmly affixed to the cluttered door of the icebox by a touring-car-shaped magnet (advertisement courtesy of our automobile repair shop).
The children, as I think of them, even though their ages range from 22 to 43, still groan when I say ''icebox'' - and I do know how to spell refrigerator - but the word ''icebox'' holds a charm for me. Perhaps it is the memories of racing out to the delivery wagon with water dripping from its sides and watching the iceman with his pick chipping out the exact weight of ice requested by Mother. With his tongs he would grab the chunk of ice and heave it onto his leather-covered shoulder and stride to the house. There was also eager anticipation, for we were allowed to take the cold, clear slivers of ice. How good they seemed as we sucked them, especially on hot summer days.
Memory fails when I try to remember how long we have been using magnets on the refrigerator door, converting it to a large bulletin board. However, one magnet from a local bank proudly advertises ''Our Seventy-fifth Year,'' an anniversary that occurred in 1967. And magnets come in all shapes and colors; ''decorator magnets'' ensure that your decor will be organized. But my magnets are a collection: those from the church fair - a fat red lobster, made of ball fringe, and a Santa Claus with a flowing white beard; small paintings from New Mexico; one shaped like the state of New Hampshire; daisy magnets with a hook attached; magnets with clips attached; a Play Doh gingerbread man made by my four-year-old granddaughter, while a whole fleet of touring cars reflects my trips to the repair shop. My neighbor with preschool children has an alphabet made of plastic with little magnet inserts and plastic figures that allow them to make all kinds of ''paintings'' on the door.
I remember my children using potholders with magnets in them to play a quiet indoor game of ''hit the target'' until I discovered that the magnets, although covered with cloth, were chipping the enamel on the door.
The other day a friend came into the kitchen and remarked, ''Your refrigerator door looks just like mine.'' Really I hope hers isn't that messy! I do strive to remove out-of-date notices, but then there are some that I always enjoy seeing: cards that say, ''Any day is a good day to have a Mother.'' ''Is there life before breakfast?'' ''Old friends are worth keeping'' (a reminder from the National Trust for Historic Places); the colorful National Wildlife emblem; favorite post cards; the dump hours. ...
Occasionally I think about Pompeii and wonder, if any such natural catastrophe occurred here, whether archaeologists would pause when they found my icebox door. What would they deduce about my life style?