Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quirk #1 - Hanging Clothes Outside to Dry

1. I LOVE to hang my clothes outdoors to dry even though my husband claims that his underwear is "crunchy" when it comes in all fresh smelling off the clothesline.

A long time ago when two of our boys were babies my husband was in graduate school and we rented a house with a Maytag washer (that we bought for $5 dollars from the owners) but no dryer, so I hung the clothes and the endless cloth diapers out on the line. This was in Illinois and it worked well until the first freeze and the diapers and other clothes froze on the line. At that point I strung a clothes line all over our wash room that also contained the heater for our house and dried the clothes that way. Finally, we picked up a used dryer for $10 and that ended my winter problem. However, I still enjoyed hanging the clothes out to dry in the summer.
When we moved back to Texas I had a clothes line and used it during the summer. By that time we had added two more boys to the family so we still had numerous diapers to dry. It always seemed easier to be outside with the boys in the back yard and hang up the clothes at the same time.

Once the boys were out of diapers I still hung my clothes outside because I had established over-the-fence friendships with the neighbor behind us and the neighbor next door. Both women were older and had great words of wisdom to pass on to me as they watched our family grow up in the back yard.

Nowadays I can hardly wait until the spring pollens are gone (that yellow oak pollen RUINS whites!) and then I begin my summer ritual of hanging clothes outside. There are four reasons I still hang clothes outside: 1) I hope I am saving energy and dollars by doing this, 2) the dryer is not blowing more hot air into the already intense Texas heat, 3) the dryer is not killing my plants by blowing heat onto my garden through the vent in the backyard, and 4) I LOVE to be outside in my little retreat spot where the clothesline is--where I can look up into the opening between the trees and watch the intense blue of the sky or the clouds scudding across the opening or the sunset turning the sky delicious colors in the evening.
Write about something that you LOVE to do!


  1. You are saving energy and helping the world when you dry your clothing outside.
    We hang out the laundry in warm weather, too. I occasionally do it in the winter if it's sunny, but my husband won't. The fresh air smell is unmatchable.
    We don't own a dryer by personal choice so in lousy weather we hang it in the basement.
    I remember clothing coming off the line in the winter when I was growing up. The sight of long underwear frozen solid still makes me smile.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Leah. I live in a humid climate and if the temperature is not above 80 the clothes do not get dry enough by the end of the day to make it worth hanging them out. And I don’t have room (no basement, washing machine in garage) for indoor clothesline. Also, pollens around here are bad December through April for our different trees.

    I LOVE your description of frozen long underwear! Thanks! Pat