The laundry hung on the line – flapped and snapped with the wind’s mood. Mary loved the smell of sunshine in her sheets and was convinced it made her dream of summer. Her little dog, Spike, a fearless terrier of questionable lineage, barked as the sheets tried to catch him. He growled fiercely at their attempts to ambush and tangle him.
“Shoo, Spike,” Mary waved the mutt off to protect her sheets. Particularly the oldens as she called them. Fragile, beautiful and made of linen and tatted lace and brought from Ireland by her great grandmother, Lil. So delicate and worn were they that Mary lovingly washed them in the tub with a drop of castille soap and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Mary only used these sheets when she was lonely and aching for family. Tom, was the love of her life and so she had traveled thousands of miles to be with him. To marry him and to make her life with him. Her family was distressed by Mary’s departure and warned of the isolation that would descend upon Mary once gone. But love knew no boundaries and Mary never regretted her decision to let love win out.
Still, a tear slid down Mary’s cheek as she caressed the sheet and she lay her face against it to feel the embrace of her faraway family. And she dreamed herself to the big kitchen table back there – for a laugh and a coffee.
“Hello, love,” Tom said, suddenly there and smiling great affection.
Mary’s eyes took in his beauty like a big gulping swig of joy. So tan, with a flash of white teeth and searing blue eyes – so able to wobble her knees with a wink. Mary flushed at being caught hugging her sheets and gave her true love a sheepish grin. “Caught again,” she giggled. “Hello, my darling,” and she traded her embrace with sheets for the man’s arms who gave her life meaning.