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The refrigerator finally died recently. The top freezer stopped working weeks ago, but we hoped we could keep the fridge going a little longer. No such luck. Instead, we were out refrigerator shopping last month. The new one was chosen and delivery scheduled. Everything was going well right through the complete refrigerator clean out and clean off. Every magnet, photo, drawing, ribbon, news clipping, post card and other memorabilia swept off the doors and unceremoniously dumped into a basket. After the new fridge was installed and the beer chilling, it was time to go through the baskets. Weeks later, I’m still going through the baskets. It was easy to just scoot things around when I cleaned the old fridge. Each new event or drawing would get squeezed in among the things we brought with us from our last house. After more than eight years on one refrigerator, it all came down. The swim meet ribbons, old magnet calendars from stores that don’t even exist, the post cards (yes, plural) from my one and only trip to Lambeau Field, a newspaper clipping from my son’s first place in the Pinewood Derby. There’s a commercial on a streaming music site that identifies the signs of “busy adulthood” but the university has it wrong. A full refrigerator with lots of mementos, drawings by my children and grandchildren aren’t signs of being too busy, they are signs of a full life and memories that may have been lost if not for these visual reminders. The reminders that I walked past 10 times a day but until the new refrigerator arrived, I never really looked at them. The new refrigerator has two doors and a lower freezer door. It’s great for food, but it poses a huge problem for replacing all the memories that adorned the old fridge. The new configuration means some things just won’t fit. And which things should go into storage? Which really should have hit the trash long ago? The drawing of the family dog and the page ripped from a coloring book that has my granddaughter’s first handwriting laboriously inscribed at the top — they just don’t fit the new fridge, yet. I also think I have to decide between which postcards to return to the fridge. How many photos and postcards of family vacations do we really need and how many can go up to the attic storage box? Is there a rule somewhere that bumper stickers should go on actual bumpers? Mine are on the fridge and held up with magnets. Just can’t quite commit to sticking them on a bumper. I’ll figure it out eventually but we’ve only had it since, oh, 2004? Every time I clean out the inside of the fridge, I make a note to myself that I should date the items that end up in the dark recesses of my fridge. Some things are pretty obviously old — rice really shouldn’t be slimy and that gray lump? Some things I just don’t want to know what they were. Now that I’m working my way through years of memorabilia, it occurred to me that I should date the things that go on the fridge as well. My granddaughter drew that picture for me in, well, she’s in junior high now, so it was a while ago. I can’t remember the last time I lived in any one place for more than a few years. That’s compounding the problem since most stuff goes in a box when we change addresses. A few things get picked out and hung on the fridge but then other things happen and the boxes were never completely unpacked. Now that I haven’t changed my address in years, neither has my fridge changed. But I’ve decided, yes, both post cards from Lambeau Field are going back up, somewhere.....