Dorothy was our neighbor on Dekist Street. Max used to call her Dorfy. I learned a lot living next door to Dorothy for those five years. She taught me a trick to make a box cake taste like it came from a bakery. She taught me when to plant and when to water and how to deal with worms in pumpkin vines. Having worked as a hospice social worker, too, she walked us through the last weeks and months of Chris’s dad’s life with such love and understanding and advice. And she seemed to always have pockets full of fruit snacks at just the right times. Dorothy and her husband, Dave, became our dear friends during our years of babies, business school, and house projects gone awry. When I think of Dorothy, though, there is one image that sticks more than any other. I picture Dorothy hanging her laundry on her backyard clothesline on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and it makes me so happy.
So today, I hung my very first clothesline. Out of necessity, really. Our dryer is broken, and the repair man comes next Tuesday. In the meantime, we have sheets and towels to wash, not to mention the piles of dirty clothes leftover from our trip to Michigan (more soon…). I’ll admit, anxiety came before relief when I considered a week with no dryer. But then I thought of the clothesline. Our things could sun dry! If Dorothy could do it, so could I. So I spent the afternoon toting my basket and clothespins to and from the laundry room, watching our t-shirts fly and dry in the breeze. And I thought of Dorfy, our dear, dear friend.