Today's word is vädra which has no translation, but we'll call it weathering. It means opening up the bedroom windows and getting some of the outside weather in, to freshen the place up, while making the bed. You know how sometimes you go into a bedroom and it has that “somebody slept here” smell? Start with a teenage boy's room, for the full effect, then switch to your own. It's quite nice to air that all out, and get a fresh start on the day.
Striving for a nice-smelling bedroom is hardly uncommon here in the States. Think about all those detergent commercials, the fabric softeners, the “fresh, spring scent, as if dried outdoors”. In Sweden, most do dry their sheets outdoors. Have you ever tried it? It's one of the most wonderful scents that no laundry product can match.
That scent is also my favorite childhood memory. Sometimes I'll catch a whiff of it somewhere (not while doing my laundry I mean) and I'm transported to back to the days of spending the nights at Farmor and Farfar's house. The beds always smelled so nice. Farmor also let me help hang the sheets outdoors and let me walk between them while they were drying, a complete no-no at my house. “You'll get them dirty again!”
Here in Colorado, we get plenty of chances to dry our laundry outdoors, year round. Even if there's snow on the ground, you can still get it dry by the afternoon, if you hang them out early on a sunny day. We get a LOT of sun around here. Drying outdoors also makes cotton sheets “crunchy”, which I love. YellowBoy, who chooses his apparel by color (yellow!) AND texture, needs his sheets dried in the dryer. He can't understand why I buy only unscented laundry products (as in boring), but since the three of them all have eczema, I have to. (For more on my unique son and why he's called YellowBoy, read this post.)
I realize laundry isn't the most exciting topic for a post, but since it demonstrates a cultural difference, I went for it. It's been my goal during April to teach you not only words, but also about the Swedish culture, and share memories, all in one post. Your reward for doing laundry with me today is that tomorrow, I'm teaching you how to order a beer, just as I promised during our first lesson.
Be working on your “graduation” sentences, the button is almost done! Go back one post to catch what I'm talking about, as well as the reminder for the May 7th reflections posts.
What's your favorite childhood memory smell? Have you tried drying your sheets outdoors?