Thursday, March 25, 2010
I know, I've written this before, but I adore hanging my family's laundry out. It's one of my favorite household chores, so much so that it's more of a ritual than a chore. Because of snow and lack of long hours of sunshine in the particular spot where our laundry tree is located, we don't hang out the laundry much past October, and we don't begin again until about March, so with the arrival of spring, comes the arrival of flapping sheets. It's a great time to be outside, to pause a bit, soak in some sunshine and sea breezes, talk to the birds that always come out to see what I'm up to, and it's time I take to observe the subtle day-by-day changes in the garden. It's also an act of sustainability. While saving money on energy, we're also being gentler to our clothing, and saving wear on our dryer. Our laundry tree was a bargain, compared to our dryer, at only $35 from a local hardware store. It holds four large loads of laundry at a time, too. It's also becoming an endangered act, as too many neighborhoods are trying to forbid hanging laundry out, which of course is absurd and outrageous, but it's spurred a movement of clothesline activists, of which I suppose I'm a part, as are many of our friends and family.
I just can't imagine why people get bent out of shape about laundry on the line at all. I mean, I am so grateful to be able to have clean water that is pumped into my home, into my front loader washer, wash my laundry, where I can then hang it all outside in the gorgeous sunshine, where I listen to the birds and watch the bees. Just look at how gorgeous laundry hanging out can be. I'm even the type that feels a thrill when I see fresh, new wood clothespins for sale, or cotton clothesline (I get mine locally at Reny's, but this is a good source, too.) We also have a large ash wood drying rack and I dream of having something like this--
photo from cherrymenlove
photo from Ursula Haigh
Yes, my fantasies include drying laundry. That's how much I love it. (They also include an Aga. I have a domestic heart, I think.)
It's a simple pleasure, for sure, hanging out the laundry. The crisp cloth napkins always smell fresh and never need ironing, nor do the table cloths. The joy of turning down the bed in the evening and sliding in between sheets that are scented of the sea and sun, especially on hot summer nights is one simple pleasure I am very grateful to have, and it's truly a rite of spring around these parts.