Refrigerator Art

As noted in previous blog posts, I decided to create a list of “Nana’s Rules” for my grandchildren ….as a means for them to know very clearly what I believe in and who I am. I also decided that if Jesus had 12 disciples then 12 must be a good number …. And thus, there would be 12 Nana’s Rules.

I also wanted to find a way to make these rules “tangible” as in something my grandchildren could see and touch. I considered creating a written list to place on the refrigerator –sort of a “The Ten Commandments” document but that seemed so every formal and proper.. …and those who know me would probably agree “formal and proper” does not match my sometimes off-the-wall personality.

It was Lauren who gave me the idea of what to do. When she comes to visit me, I have a box of special magnets (or as she calls them, mag-ga-nets)—some are flowers… some stars…. some animals …..and so forth. She loves arranging the magnets on my refrigerator.

As I recently watched her play with them on my refrigerator, an idea began forming in my mind……….. why not create a set of “Nana’s Rules” magnets …. one magnet for each rule. And I wanted them to be interesting… not boring. …. something she would enjoy looking at.

I have 4 stuffed animals/dolls for the grandchildren to play with on their visits with me (more on that in another blog post.) There are Mr. Bunny, Mr. Bear, Sweetie Pie and Raggedy Andy. As a group, they are called “The Children” and it seemed only logical they form the pictorial basis for the rules.

I begin creating “situations” in my mind and tried to determine what picture could be taken that would convey the rule. Some rules did not lend themselves to a picture but many did.

Of course, trying to create a picture for some of the rules took a bit of imagination on my part and fortunately or unfortunately, the Gentleman Caller with Smiling Eyes (GCSE/September 2013) became involved with this.

The basis for what will be Nana’s Rule #7 was mentioned in my November 2012 post…To Walk on Water, You Gotta First Get Out of the Boat. That post contains musings about my realization that to create a new life (as I needed to do post my divorce), I had to be willing to “step out of the boat” … just as Peter did when he was with Jesus …and although I was not trying to walk to on water as Peter attempted to do…….I still needed to step out and walk on faith in my new life………and that I had to answer these questions ….. “What are my boats?  What I am not stepping out and trying to do differently?  And why?”

 As the idea of “stepping out of the boat” has been a very strong life principle for me for several years, I knew it had to be one of the 12 Nana’s Rules. The question was…. How to convey this on a 3 x 3 magnet?

Obviously I needed a boat. I do not have a boat but I was certainly not going to let that one small detail stop me. I decided I would take “The Children” up to Lake Allatoona to a marina and find a boat and put them on it and take a picture of them. In MY mind, it was going to be a quick and simple trip and no big deal. However, I made the mistake of sharing my excitement about this with the GCSE.

He listened to me prattle on about my plans and was quiet for a minute and the conversation then went something like this:

GCSE: I will drive you to the marina one day after work.

ME: You don’t have to do that. After all, I am the woman who went to Paris by herself and went to Europe 3 times by herself. I can drive to Lake Allatoona.

GCSE: (and I am paraphrasing a bit) Let me get this straight. You think you are going to drive up to a marina in a nearby county with a bunch of dolls and tell a stranger that you are going to take a picture of some dolls on his boat for some magnets for your granddaughter. Paris is one thing…going to up to strangers at a marina at Lake Allatoona with such a wild story is another thing.

I have to confess—I do not know whether it was the tone of his voice or just hearing the words said out loud, but I did begin to think that perhaps I should take him up on his offer. As noted in earlier posts, my mother did not raise a fool.

So, a couple of weeks ago we headed up to Lake Allatoona to a marina that I used to go to when I was married and we had boat. Of course, in spite of GPS and the GCSE, I managed to get us lost………and then when we got to the marina, I discovered that all the boat docks had gates and the gates were locked and no way was I going to take be able to take a picture of “The Children” in a boat next to the boat dock……….determined to not let this small roadblock stop me, I asked the GCSE to drive around in the parking lot and I spied several boats on trailers sitting in the parking lot and then I asked the GCSE to park his car while I jumped out to try to take a picture…… and I found a boat and put some of “The Children” in the bow of the boat in different  positions and was merrily taking pictures and the GCSE was walking around and muttering things about how they have security cameras everywhere and how many pictures did I really need to take …..  and we also had a couple of other interesting adventures which I will not go into details here (there were No Trespassing Signs and No Entry signs involved) but let me simply say that the Gentleman Caller with Smiling Eyes is a very patient man and very supportive of my off-the-wall ideas yet he also knows when to draw a line in the sand…… and he had to draw a line (or two) that afternoon ……..BUT…… I got some pictures and we did not get arrested nor are we on any You-Tube Videos (as far as I know) and he is still dating me …so…… life is good.

I sent my final set of pictures to Shutterfly and they worked their magic to create the magnets.  At the end of this post, you will see the final version of Nana’s Rules. You will note there are two pictures for Rule #1—Love One Another. One picture is a generic picture with “The Children” and the other is a picture very dear to my heart…of Sean and Lauren—and her demonstrating “Love One Another”.

These magnets now reside on my refrigerator. They are various sizes–some are 2 x 3 inches and some are 3 x 3. There are reasons for each of the rules … and I had to have a Rule 5a for Lauren and 5b for Sean….and in future posts, I will tell the story behind some of the rules…… and the importance of the rule……… some have a family history …. some are the result of the changes in my life these past 5 years..… but as a group, I hope they sum up the woman I am and if not that, then the woman I am striving to be. … and, perhaps most importantly, I hope they create the image of the woman I want my family and friends to carry in their hearts.

So, for your viewing pleasure… the pictorial version of Nana’s Rules…displayed most prominently where they belong…. on my refrigerator.