Deep River (Connecticut) Town Hall

Around the corner from my house live the Brainards. Joan Brainard hung her laundry on two long clotheslines every Monday and Thursday for almost 47 years. In 2007 I went to visit her and her husband, David, in their kitchen for an article I was writing for The New York Times about restrictions on laundry hanging and people who hang laundry. Joan had baked muffins. She was humble about her energy-saving habits, but she was consistent: her ability to stick with her routine inspired me and others in our neighborhood.

Yesterday I learned that Joan died several weeks ago. I ran into David out walking and asked why I hadn’t seen his wife with him. Her death came suddenly, one morning when she hadn’t felt well enough to walk. He found her collapsed in the kitchen.

I will miss her very much, even though I did not know her well. We are touched in so many odd and wonderful ways by the people in our neighborhoods. I will remain true to her laundry habit.

My story that included Joan’s laundry philosophy can be found¬†here.

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