Posted by Danna Breen, a resident of the Portola Valley: other neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2008 at 9:22 pm
Wow! what a suprise to come across this tonight. I was looking for Obama articles and response.
It was fun that the Almanac decided to do a small piece on clotheslines, but for obvious reasons they could not go into the poetry of using them. I am happy that it is months later as I am sure no one will ever read this so I will wax poetic.
There are the obvious carbon reasons. Chemical reasons. I never use bleach, those over fragrant fabric softeners.You don't need to. Sun is the bleach and fabric softeners? Ick. Soap and water. I confess I like to use hot water sometimes, but i keep a blanket around my weater heater so I feel entitled to run it hot when I am doing white cotton sheets.
I used a clothesline because of quality of life and because I was trying to save resources and money. I saved both.
I had a big retractable line between two trees and I used to take it down between washes so no one would see it, but it is a part of how we live so it actually stays strung taught in the incredible view of Windy Hill as the backdrop. It is part of the picture.It is how we live. I love seeing the linens on the line in the distant view when I descend from Windy Hill.
I have been a single mother of four kids. They are all now in college. Life had it's tough moments. Between the bumps I quietly and consciously,took my old wicker basket out to the line and smoothed each garment pinning in strategic places. There is a way to hang jeans and blouses and boxers and sheets so you don't have to iron, so they fold like fresh clouds into the basket and into the closet.
There were times when I was utterly stressed and I would go out and see my children's clothes wafting softly in the breeze and I could handle each piece, the memories of them wearing these garments. The love of tucking them into bed on Friday night(linen day) and smelling the sunshine.
I was not an overly emotive mother and certainly not a "helicopter" parent, but I did love taking their garments off the line and with great love folding them and taking them to their places.
At thirteen they each started their own laundry and it was not mandatory to use the line, but I do love when they are here on college vaction when I do see their own clothes out there.I think IO have given them a gift.