In the mid to late 1960’s, my grandparents were finally able to afford a washing machine. While that simplified their lives to some degree because it meant no more lugging everything and everybody to the laundromat, it presented another set of challenges; washday had to be scheduled around the weather.
They couldn’t afford the dryer to go along with the washer, so the clothes had to be solar dried.
On this particular day, we were up bright and early to start the wash and get it hung out because “it looks like we might have a cloud comin’ up”. The first load out of the washer was plopped into a big green plastic clothes basket.
Granny grabbed her apron that held her stash of wooden clothes pins, tied on the apron and we both lugged the basket of clothes to the backyard clothes line. As she picked through the basket of clothes to give me the “easy” ones to hang out, she told me to reach in the apron, grab a handful of the wooden clothes and pin them on my clothes making it easier for me to have access to them.
My bundle of wet clothes to hang consisted of handkerchiefs, undershirts, and socks. As I struggled to try to manage the wet clothes and keep them off the ground and on the clothesline, I noticed that she moved deftly and swiftly, not missing a beat.
Her clothes were perfectly straight with similar types sorted and hanging together. Meanwhile, I manage to get three handkerchiefs and two pairs of socks up.
I don’t know what it is about seeing clothes flapping in the wind hanging on a clothesline but something about the sight of it appeals to me. The clothesline is not allowed in most neighborhoods. Some consider a clothesline tacky.
It’s not the clothesline itself that I love to see, it’s the clothes swaying back and forth in the breeze. Especially white clothes. They almost glisten in the sun.
Nothing smells better to me than bed linens that have been line dried. Snuggle up in bed, take a big whiff of that clean fresh scent and your mind is cleared and ready for sleep. It’s like a magic potion.
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