My Mom never had a clothes dryer.
Even up to the day she passed away, she refused to get one, and still hung laundry outside when it was sunny or dry, or in the basement on a clothesline in front of the heater my Dad had set up for her when I was little.
So I grew up accustomed to hanging clothing outside. When I grew older, it was one of my chores to hang the laundry, get it in at the end of the day, fold it and put it away. I still can remember the mad dash outside to yank the laundry off the line when the clouds grew dark and threatening and the first drops of rain started to fall.
All of my friends' mom's had clothes dryers, and I vowed when I got older I would absolutely have one and never, no never, hang laundry out again. And that's what I did.
Things are coming full circle for me lately, and I realized that I terribly missed snuggling into bed at night and breathing in the fresh, sweet smell of pillow cases, sheets and blankets that had dried in the clean air earlier that day. No laundry detergent or fabric softener could ever duplicate that smell.
And more importantly, I wanted My Girl to experience the comfort, security and love that sweet smell gave to me, all warm and safe in bed at night.
I missed the secure and welcoming sight of the laundry blowing in the breeze. The feeling that it gave that all was right with the world and everything was as it should be.
I came across a lovely poem on the internet the other day, that rang so very, very true.
The Clothesline Poem
Marilyn K. Walker
A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.
For then you'd see the "fancy sheets"
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company table cloths"
With intricate designs.
The line announced a baby's birth
From folks who lived inside -
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You'd know how much they'd grown!
It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.
It also said, "Gone on vacation now"
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way . . ..
But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is any body's guess!
I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best
By what hung on the line!
Although I know I will not abandon my clothes dryer completely, hanging my laundry outside is once more part of my life. I find that when I am doing it, it is almost like a meditation for me. It calms me, grounds me, and starts my day off with a warm and pleasant note.
Welcome back old friend.