people who have known me for a while know that there are certain, random things that I’m totally obsessed with. coffee, bacon, trains, hot air balloons, and… clotheslines.
I first fell in love with clotheslines when dave and I lived in ohio when we were first married. the house we lived in had a pair of metal t-posts in the backyard. you can kind of see them here, in the background behind joe.
I immediately became fascinated with them, and dave bought a long line and a pack of clothespins for me at walmart. he strung 4 lines between those two posts, and I obsessively hung out our clothes between may and september. I completely fell in love with it. I would spend hours in the backyard,feeling the warmth and the breeze, smelling the clean clothes, just loving my family and the experience, between sheets and undershirts flapping in the wind.
it was very meditative. very serene. a religious experience of sorts. I felt a bond with my ancestors; women of my family who have been hanging out their families’ washing for generations. there is something so therapeutic about the repetitive action of hanging up clothes.
occasionally, I would forget to take them down at night and they’d just have to stay up the next day, too! since thunderstorms are frequent there, sometimes we’d be out somewhere, and I’d hear thunder rumbling in the distance, on a clear, blue sky day, and I’d remember I had laundry on the line, and I’d have to race the storm home, before my clothes got rained on!
on days when I didn’t have much else going on, it was also a healthy outlet for some OCD tendencies. there were four lines, and there were four of us. so I’d hang each person’s clothes on a different line. (layla was an infant at the time, so usually her line wound up with all the sheets and towels, since here clothes took up the least amount of line real estate.) I’d make my clothespins match. if it took a pair to hang up a shirt, they would both be the same color. yeah, I know. but there are worse ways this could have manifested itself…
when we left ohio, we moved here to the PNW and lived in a condo for 11 months. obviously, no clothesline. I suppose I could have rigged something on the balcony, but instead I bought a couple of accordion folding drying racks that I would line the hall with, and drape our clothes over them. lacking a breeze, this just made the clothes stiff, and the whole experience was a major let down. I missed my clotheslines.
when we moved to our last house, I was hopeful. I kept hinting. nothing happened. we got the dome climber for the kids, and I occasionally took that over on nice days. it wasn’t the same.
and I was prone to fits of jealousy when the weather got nice and friends who did have clotheslines would start using them and post about it.
well, after 7 years of lamenting the loss of my clotheslines, my wonderful husband finally came through! on saturday, he went to the hardware store to grab… uh. I can’t even remember why he went there now. but I got a text from him, asking me to go out and measure the length of the area between the two points I’d envisioned hanging my line.
that afternoon, while I was with layla at her ballet recital, they got it hung up for me.
yup, a plastic, fisher-price basketball hoop. classy.
isn’t it wonderful?
I’m so excited that, for the next 4 months, doing laundry will revolve around the weather forecast!