Friday, 10 June 2011

Happy Hangin' Out

by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
I have to admit it. I like doing laundry - especially now that the weather is getting nicer and I can hang my clothes out on the clothesline again. First of all, it's a sensory thing: the light breeze on my face, sun on my shoulders, listening to the murmur of the chickens below me, the birds chirping above, the smell of whatever happens to be in bloom in the yard.

Plus, I have a wonderful view over the top of my clothesline. In the morning, the air is usually crisp and crystal clear. Looking south, I love looking towards the snow-covered peaks on my horizon. Today, by mid-afternoon, the air's gotten a bit hazy - from both the humidity of the recent rain, and maybe a bit from fires burning in Arizona - but the mountains still shine in the sun.

I like the orderliness of it all, too (same reason I like hand-washing my dishes, too). The ground slopes down beneath the clothesline. The re-aligned garden now means a corner of the (now higher, too, since Bambi found out our place had good eats) fence is pretty close to the direction things usually flap. Extra long things, like pants or my husband's long-sleeved shirts, are best hung closest to the pole where the line is highest. Next usually come t-shirts. Dark ones inside out, to reduce fading, I've found they look best later if doubled over the line to the armpits and clipped out smooth and straight, each apart from the other. Then the flat things that can be clipped edge to edge, to save on clothespins, graduating down in size as they get closer to that fence corner. Small stuff, like socks and underwear, usually end up on a small folding rack set up on the patio next to the house. That area is pretty much out of the wind, so clothespins aren't even necessary there.

Lastly, and maybe best of all - I really enjoy my laundry accoutrements. My clothespin bag is a re-purposed bit of old cotton bed sheet. I didn't realize how rough and scratchy my old purchased generic one was, until I made this one. It's a pleasure reaching into it, the cotton soft and smooth against the inside of my wrist. Embroidered with a vintage "jumping clothes-peg" pattern from my mom, it still makes me smile each time I see it. My laundry basket is a wooden bushel basket, lined with a re-purposed piece of old vinyl tablecloth. With wire handles, it's sturdy, and just feels better to carry than a plastic one. The lining is getting pretty worn, though. I've patched a couple of tears with packing tape. One of these days, I'm going to make a new liner. I have a couple of old cotton pillowcases, worn thin in the middle but with lovely crocheted edging still in nice shape. I plan to make a cotton canvas liner for the basket, then use the pillowcase ends to make the decorative outside flap. Laundry day, even nicer!


Jason Dingley said...

Lately for my partner and I, the day can be perfectly clear and sunny, we hang the washing out, it's only moments from being dry and brought in, and boom, it bucks.

Anonymous said...

I love hanging washing as well. There's a nice calm feeling of snapping those clothes straight and hanging them to get them to dry. We are lucky in Australia that we can do this all year around, even though it gets cold and rainy, there is usually enough wind/sun for some hours to dry things. You have a lovely view from your line.

DramaMama said...

Hanging wash is most definitely my favorite task! I agree - it's so soothing and almost therapeutic! My store bought bag is soon to be ripped and usable. I need to look into making a new one! I used to have a cart type thing so I wouldn't have to bend down to get each item, but it also needs repair. Also, since I have so many lines now, my husband was kind enough to hook up a pulley system =) I tell him that I have the swankiest laundry operation around!!

Paula said...

Up here in northwest Oregon, we are still waiting for the weather to dry out and heat up for hanging laundry. I was even thinking I could put up my lines today and get started on the laundry, but I can't tell if the clouds want to fish or cut bait.

But I too, have learned to love, just love hanging out the wash. I like to hear the birds and the buzzing bees while I'm hanging things, and I miss it when the weather sours. We only have a short window of a few months, three if we're lucky, but I sure like it when I can.

Wendy said...

We are fortunate that our climate allows for line drying almost year round. If we have a series of rainy days in winter they we string up lines inside the laundry and still dry without electricity. Love your view!