Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My clothesline

We have a clothesline.
Part of the reason is practical--why pay a utility company to dry clothes when the sun and wind can do it just as well? It saves money.
Another practical reason is wiring. Our dryer is electric. The way the joker wired our house, unless we haul out a couple industrial extension cords we can run one of our window units or the dryer. Not even two out of three. Which means on hot days if I want to dry clothes, they're hanging outside.
I'll admit as well there's a touch of environmentalist left in me. I joined the group back in college for a guy; I don't suppose this is a destructive lingering influence.

There are days, I'll admit, where hanging the clothes outside just seems like more than I can bear. Usually, though, I sigh and do it anyway.
It's a gentle reminder to slow down. Tossing everything into the dryer, turning the knob, and pushing a button does take much less time, but line-drying means I have time to contemplate. I listen to the sounds of our neighborhood--the birds, dogs, random lawnmowers, traffic from the mile road not so far away. I feel the sun on my limbs and usually the grass under my feet. I watch the children play in the yard, mentally prioritize the rest of my day, and generally stop to contemplate my world.
I used to do these things while walking my dog. When you're walking a dog, there are lots of other things you can't do--balance your checkbook, vacuum, even read a book. It's just you and the dog.
The same goes with hanging laundry. You can't make supper, or write out bills, or any other of the myriad obligations of motherhood. It's just you and the basket, damp clothes and your thoughts.

A little time to slow down in today's rushed world is generally a good thing.

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At 1:12 PM, Blogger Barb, sfo said...

My sentiments exactly.
As soon as it's warm enough so that the clothes won't freeze on the line, I am out there hanging them up. Yes, it takes more time. But it's time well spent. I like to take time to smell the laundry :)

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Melanie B said...

I use a dryer. The thought of using a line has never even contemplated crossing my mind. But I find the same relaxation you describe while I'm taking the clothes out of the dryer and folding them or hanging them.

I also love the way my mind dwells on my family as I tend to their clothes. As I fold the tiny baby clothes, my thoughts are on my little girl, how big she's getting, what she looked like when she wore that dress. And I love folding my husband's clothes, hanging the slacks and shirts that he wears to work so they look nice. I love being able to do the laundry for him so that he doesn't have to do that particularly hated task anymore. I'm always aware of it as an act of love.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Ah, the clothesline. It's one of my favoritest things, really, and I do some really clear-headed thinking out there. It makes me like laundry in a way I just can't when I'm inside.


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