02 July 2008

A New Way of Doing Things

Happy July, everyone! No, we didn't fall off the face of the planet; life has just changed pace a bit, and with the hot humid weather we've been having, posting on the blog has been a bit harder to get to. (My arms don't reach the keyboard from the recliner chair very well!) ;)

I've been meaning to post about the newest change in our routine. While she was here visiting, Mom Stevenson bought us a new collapsible "umbrella" laundry line that she helped Enoch to install in the back yard. Apparently, Mom has been hanging her clothes for years and years. I come from a long line of dryer-users, and haven't used a laundry line much before. I must tell you I wasn't sure I was going to like it! I mean, who likes doing laundry, first of all? Second, why go to all the trouble of carting your wet clothes outside and pinning them up, then unpinning and carting them back in before folding them when I can easily just shove them in the dryer and turn it on? I certainly was not eager to add to my work load, I regret to admit.

(Before I go any further, I must add that the laundry line has come just at the right time. Ever since the washing machine hose incident, the dryer has not been working as efficiently. I wonder if it's related. Whereas it used to take 50-60 minutes to dry a load in the dryer, I was finding it took sometimes over 100 minutes to get the job done. Since getting my laundry line, I have used the dryer maybe three times, and even then I was disappointed with the results.)

But I have come to appreciate it more and more. First of all, our energy bill was nearly $20 less than the last 3-month average, and that's not even from a full month of having used primarily a laundry line! I'm eagerly awaiting our next bill, just to be shocked at how low it is (although the air conditioners are being used more now...but still!) The next reason I've come to appreciate it more has to do with getting the kiddos outside to play more. Since most of my work requires me to be inside, hanging clothes on the line forces me to go outside, and gives the kids a chance to run off some steam and ride their scooters. It is sometimes very challenging to keep Rosalind from following them into the alleyway where I do not trust local drivers to watch out for her. But other than that concern, being outside is enjoyable for all of us. Thirdly, I have learned the secret to crunchy absorbent towels. I always wondered how my mother-in-law got her towels to be so thirsty: line dry them. They feel stiff and fluffy (as opposed to soft but limp), and they just somehow seem to absorb better.

So I'm still learning how to do it right. I've made a few mistakes, and even had to re-hang a load three times because of not putting it out early enough, and then getting rained on twice after that! I'm still self-conscious about hanging bras and underwear out for the whole world to see (even socks seem a bit personal to me, but I'm pretty prudish), and I'm working on getting my laundry washed and hung earlier in the day rather than later. But now that I've gotten accustomed to it, it hardly seems like much more work, which must be an answer to someone's prayer for me, I suppose.

Any of you out there use a laundry line or have pointers to share? I'd be happy to hear from you what things you have learned from hanging rather than machine-drying, as I'm still learning the ropes, as it were.


  1. I'm showing Terry how to leave a comment on your blog. We're webcasting, so I sent him your blog link. He was shocked by the big undies :)

  2. Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard when I read that! I hope you can get our brother up to speed with whatever technical hang-ups he may be experiencing. Hopefully he didn't notice any brown streaks on the clean laundry.

  3. Tip.. if you will use vinegar in your rinse cycle it will help to soften the laundry. And if it comes off the line stiff just throw it in the dryer on a quick fluff cycle and it should soften right up.