Hung Out To Dry

I really like doing the laundry, because I succeed at it. But I loathe putting it away. It is already clean.

Jenny Holzer

Oh my gosh!  This quote is so me.  I absolutely love doing laundry.  The smell of freshly washed clothes, the stacks of crisply folded shirts, the piles of skidmark-free underwear — things don’t get much better.  Yet, when it comes to actually putting all the wonderful laundry away, you would think I were getting a tooth pulled.  Clothes will sit in the clothes basket, all folded and neat, for days, maybe even a week or more.  Usually until I need the basket or more likely, it’s time to do laundry again.

Today, however, all the laundry that I’ve done, will be put away without waiting.  I am not even going to fold it.  For today was the first day of 2014 that I was able to hang out my blankets and sheets on my clothes line.  I took full advantage of the beautiful 68 degree weather with a slight breeze.  Ideal for clothesline hanging.

My first load was in the machine at 7:00 a.m. — my thickest and heaviest blanket.  This blanket doesn’t get washed very often during the winter and is therefore not used all that much.  It takes more than 200 minutes in the dryer to completely dry.  Way too many minutes for my pocketbook.  This blanket has been sitting on the chair in my room for two months waiting for the weather to finally break.  By 8:30 it was strung high on the line, flapping aimlessly in the wind.

Next I had to wash the quilt from my bed with one of the sheets.  Then finally the last load was a blanket, four pillowcases, and the top sheet.  I have one more blanket to wash, but it was too thick to put out and expect to get dry by the end of the day.  I will wash this the next nice day we have.  I won’t need it because I’ll have the one that hasn’t been on my bed for two months back tonight.


There is something about clean sheets that I love.  The excitement I feel as I stretch them across the mattress, tucking them tightly between the box spring and mattress, sure not to have a single wrinkle, is just like the excitement I felt walking downstairs Christmas morning as a child.  Yeah, as you get older it really doesn’t take a whole lot to give you a cheap thrill.  Still, I have gone to the clothes line no less than ten times already today to take a whiff of the drying blankets and sheets because I can’t wait till they’re upstairs on my bed.

I am the only person in my neighborhood that has a clothesline.  I am the only person in my neighborhood that hangs their clothes outside.  A couple of my neighbors have made snide comments, but I ignore them.  Technology may have come a long way since the days when clothes lines were a bare necessity of the worked-to-the-bone housewife, but there isn’t a technological advance that can replace the smell or feel of linens fresh from the line.  For this, I am Simply Grateful.

“Hanging laundry on a line is a very ordinary task. It is as ordinary as scraped knees and lost keys, as fixing the same simple dish for supper again, and again. Ordinary is most days, and Lord helps is if we overlook them.” 
― Jerusalem Jackson GreerA Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together


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