22 June 2009

hung out to dry

Thank blogger Birdman for this idea.

We didn't have a clothes line when I was a kid. Fact is, I can't hardly think of any of my friends who did. My aunt from Van Buren did...I remember running head-on into the steel pipe out in the backyard. I remember my grandparent's clothes line well too, all the sheets strung out across the backyard and granddad's overalls hung by the straps as if to have some sort of specter holding them up.

When my wife and I moved into our little old house, in this quaint little neighborhood, there was a round contraption mounted to the side of the barn. It did not look familiar to me, but evidently is was a clothes line...you know, the type that is spring loaded and winds itself back up after you've pulled it out. It had lost its spring, so hanging clothes didn't work well. A few years ago, my wife said....can we please get a clothes line? So, we went to the hardware and bought the last of the only model they carried...another spring loaded jobbie.

And now she uses it in our backyard frequently.....in fact I had to put my foot down once when I came home from work and saw my undies flapping in the breeze. Not my underwear, but everything else is fair game.

I know these things seem old fashioned, and unfortunately many subdivision control ordinances won't even allow them. But it's probably one of the easiest, environmentally conscious things that you can do. And it saves on your electric/gas bill big time!

And you can't beat that fresh air smell. Seriously. How many of you older folks out there remember from clothes line days the sheets on your bed scented in outdoorsy freshness? Does it take you back to yesteryear? You know, as cheap as clothes lines can be to install, maybe we should start a movement, or some kind of give-a-way program to get these things into the hands of those who could most benefit. What would we call it?

I sat in on a lecture regarding historic preservation being the ultimate answer to reduce, reuse, recycle and it would seem like simple things our grandparents did were right on the money for true stewardship. He mentioned keeping a couple of chickens at our home too.....our kids would love it, but I don't think the neighbors would.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see my grandma first taking a damp cloth and gingerly running end to end, arm in the air wiping down each of 4 wire clothes lines before she would hang any clothes. On days when sheets or my grandpas heavy railroad bib overalls were hung out, wooden props were strategically placed to support the extra weight on the line. The clothes pins were the simple wooden pegs not the fancy spring loaded pins. You didn't run in or around the area of the yard where the clothesline was on wash days. On days when they were empty they served as something to throw the baseball over or to run under with a stick from the old maple trees making the lines bounce.

vanilla said...

What? You draw the line at the undies?

I remember hanging the smallclothes on the center line, flanked by sheets and towels on the outer ones.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but we draw no lines at our house about what is hung out to dry on our "solar dryer". Everything, my undies, wifes undies, kids undies, is out there for the world to see. You shouldn't be so uptight about this. Just come over our way about every other day to see everything flapping in the breeze...