Blowin’ in the Wind

Alternative Dryer

Alternative Dryer

Laundry is just a part of life. Even with my very un-complicated laundry process, not to mention minimal amount of laundry, I would still rather do many other things besides actual laundry. However, I like clean clothes and bedsheets just like pretty much everyone else, so it always gets done. Letting the laundry languish until I am down to my most uncomfortable unmentionables is a practice I left behind shortly after college. Is there any way to make laundry more pleasant, less tedious?

Those who know me know that for many, many years I pined for the simplicity of both a clothesline and chickens of my own; two things that signified a backyard and a simpler lifestyle. And, lucky me, I got to have these for a couple of years. Having chickens of my own has forever made me elitist about grocery store eggs, although I am once again a consumer of those bland light yellow things. And having a clothesline made laundry a bit less tedious — it really did. I don’t exactly know why because logically it actually makes the process a bit more cumbersome, schlepping wet things outside instead of idly tossing them into a nearby machine. But something about stepping out, taking a few minutes to hang up things and then letting nature do the rest was more relaxing to me. The breeze did the majority of the work for me and watching the clean clothes gently sway outdoors was a calming sight.

Clotheslines were once the norm and now relics, favored by a select few. Even in dry climates, it is rare to see a clothesline even when more “progressive” green doodads (i.e. solar panels) are abundant. It is such a simple way to save energy (and money) and an easy way to just make laundry lighter, yet no longer common as a part of a household. I have heard of covenants across planned communities that actually ban clotheslines in their neighborhoods because they are unsightly. Seriously? We have gotten to a point where hanging our laundry outside is unattractive yet, culturally speaking, we air our proverbial “dirty laundry” out on the internet for all to see. Is it such a big deal in our culture of over-sharing to catch a glimpse of someone’s undergarments hanging in a backyard? Are we really that nosy to even notice? And, with some of the “fashions” displayed today, are we even shocked by underwear anymore? (I’m presuming that these laws are more about seeing underwear versus t-shirts or towels; I could be mistaken.) I think banning clotheslines in backyards is ridiculous, however I just read my lease, and we cannot have clothes hanging on our balconies either so apparently I too am one of the victims of the ban.

Now laundry is back to being just another chore, another task to cross off the to-do list. I have fond memories of the clothesline and its simple help. I know that one day, I will again embrace this “green” technology making laundry day a bit more pleasant.

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