Kathy (Petrowitz) Aarseth

Barnes County

Sisters’ Week at the Cabin

As one of eight Petrowitz sisters—there was also one boy—Kathy Petrowitz Aarseth is still close with her sisters. “My oldest sister has a lake home in Minnesota. We go down to the lake for ‘Sisters’ Week.’ We take our mother with. No children. We do a lot of card-playing, and we go out on the pontoon and have a great time. I look forward to it. You know, another reason that we thought about doing this was, why wait for a funeral to get together? Let’s get together now and make memories. Two of [my sisters] I don’t see very often because one is in Florida and one is in Montana. The other ones are all in a 60-mile radius.” Looking forward to next year? “Absolutely.”

Kathy was born in 1955 and grew up in Fingal. Divorced, she has four children. For her, success has been seeing them graduate from college. “I got a registered nurse and a civil engineer and a psychologist and my youngest one is working at a mortgage house.”

Fingal was a good place to raise them. “They had ice skating in the winter; they would flood a rink in town. We had peewee baseball. They rode bike, they rollerbladed. It’s just a less hectic life. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Especially when the kids were growing up, you know, I think they got in a little less trouble than if [they] were in a bigger city.”

Kathy is currently Fingal’s postmaster, but her position may be jeopardy. “I’ve been there for 34 years, but the postal system is trying to save money so they’re knocking hours down.”

Whatever happens, Kathy will remain in Fingal. “It’s my home. I’m still best friends with my neighbor that I met when I was three. I love this town. There’s not much left,” she chokes up, “but my whole life’s been here. Good memories.” Kathy looks out through the large windows in her dining area that show the east and west: “Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Some of them are almost breathtaking. Just beautiful.”

Interview: July 30, 2014