It’s a simple joy, the best kind.
I had a clothes line in the back yard at my old house, too — it only took me years to think of actually using it. I wouldn’t consider myself to be of a clothes line-type lineage or even generation. Isn’t that what the electric tumble drier is designed to supercede?
But the joys of a clothesline are many:
- The very unique and authentic smell. This is the “fresh” that fabric softeners are trying to mimick, I now realize.
- The methodical chore of putting things on — and then taking them off — of a clothesline. If you think you don’t need this added task, check on the size of the pile of clean drier-dried laundry that you haven’t yet folded — and get back to me.
- I even like the act of checking to see what’s dry and what’s not. It’s like magic to me that things get dry just hangin’ outside. Checking on them, under the sun and sky, also seems more affirmative than leaning over into the dark cave of drier.
- And, controversially, I like the crispiness of some things like jeans. Besides, it goes away quickly after putting them on. That crispiness is a confirmation of clean, I think.
There are some things that I don’t put on the line: socks, underwear and towels, mostly. It’s not worth the trouble in the case of the first two, and I must confess to prefer the drier fluff when it comes to towels.
And while I like that I’m using less energy — being “greener” or whatever — what I ultra-dig that I’m saving my favorite clothes from shrinking and the pounding that everything takes in a drier — especially considering the utter cheapness of today’s hip rags.
And finally, let us not forget: The sheets. The glory of the sheets! Crispy sheets. Amazing-smelling sheets. Again: Downy was created to mimick this, I realize, only after having finally hung those sheets outside, where they dance a languid jig in the breeze.
It’s going to be time to pack in the clothes line soon (I bought the kind that comes down); but not yet! I’ll keep hanging clothes just as long as the increasingly-chill late autumn air will permit.