Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Let It All Hang Out!
The laundry that is!
Nature’s clothes dryer! Solar dryer! Clothesline! Whatever you call it - letting it all hang out is a quiet, fossil fuel-free, frugal, natural way to dry clothes!
I remember as a little girl my mother would hang laundry out on the line. There was a bag hanging on a wire contraption that held the clothespins. Then we moved from that house to the gray house… and the clothesline poles leaned against the back of the house the entire time we lived in the gray house. When we moved to my grandfather’s farm… where I’m sure in bygone times my grandmother hung clothes on the line…the clothesline poles also moved with us. I’m not sure where they wound up…maybe in the barn or Quonset… but they were never planted & clothes were never hung on the farm.
On beautiful, warm, sunny days I love to hang out the laundry. I love the smell of sun-dried laundry! I’ve been fortunate enough to live in homes where I had access to a clothesline, although I admit - I’ve not always used them for one reason or another. Usually just out of sheer laziness since I had an electric dryer at my disposal.
Years ago when I lived in “Smallville“, Nebraska - my husband (now ex) put a clothesline in the backyard. It was all cute with an 1940’s washing machine full of dirt - planted with petunias as I recall - at one end. I used the clothesline… but there were a few problems with it. 1) Three small children who would tear thru the yard at break-neck speed. 2) A dog who would chase these three small children & often decided that any laundry within reach was hers to play with. 3) The neighbor’s tree hung directly over it & the birds thought it was a place for them to relieve themselves!
There’s a clothesline in the backyard here - & it’s been utilized on days when the weather permits. I hang shirts on hangers & hang them on the line; hate putting my jeans in the dryer so they get hung on the line as well; sheets, towels & jammies… nearly everything but my under things. Our neighbors on either side are single men… I don’t think they need to see what I wear under my clothes! Do you recall seeing photos of clotheslines strung between buildings in the city that are run on pulleys? Underwear flapping in the breeze above the street for the whole world to see?? Modesty prevails!
We went to an auction earlier this year & I got a retractable clothesline - new in the box! This will be attached to the cabin & either a tree or maybe one of the clothesline poles (from the farm) so I’ll be able to hang out our laundry! I also need to “invest” a few bucks & buy a folding dryer rack so I can dry clothes during snowy weather. Nothing worse than freeze-dried clothes!
Sadly, there are some cities or new housing developments that do not allow clotheslines - because they’re “eyesores”. What would our grandmothers say about that? With the rising cost of electricity (or gas - if you happen to have a gas dryer) - why not use something free… like the sun & breeze?