Clothesline Success

The rain stopped some time in the night but we ended up getting a lot of it, 3/4 of an inch to an inch.  Things were wet this morning.  But the sky was clear and the wind blew.  It was a perfect day for the clothesline.

I got the first load of laundry in early and I was out by 10:00 AM.  OK, this may not sound early, but the sun doesn’t swing around to hit the clothesline until after 9:30, so it was just about right.  I ended up getting in three loads of laundry and hanging it all on the clothesline today.  The first and second loads were not a problem but by the third load I was running out of space.

We have one of those spider web type clotheslines, what they call an umbrella dryer.  I had to pull down some of the lightweight items that were dry from the first load both to create enough space and to provide the clothespins to hang everything.  We had waited all week–longer actually–to do laundry and we lucked out with the weather.  I just needed to puzzle out how to make room for everything for our family of four, including children who love mud.

Here is the basic set up:

Umbrella That Won't Work in the Rain

Umbrella That Won't Work in the Rain

The thing is, I love to use the clothesline.  It is meditative, I suppose, whatever one may think of that term.  I love the smell of wet clean clothes and the feel of sun and wind as I hang them.  I like to take the time outside to avoid using the dryer.  We have a dryer and we use it, but I am not a huge fan.

I like the clothesline because our clothes feel better when they have dried in the air.  I like it because our clothes last longer.  I don’t need to iron my shirts if I hang them out.  And best of all, we save energy.

Whenever I use the dryer (think January, cloudy, light snow, ten degrees) I have pangs at the electricity we use.  The clothesline gets the job done for free, with no air pollution and no wasted energy.  Is that a bargain or what?  My breakfast fuels the job, rather than Hydro Quebec’s dams or Vermont Yankee’s nuclear plant.  Seems smart to me.

I did spend some time today strategizing how to get it all done.  If the laundry stays out too late, the dew sets in and the drying gets negated.  I zipped out ten minutes before we planned to leave today (for a Halloween parade no less) to make sure I took down everything I could.  But in the end it all got dried, folded and put away for the next wearing.  I took the last pair of jeans down just before the sun ducked behind the trees.

I did wear mud boots to hang the shirts and towels and sheets.  The rain may have ended, but it left behind some saturated ground.  At one point I dropped a dish towel.  It was instantly muddy.  Now that’s a functional towel, I thought, if it can soak up moisture that quickly.  I held off on hanging that one.  It made its way back to the laundry bin.  It will have its day in the sun the next time.

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