Tuesday, August 07, 2007

clothes line

There are some communities that have ordinances prohibiting the hanging of clothes out on a line to dry. I even know of one suburban woman who runs a line below the top of her fence (she must have very high fences) so that nobody will see her clothes line -- unless they look into her yard from their upstairs windows!
Honestly! If we're going to get all "private" about stuff, I should hardly think the clothes line is where we should start!
Some of the most ordinary and mundane things turn out to be pretty pleasing. There are places that I love, towns with narrow, winding, cobbled streets, so narrow that one can almost reach across from an upstairs window and touch the house opposite! I can't picture these streets without clothes lines stretched over head in every direction!
I sometimes pass the odd resisting clothes line in a rural yard on my drive to work. They are increasingly rare, believe it or not. Even as energy costs rise, people are using clothes dryers more and more.
Oh, I admit I speculate on the occupations and peccadilloes of the occupants of the house, based on the assorted wardrobes I see hanging on the line. Farmer? Mechanic? Babies? Well, at least I'm not snooping in their mailbox or picking through their garbage!
What does my laundry tell about me? I guess it would depend on which load has found itself out to hang on the line, doesn't it? You might be getting a very warped image of me...

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Blogger Randa said...

Soccer players, restaurant workers, women who work in offices...that's our telltale laundry...

We don't even OWN a dryer. Gave it away years ago. We hated how much energy it sucked up. So we use the outdoor line in good weather, and a custom-made (by my hubby) drying rack beside the woodstove in the winter. I guess sometimes it is a bit of a pain, but COMPLETELY worth it. We have absolutely no intention of ever using a dryer again!

2:29 p.m.  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

hmm... you seem to be much more of a pastels girl than i would have guessed, based on this load. :)

5:34 p.m.  
Blogger Crafty Gardener said...

I love to hang my laundry out to dry ... gives it such a lovely fresh scent ... way better than any fabric softener can ever give you.

7:05 p.m.  
Blogger Melanie Rimmer said...

Ordinances like this make me mad. How dare the law require people to choose the more environmentally destructive option?

9:44 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

randa, I work with plenty of women who look askance at one of our peers who has never owned a dryer! We don't realize how warped and unnecessary some of our "necessities" have become, only because we are susceptible to keeping up appearances or having what everybody else has or to advertizers of the latest and best thing we should acquire...I envy you your woodstove -- the best heat in the world!

Ah, you see Kim, that's this load. I do have darker aspects to my laundry and personality...LOL

crafty, I think clean clothes are just supposed to smell of sunshine...plain and simple!

Yup, melanie, I agree. There are so many stupid laws, so many things we think have to be this way only, if we don't stop to think about what we are really doing!

12:20 p.m.  
Blogger Connie said...

Hi - stopping by from Garden Voices.
I have to tell you, when I saw this photo I had an immediate, sweet nostalgia come over me, as I remembered all the clothes we hung on the line back on the N.Dak. prairie where I grew up. Even more so since I lost my mother this year. Thanks for the memories!

12:36 p.m.  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Kati, I figured as much! And if we see all of those other loads... well, then you are a much braver woman than I, to be sharing them. :)

5:24 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

connie, I'm starting to wonder if it will be only women of a 'certain age' who will have happy memories of clothes on the line, and yet it's such a pure and simple joy!

Kim,I'm not so brave, perhaps more likely crazy. Filled out a fun personality quiz recently and the verdict is I have histrionic borderline personality disorder: "You need attention! You behave inappropriately provocatively and seductively towards others in order to draw attention to yourself. Your theatrical language makes everything sound a bazillion times more exciting than it really is!" 'Twas meant to be a tongue-in-cheek diagnosis, but...maybe not!

10:30 a.m.  
Blogger Ki said...

We live in a fairly new suburban subdivision and unfortunately I think the neighbors would look askance at laundry drying on a clothesline. However my wife hates the dryer so much, she asked me to buy several collapsible drying racks that we set up on the deck and haven't used the dryer since. The racks are barely visible above the deck railings and the deck is surrounded with shrubs and trees so the neighbors can't see anything. It's a good solution for not having a clothesline but still drying clothes in the sun. I'm waiting to see if it will make a difference in the electric bill. I think with people thinking green more and more the clothesline will make a limited comeback. People are lazy and it's so much easier to just grab the clothes from the washer and place it into the dryer.

8:07 p.m.  
Blogger kate said...

That is a lovely sight. Luckily we can still have clotheslines, though they are disappearing. I use this metal fold-up contraptions which are good for hiding all my worn-out underwear, but are constantly getting blown over. Until I moved here, I had never used a drier. My sense is that clothes - especially bedlinens and towels - last far longer if hung to dry. Besides, I enjoyed it - a peaceful moment sometimes in a busy day.

11:00 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

ki, shame on the neighbors for such shallow judgments! While drying clothes out on the line is a sensible green idea, it is also a very human thing, and I love the shared beauty of it. We all have underwear, for example, some just more interesting underwear than others, perhaps!

kate, I swore as a youngster when hanging clothes out on the line for my mother, that I would never do this when I grew up. I never imagined that I would enjoy the peacefulness of it. It really is an enjoyable job and I relish the sun on my face, the wind rustling through the trees and the clouds sailing by above in the blue sky as I work. And it bears repeating: nothing beats the scent of sunshine in line-dried sheets!

12:56 p.m.  

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