Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What is your "one thing"?

I used to work in an elementary school, with an inspiring collection of children and an amazing team of educators.  At a training session one morning the facilitator asked us all to stand, one at a time, to introduce ourselves and to share a little bit of ourselves, as a way of getting to know each other.  She asked, "if you could bring one thing from your home that best represented you, what would that one thing be?" 

All of the participants then shared their "one thing"…many said "the family photo that is on the fireplace mantle" (please refer to my "NOW is the time for family photos" blog entry for my commentary on the importance of having family portraits!).   Others' replies ranged from sentimental to humorous…the family Bible, the family dog, the quilt hanging on their wall, the alarm clock, the bottle of wine on the counter, a tattered stuffed toy…and many spoke thoughtfully of the things they had inherited from their family members; old writing desks, a crackled, antique mirror, a special storybook or a doll they had played with as a child. 

When my turn came, I stood and said…"my name is Kris, and I would bring my refrigerator."  After the laughter subsided, (I think they assumed I had a really deep connection with my food), I explained…  "My refrigerator door is cluttered and is full, much like my life…and it IS my mantle…it IS my storybook…and it represents my reflections, my inspirations, my 'Bible', my childhood…and my family!"  It is me; imperfect and sometimes chaotic, a collection of things that have touched me, influenced me, and ultimately created me…
I have a note, as an example, written on a piece of torn paper bag, I wrote 8 years ago, thanking my mom for bringing me lunch while I was working (she had it pinned to her frig for years, as if it was a special prize…and when she died, I kept it, and pinned it up on mine, as a way of reminding me to be grateful for all the little things in life). 
I have magnets from many of the places we have visited, from "Going to the Sun" road in Glacier National Park (where I tested my fear of heights), to a brewery in Pittsburgh, PA (where I tested my limited beer drinking abilities with my Dad the year he passed away), to a little glass sea turtle from Coast Rica (where we helped baby turtles to find the sea)!
I have photos galore…of our beautiful girls, and our handsome son-in-law, and of our wonderful nieces and nephews (who braved the cold weather to allow me to experiment with my camera), and photos of some of our furry animals! 
And quotes…lots of quotes…words that inspire or encourage me…and some that just make me smile! 
There is no "ME" on my refrigerator…but, collectively it represents all of me, a jumbled, crazy mess at times, full of adventures, hopes & dreams, memories and honest love. 
I wonder, friends...if you could share one thing from your home that best represented you, what would that one thing be?


  1. this just made me cry....i mean terribly break down in an emotional mess. i love this blog entry. i miss nana. i love your fridge. and i love you.

  2. you and i were an emotional mess all evening, beginning with toy story 3!
    i miss nana (& papa) too...and i love YOU!