Airing My Dirty Laundry

“I pull up the covers, and smell the sunshine.” – Constance Anderson, Smelling the Sunshine


A few weeks ago I purchased a new state-of-the-art clothes washer and dryer. Both have all the bells and whistles and even play a cute little tune when a cycle is complete. The oversized tub on the washer has been getting quite the workout since spring cleaning is in full swing; however, my dryer is seeing far less action.

This is primarily because when the long-awaited, warm days of spring arrive I call my old-fashioned, faithful clothesline into service. Nothing speaks of this season more than being able to air out one’s quilts, pillows, jackets and more in the bright sunshine. And nothing beats the smell of freshly laundered items that have been dried in the beautiful Saskatchewan spring air. (Of course, this is minus the dust created by passing vehicles. So this is as good an opportunity as any to remind passers-by to please slow down when going by our yard.)

When I first asked to have a clothesline installed in our yard, my husband wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea. His childhood memories of literally being “clotheslined” by his mother’s low-lying contraption strung across their yard was part of the reason.

The other part of his reasoning came from an incident which occurred while living in residence during his university years. The prank involved getting the sheet off a student’s bed, soaking it quite liberally in the laundry sink, then flinging it out the dorm window while keeping one end securely wrapped around the arm of the window opener. Oh, and did I mention that this was done in the dead of winter?

Imagine walking back from class only to see your bedsheet fanned out from your window, frozen to the side of the brick wall, three stories up. It took some ingenuity to get it down since that six foot frozen sheet was not coming back in through the three foot wide window! As one passerby remarked to Ken (as he prodded at that sheet with a few hockey sticks taped together), “I guess that’s one way of doing your laundry.”

My husband and I finally compromised on a clothesline by cementing a square pad and installing a more modern version that took up less space and was nicely tucked away by the garden shed.

Whenever I hang out the wash I am reminded of a simpler time when life seemed less hectic. I am also reminded of my travels to different parts of the world. Whether it was the Caribbean or Europe, seeing the wash hung out to dry was very common.

All I know is that it is well-worth the effort and the results are always refreshing!


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