Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday, 29 June 2008 - Clotheslines

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for clotheslines.

I remember the ubiquitous outdoor clothesline. On the day we moved into the West Covina house, my older sister and I giggled and laughed as we swung merrily around the poles. The year, 1957. I was nearly 3.5 years old.

Of course, drying clothes outside was a risky business. From late fall through early spring, rain, fog and cold postponed many laundry days. On blustery days when the hot Santa Ana winds swept through the Los Angeles basin, my mother worried about sheets and towels and diapers flying off the line and sailing into a neighbor's yard.

By the mid-1960s, our clothesline gave way to a gas dryer. My dad, proud to own a modern convenience, dug up the poles for good. During subsequent summers, the clothesline's erstwhile home housed an above ground swimming pool, and much later, a vegetable garden.

This morning, I study an article that discusses a consumer movement seeking new favor for the lowly clothesline. These days, I'm interested in anything that will reduce my reliance on electricity. Most US suburbs ban clotheslines, calling them eyesores that reduce property values. I would like to have one in my backyard. Solar energy is free for the taking when it comes to drying clothes.

Until I can live in a place that accepts clotheslines, I do what I can to reduce dryer usage. I take many of my clothes straight from the washing machine and hang them on a rack. I use the dryer frugally, drying heavy items like towels and t-shirts until they're barely damp. Then, I'll hang them on a rack where they'll finish drying - shouldn't take long in Colorado's low humidity.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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