Saturday, April 26, 2008
Airing the Laundry
“Are you sure those are going to dry?” asked Ana as she opened the door for me to carry out a load of wash to the back yard this morning.
“No I’m not,” I smiled. “We’ll just have to see.”
All sentient beings mark the turning of the seasons in some way. From the ritual of the ground hog’s shadow to my daughter Amy’s observation of the many phases of Patterson’s, our local fruit and vegetable stand. One of my bench marks for Spring, along with the scent of blooming plants, is the hanging out of the laundry.
Spring here in the Pacific Northwest has been delayed this year. I don’t know where she’s been. We’ve had a couple of glimpses, but she seems to be thumbing her nose at the Vernal Equinox. As recently as last weekend, the middle of April, we’ve been treated to sleet, hail, and snow as Winter appears to be leaving kicking and screaming.
“I never seem to get caught up on the laundry anymore,” observes Ana who does the portion created by my son, their son and her.
“Welcome to motherhood,” I always reply.
Until I can get the family to go along with my idea of “Naked Day” whereby everyone stays home and wears their birthday suit for a complete day so that we get caught up, laundry never seems to take a holiday. This is the time of year when I gamble that the sun will be warm enough and the day long enough for the laundry to dry.
I love hanging out laundry. I always have. Once, when my oldest was a baby and I was visiting my grandmother in the Ozarks she got tickled with me for being inordinately happy over a line of freshly washed diapers (yes, moms, that’s what we used before everyone began stuffing the landfill with “disposable” diapers) hanging in her back yard. They looked beautiful with the yard and neighboring pasture behind them.
Besides being ecological, air dried laundry just smells so good when you bring it in. So with the promise of a dry day including temperatures over 60 degrees I looked out the window and announced that today was the first day I’d attempt it. We don’t have a tremendous amount of line space—just one line between two hug Doug Firs and two folding racks, but I can get a lot out there and seeing the laundry hanging makes me nonsensically happy.
So, we’ll see how today’s batch goes. We are not into reliable laundry hanging weather by any means, but we are easing that way.