I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Battle of the Clothesline

I started this post many months ago and was inspired to finish when I looked out the window at my clothesline shivering in the winter wind, and dripping water from the accompanying rain.  I am dreaming of warmer weather and determined to renew my outdoor drying efforts when the time comes.  There's only one minor problem.

Does anyone else have a restricted list for their clothesline?  I do, or rather, my husband does.  Four years ago we had a clothesline at our previous home and I loved it. My husband? Not so much. When we moved into our current home (without a clothesline) it was one of the features, or lack thereof, that we joked about. I would miss it and my husband certainly would not. So we were clothesline-free despite my preference for skipping the dryer when possible.  In late spring I decided I wanted a clothesline again and I think my husband had a memory lapse.  We can probably credit our new puppy, Ryder, on both accounts.

Ryder was welcomed into our home at the end of May. An extremely cute, laundry producing machine. Towels for mopping up pee, towels for drying off muddy feet, towels for drying off wet fur, towels for wiping up muddy footprints, and so on. I was putting through several extra loads of laundry and drying all of these rag towels in the dryer when I could have easily dried them on a line if only I had one. So in July I went to a local hardware store and picked up one of the clothesline trees which my husband begrudgingly helped me set up. He did most of the hole digging, with a little help from me, and our dog, poured the concrete into the hole and set the plastic sleeve for holding the centre pole. He is a great sport overall and, perhaps, was a little sleep deprived (Thank you Ryder).  After the concrete had set I was good to go.

I ambitiously started hanging everything to dry.  I quickly got the following feedback: My underwear is crispy, the towels feel like sandpaper, my T-shirts are chafing my skin.  I have to admit that my complaints department is rather unsympathetic and reponses to client criticism included "Man up!", among other things.  However, repeated attempts to shame my husband into allowing the continued, unbridled line drying were unsuccessful.  I suppose I should consider myself lucky that he agreed to install it in the first place.  We found a middle ground, sort of, and I relented slightly.

Consequently restricted items were thrown into the dryer but then left there for a day, or two, or three while I waited for an amount of clothing that would warrant turning the dryer on.  I doubt this is what my husband had in mind.  Fortunately nothing grew mold and by the end of summer I had line dried enough clothing that I learned a couple of things.  First, line drying is more easily done when you do not have to work during the day.  Second, a certain amount of crispiness can be avoided if you pull the laundry off the line before it is completely sun-baked.  By implementing the latter I did manage to sneak a few restricted items onto the line and avoid detection. 

I am looking forward to the warm days of summer for many reasons.  Bringing the clothesline back to life is one of them.  I can already imagine the fresh smell of clean sheets, dried on the line.  So sorry dear husband...well, not really.