Comp drawn by Claudia Barac-Roth
When we reach the destination, I breathe more lightly, but who’s to say I may not breathe with ease along the way?
I saw mentioned with admiration in an obit for a very old woman in Northern Minnesota, a Swedish-American wife for many, many years, that on the day of her death, all of her husband’s shirts were meticulously pressed. A friend, a Minnesotan and Swedish-American herself – next generation, thankfully – remarked, “On the day I die, I hope none of my husband’s shirts are pressed.”
Where I grew up, Wisconsin, another state filled with Scandinavian-Americans who rate one’s worth on outward appearances, the orderliness of a woman’s clothing on the line determined her merit as a citizen. Nowadays, my midwestern life long behind me and living in an era where “house” and “work” find their way into sentences only when they accompany the word “help”, I hang my laundry inside. To be accurate, accuracy being another virtue in Midwestern communities, “toss”, “dangle” or “fling” would be words more on the mark than “hang”.