Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I once heard someone use the term “clothes line” living…

I once heard someone use the term “clothes line living” and I’ve been trying to put to words what that means to me.  I’m sitting here at my beat up 100+ year old writing desk looking passed the rusty 1880’s Acme claw foot dress form that stands in the corner.  Behind it, through the screen door that goes “whap” when it closes, I can see my clothes line that is sheltered by the back sleeping porch.  I’ve never slept on the sleeping porch, mostly do to the lack of screens but I do try to use the clothes line as much as possible.  I have a habit of washing my vintage or “dry clean only” clothes in the sink and hanging them on the line as I’m fortunate enough to have access to the same sleeping porch through my bathroom.  I’d like to think it will help my clothes last longer, but I’m not sure if that is just a myth I’ve made up in my head. 

This year has been extremely buggy in Wisconsin and our well fed mosquitoes look more like tiny humming birds.  Hence why I haven’t used the clothes line or the porch for that matter much this year.  Sometimes it’s just easier to move the wet clothes the eight inches to the dryer than haul them up the stairs to the clothes line.  It’s funny how moving wet clothes up a flight of stairs seems daunting (when I do happen to think of it).  I remember spending hours watching my granny wash her clothes in her old ringer washing machine.  Then I’d spend all afternoon running clothes up and down the basement steps (which led directly out to the yard) for her.  Since I was too short to reach the line itself, and too weak to carry hampers, she would have big baskets set up on the lawn for me to drop piles of heavy wet clothes into.  Every now & then she’d come up the old cement stairs and I’d run circles around her jabbering on about anything and everything while she moved down the line pinning her giant underpants to the line. She’d laugh and laugh…..

Granny always did (and still does) wash on Mondays.  I asked her once why Mondays and she said “Because that’s wash day” like its universal or something.  Over the years I’ve learned that if you ask any elderly person which day they do their laundry, 99% of the time they will tell you.  Monday.

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