Monday, August 21, 2006
There is something wonderful about a clothesline full of clean sheets, billowing in the breeze. This was my backyard line, yesterday.
I love the opportunity to hang out my laundry, especially sheets and towels. I try to do my washing on my days off work for this very reason. I know it is a luxury to have a dryer, especially in winter. But there is something more to line-dried clothes than merely saving a few bucks on the electric bill.
There is a certain ammount of nostalgia in line drying. It is something people have done for eons. A clothesline speaks of humanity. A basic need for cleanliness.
When I peg up my sheets, I can see my Mom and Grandma doing the same thing way back when. When I was little, we didnt have a washer and dryer. Mum hand washed in the sink and put things through the wringer. Then, summer or winter, things hung to dry. On wet days, we used an indoor drying rack. It was a set of maybe four or five lines strung up on a pully. We had 13 foot high ceilings, and the laundry would hang up above everything in the kitchen. You had to be careful what you cooked or the clothes would smell of dinner! In that old damp house, nothing ever really dried thoughroughly. Mum used to air our clothes out over the fire guard in the mornings so we would have warm dry things to put on.
Summer was the best though. When everything would go on the line. On wash day, you could always tell things about your neighbours. Who had boys or girls. Who had the most practical underpants. Who got their socks the whitest, and who washed their sheets regularly!
When I put out my washing nowadays, it fills me with a sence of practicality. I love to see it flapping in the breeze. Most of all I love the smell of the sun and wind that traps into the fabric. Not much can beat slipping between the sheets of a freshly made bed.
Well maybe slipping between them with somebody else!