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Clothes Line Thoughts

alec vanderboom

This is week eight of having no working dryer. Eight weeks of hanging clothes to dry outside on the clothes line. I passed through the honeymoon phase of clothes lines. The last five days were rough. We had a hurricane pass through our town, which meant five days of solidly raining weather. Everyone ran out of clean clothes. Jon went to work today in an Orange Polo Shirt and causal day isn't until Friday.

Even before the mighty rain fest, things were getting rough. A bird pooped on my husband's work pants while they dried. I kept bringing in random bugs and spiders with the clean wash. I forgot to bring clothes in before a rain storm and watch while a half day's worth of work went south in a 15 minute shower. I started to think "Yeah, this is why no one does this anymore. It totally sucks to be poor."

Monday came and it was grey and dreary. I couldn't do "Wash on Monday" for the first time since I started my little chore cycle five years ago. Instead of feeling mad, I felt a little happy. It was a free vacation day. (I wash dirty clothes every day as a Mom in a family of 7, but Monday is my "major laundry day for all the sheets, etc.). I felt like I was playing hooky from work all day. It was a little cool to have the laundry tied to an outside variable factor (the weather) instead of a steady routine each and every week.

This morning turned into a gorgeous Summer Day. I was out at 9 AM hanging up my husband's oxford shirts. I took the baby outside with me. She played in our non-charged toy jeep. She was silent in our joy at getting to climb on the "big kid stuff" without interruption. The sun was shining. The birds were chipping. I pinned laundry on the line with these cheap wooden clothes pins that are already starting to get rough and moldy after 6 weeks outside. (That's why people pay more for plastic? Or are diligent about taking them off the line each time?)

It hits me that it's so nice to be outside. Loafing around. That as a Mom I so rarely get a chance to be outside listening to the birds. It's rest for my ears.

I'm usually doing laundry inside a dark basement. Trying to rush through the task of filing  wet clothes from the washer to the dryer as fast as possible. I'm eager to get onto something "more exciting" in my day.

But hanging out wet wash on a sunny day is fun. Simple work keeps my mind free. It's restful to pin wet clothes to a clothes line on a nice day.

So much of my approach to housekeeping is "rushing through the mundane stuff to get to the good stuff." It's shocking to find that sometimes housework "is the good stuff." Thank you God for my broken dryer!