Posted by: whereisthecommonsense | November 19, 2009

Hanging Laundry

I remember when I was a kid living in central Florida during the 1960’s and early 70’s, my mom used to hang laundry outside. It was a dual line strung between two galvanized t-poles, that were concrete anchored in the ground. We used to have to clean the green plastic coated lines every so often so that black mildew would not transfer to the clean laundry. Clothes pins were stored in a hanging bag right there on the line ready for sheets and clothes. Later we even added another that was circular but less sturdy, as it was made of aluminum. But the advantage was it spun around a center axis and you didn’t have to pick the clothes basket up to move it as you hung your laundry.

Around the mid-70’s we upgraded to an actual electric dryer! This was to my mother like moving out of the stone age. No more hanging outdoors for the world to see, we could now privately dry our clothes. No more rushing to get them in because of rain, or coming home finding them already drenched. No more finding a bird had done it’s business on something as you take them off the line. Ah, modern progress.

But, the switch did not go without some things being noticed. First of all, our sheets, towels, and clothes did not seem to smell as nice! Not that they smelled bad, just they weren’t quite as ‘fresh’. Another thing I noticed is that clothes were more wrinkled. That was due for the most part to leaving them in the dryer. I mean, what is the rush now concerning getting them put away? Folding seemed to be more of a chore, as so much was done immediately when taken off the line, but not so when you could leave them in a dryer. Things sort of started to pile up!

Recently, hanging laundry outdoors has become more and more of an issue. Seems almost funny to say that laundry is an ‘issue’. But, it is true! This is due mainly to the new ‘green’ movement. Some people are starting to hang their laundry again. Much to the anger and dismay of their neighbors whereby it has become an ‘issue’.

In America at least, I am not sure about elsewhere in the world; hanging laundry outdoors is equated with a low rent, trailer park mentality, even back-woods. I have to admit that I have an inexplicable feeling that I get when I see someone who has their laundry hanging outside their home. One, it is just plain unusual to see nowadays, and two, well, it is just odd. I don’t know how else to explain that one.

So many neighborhoods, getting back to the ‘issue’, have home owner associations, and committees that are down right communist in nature. They want the neighborhood to keep a uniform appearance basically, and approve or disapprove what their neighbors want to do with their own properties. So one can imagine what anger is brought out of people when a neighbor wants to hang their laundry. Breaking neighborhood covenant ‘law’ can lead, ultimately, to very real lawsuits and very hard feelings between folks to say the least.

Personally, I don’t have a real problem with those that want to hang their laundry outside. Secretly, I sort of envy those that do. The wonderful fragrance of laundry as it is brought indoors from hanging outdoors is hard to beat. Reminds me of simpler childhood days, and unknown to me as a young boy, less expensive power bills. Maybe, I will string a line and see what my neighbors say.

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