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Refrigerator magnets are ubiquitous things. You can’t escape a gift shop without grabbing a magnet or two to mark your travels. They can also help turn your fridge into an art gallery and appointment minder. I tend to be anti-clutter and a minor control freak but also pragmatic (it IS a convenient place to put to-do lists), so I’ve given up the territory of the freezer door in exchange for keeping the lower fridge door clear.

For this month’s “Know Me By My,” I’ve cleared out all the lists and doctor’s notes (you don’t need nor want to know when my next mammogram is, I’d wager), and of course, arranged everything for a better photo. All that is to say that no, my magnets are never this neat, and yes, I did clean up all the fingerprint smudges before taking the shot. But no matter how they are arranged, you can glean a bit about me from them:

magnets

So what do you see? A woman with connections to locations throughout the continental U.S. At least half my family lives in the Lone Star State, so lots of people in Texas do—in fact—love me, while my in-laws live just up the seaboard from us in the city of brotherly love. My former life as an active duty Marine took me to the Outer Banks, and I have work-related ties to Cape Canaveral in Florida. I could have spent a week at the Kennedy Space Center, alone.

While I’ve done a fair bit of traveling abroad, I’ve collected magnets from only a few destinations. Did you know you can learn how to pour a proper Guinness pint at their factory in Dublin? Not only did I get a certificate, but I also got to drink the pint! Hubs and I also took a long-overdue honeymoon trip to the sunny Mediterranean. See the black and silver castle magnet? That’s the La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, which has been in a constant state of active construction since 1882. Our hotel was positioned right across from it, so we had a wonderful rooftop view of Antoni Gaudi’s brilliant work.

Have you picked out the photo magnets yet? Those would be two of my three kiddos, although the magnets are now about twenty years old, as are the kids. My older daughter is wearing red in her photo, foreshadowing her eventual college alma mater. Speaking of, did you see? I’ve got a magnet for that, too!

Some of these magnetized tchotchkes are contributions from my husband’s bachelor days. He gets credit for sticking Bob Marley on the fridge, but he also gets blame for the creepy gnome girl. I think he brought it back from Norway, where he spent a couple of years working at a pizza shop.

The rest of what you see is rather utilitarian, I’m afraid: some magnetized hematite stones that tend to slide down the fridge if not positioned in just the right way, a measuring conversion chart that I often forget we have and thus always wing it, and a science-geek reminder to always strive for your best self. Believe me, I try!

Come back next month for KMBM: Movies!