Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blowing in the wind


I have joined the wind-power revolution with an investment that totaled about $7 --- for clothesline and clothespins. Maybe rejoined is a better word since the clothesline poles already were here, oddly sited under a tree that wasn't there when they were installed (think before you plant).

My mother was a hardcore clothesline person who routinely, no matter the weather, removed laundry from the washer, placed it in a basket, averted her eyes from the dryer and marched outside. Even freeze-dried clothes, she maintained, were superior to what came out of that infernal hot air machine. That's why the poles are there, although the line had been removed. It's a family tradition brought in from the farm.

I wish I could say my return to the old way was motivated by enhanced ecological self-consciousness, but that would be only partly true. I do know that dryer use is responsible for about 6 percent of energy consumption by U.S. homes and so line drying is a simple way to conserve.

But it was the three fitted sheets out there swinging in the breeze this morning that finally brought me to it. I'd ironed the top sheets some time ago (yes, I'm obsessive-compulsive enough to enjoy ironing a top sheet; there's a good deal to be said for the satisfaction of watching wrinkles disappear in a cloud of steam), but do not have enough patience to wrestle with fitted sheets and I could not get them to come out of the dryer in an acceptably unwrinkled state (I do not use fabric softener because I'm allergic to it).

So I went to Pamida, invested in line and clothespins and lined out a couple of other loads of laundry before relaundering the sheets. I'm enthusiastic about the result and look forward to many more loads of line-dried laundry (I'll draw the line at freeze-dried, however).

I know folks who live in neighborhoods with covenants where clotheslines are forbidden --- to "protect" property values. How sad.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

Nothing feels the same as line dried sheets but it is a sacrifice I have made in the name of convenience. Perhaps someday I will string up a line once again.