Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

On the fridge: Photos, poetry, winter prose (rules)… February 15, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Love this art of my granddaughter on my eldest daughter and son-in-law’s fridge. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo February 2022)

IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, your refrigerator functions as more than a food storage unit. Mine also functions as an art gallery, a photo gallery, a place to post notices and information.

One of several poems I’ve crafted with magnetic words on my refrigerator. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo)

On my fridge door, you’ll currently see six family photos, an inspirational quote, a clipped poem from my mom’s collection and two short poems I crafted from magnetic words.

Looking for clues in the “Gangster’s Gold” Mailbox Mystery now available (along with other mysteries) on Etsy at Orange Guy Games. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo November 2021)

Shift to the not-so-publicly-visible side and you’ll find an assortment of newspaper clippings (including my pastor’s column about mental health), the “We Remember Them” poem, a recycling calendar, two certificates for completing the Cannon Falls Library Mailbox Mysteries, an email about details for staying at the lake cabin…

And then, clipped under a sheaf of papers is a City of Faribault newsletter, Snow Season—HELPFUL TIPS & INFORMATION. Nine snow/winter-related stories fill both sides of the standard sheet of paper. Yes, there’s a lot to remember when you live in a state of winter for perhaps six months (or more, depending).

The articles are titled:

  • Parking Restrictions & Snow Emergencies
  • Pushing Snow into Streets is Prohibited
  • Help Keep Fire Hydrants Cleared from Snow
  • Clear Sidewalks of Snow and Ice
  • Avoid Frozen Water Pipes
  • Proper Mailbox Installation will Help Keep it Upright this Winter
  • Shoveling Driveway Openings
  • Children Stay Clear of the Street
  • Keep Trash & Recycling Bins Out of the Street
Best to keep vehicles off streets during or after a snowfall or risk a ticket and/or towing. ((Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo October 2020)

So basically keep your vehicles (during snow emergencies), garbage cans, snow and kids off streets.

Clear fire hydrants near your home because, you know, if firefighters need to dig out a hydrant, your house could burn down.

Remove snow and ice from sidewalks so pedestrians (especially letter carriers) don’t slip and fall and break a bone. And as long as we’re talking mailboxes, shovel the snow away from them. If a snowplow hits your curbside mailbox (note, you must have it properly installed), call the city.

Don’t blame the city if your water pipes freeze. They’ve advised you to insulate them and take other precautions to prevent freezing.

As any Minnesotan knows, the worst thing is to have the driveway all cleared and then the snowplow plows the end shut with a ridge of snow. Here Randy waits for the plow to finish clearing the street. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo February 2020)

Also, do not blame city snowplow drivers for plowing snow across the end of your driveway within minutes of your having opened your driveway. That one’s really tough to take. Too many times the plow arrives shortly after all snow has been removed from driveway’s end. Then it’s back to shoveling or blowing, mean-spirited words unheard over the scrape of plow blade upon asphalt.

I’m grateful for the City of Faribault drivers who clear our streets in winter. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo October 2020)

The city is, after all, grateful for your cooperation as noted in this sentence of gratitude:

Thank you very much for your assistance and patience in getting through another Minnesota winter and plowing season.

You’re welcome, City of Faribault. My words, not theirs.


TELL ME: What’s on your fridge? Anything snow/winter-related?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “On the fridge: Photos, poetry, winter prose (rules)…”

  1. I used to have a ton of kid art on my fridge! But the one we got about 8 years ago doesn’t have a front that holds magnets; only the sides. And one side is against the wall, so we’re down to just a calendar and some pot holders. I miss having room for those random fun bits of joy!

  2. I have magnets from my travels/places I have lived – ahhh the memories. Some of the magnets are for AC companies, Real Estate Agency, etc. I have pictures too. We also have a fridge that nothing magnetizes to the front and one side is against a wall. I usually prep/cook near that side of the fridge so plenty of time to look and reflect on the people I love and the places I am or have been. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  3. Valerie Says:

    A few years ago I decided to keep the front of the frig clear…except for our Christmas card with the photos of our grandchildren.
    However, on the side I have photos of my two boys together, and a few random magnets that have a story.

  4. Sandra Says:

    Since being hoa board treasurer, mine has become a depository of vendor business cards and other references like model numbers and power of my old appliances for easy translation to my package recipes. Must do something about that. We went through our frig poetry phase though. Can also relate to quick clips closures and magnets from my CO trips. Uncluttered is a lifetime goal.

  5. I find other peoples refrigerators and what they hang on it interesting. My mom has a card I made her on it. I pulled out my first grey hair and glued it to a card saying “I’m sure this isn’t the first grey hair I’ve given you”!

    • Oh, my, I’m laughing aloud at the card you created for your mom. And I love that she appreciates it enough to post it in a place of honor on her fridge. A few years back, I stopped dyeing my hair, now proclaiming that “I earned every single one of these grey hairs.” I actually like my hair color and stylists have complimented it. (Not that I’ve had a haircut since the pandemic began.)

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