Drying on the Line
Yesterday was a rainy day—not just thunderstorms-in-the-afternoon rainy but dripping-from-morning-till night wet. In the middle of a North Carolina August, that’s wonderful for our thirsty crops and shrinking ponds, but it’s bad news if you like to dry clothes outside.
I love the smell of laundry dried on the line, especially sheets. That scent ranks with freshly mowed grass, watermelon, and honeysuckle as one of my favorites of summer.
I don’t mind the extra time and effort it takes because I’m saving money and electricity, lowering our carbon footprint, and saving wear and tear on our clothes. Urban friends have shared that their neighborhoods don’t allow laundry to be hung outside. (By the way, with the going-green movement, shouldn’t clothes lines raise property values instead of lowering them?) At my rural home, I don’t have a homeowner’s association that considers clothes lines unsightly. I mainly hear positive comments: “I wish I had time to hang out clothes;” “I love the smell of clothes dried outside;” or “Sunshine works wonders for making whites white.”
I have sweet memories of my grandmother teaching me the right way to hang up men’s shirts—by the bottom to save the neckline, of taking chairs outside so that my young children could reach the clothes pins, of one of my daughters teasing her twin brother with, “You smell like you just fell off Grandmommy’s clothes line!” when he wore a freshly dried t-shirt.
I’m glad I have a dryer as a backup for rainy days or for things that have to be dried ASAP. But I’m glad, too, that I’ve got a clothesline and the time to use it.