Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rain Dance

I wish the laundry had been more colorful on the afternoon I took this picture, but I planned on blogging later that day (I didn't), and this load was all I had to go with. We finally put up our clothesline, and hanging out laundry has been one of my great pleasures this summer. We've had such hot weather, the clothes dry in no time.

We've had a dry summer, so I always try to have a load to hang when there's the slightest chance of rain. How better to lure a shower or two our way? You can see from the grass and parts of the vegetable garden how dry it's been.

I bought the clothesline last year, but it took a full 12 months to get it up. That's how things work around here. Slow turn-around times. I'm not good at quick changes. But eventually I get things the way I want them (or almost). I am trying to live greener. This summer has made me more fearful about global warming than ever. The weather has been erratic. I've been researching: what can we do? Turn off the lights, turn down the AC. Dry your clothes outside. Buy locally as much as possible.

I'm trying. The trick for me is to stay hopeful. Sometimes I feel like giving up. How will we ever wean ourselves off of oil? It's going to take a major restructuring of how we live. Will little changes like drying clothes on the line really add up?

I will say this: hanging out the wash is a pleasure. Maybe it wouldn't feel that way if it wasn't a choice. I can imagine how it might seem a burden, especially back in the day when everything had to be ironed after you brought it in off the line. But I find the whole process a delight, from the snap of the wooden clothespins to folding the clothes as they come off the line.

I dry the socks and underwear on a rack on the porch. It's a humble little scene and always makes me laugh.

Does my rain dance work? I can tell you that since I started hanging the laundry on the line out back we've had more rain than we had total the month before. Last night I had to run home from a baseball game to beat out a storm and get the wash in.

So I guess the answer is yes. And yes is good.


Heather said...

Great photo! I water the plants heavily when I see a slightly dark cloud pass by in hopes it might rain. So far, no luck.

Pom Pom said...

I've been using the dryer (rebel!) because Bill's been out of the country. The washing machine just stilled and you've convinced me. I'll get up and take it outside and hang it. Maybe I'll take a picture.
This made me laugh: Slow turn-around times
That's me! My knitting is usually on the needles for half a decade. My bunting is STILL in the shop bag. My wallpaper is STILL stuck to the wall. I'm going to start comforting myself, "Slow turn around times. Slow turn around times." It's SO good to hear from you, Frances!

GretchenJoanna said...

I hope your rain dance method doesn't work here, or at least I hope that faith and intent are necessary elements, because I'm looking forward to some laundry-hanging myself and don't want any more cool precipitation than we are already getting. But I'm glad you've stumbled upon a way to improve the climate.

Gumbo Lily said...

I'm not sure that hanging out the laundry will change anything globally, but perhaps it will bring you joy, and that is always felt by others.

I was raised with a clothesline and still use it regularly for as many months as possible. I love it and I really don't know why.

Happy Hanging!

victoria said...

It's a lovely washing line photo. I love hanging washing outside, it is indeed a great pleasure. I even like hanging the washing inside now (as is necesscary in a wet season), although it's not as enjoyable as outside. The descpription "humble little scene" about socks and undies made me smile..

victoria said...

Mmmm sorry about strange spelling...

Tracy said...

I've been breaking my BIL's homeowner's covenant and putting a clothes airer outside with our wash on it. I just can't bring myself to put it in the dryer and have our things shrink! Aussie clothes are not pre-shrunk!

Hopefully the neighbours will forgive our Aussie ways, being that they're temporary!

Rose said...

I love my clothseline! I, too, have wondered if I would like it so much if I had no choice but to use it.

Tracy said...

Rose (and Frances!), you just get on with it. Like anything else in life, when you have no choice you just have to do what you have to do.

Mary Q Contrarie said...

I guess since we are about 12 inches above normal in rainfall and we have been having 80 - 90% humidity every day I need to go buy me a dryer so that I stop trying to use my clothes drying rack out side before the rain.