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Drawing a line in the air: Clotheslines are lovely to some, anathema to others

Original post made on Nov 1, 2007

Portola Valley resident Danna Breen loves her clothesline, particularly when her children's clothes are pinned up on it.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by W JEFFRIES, a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2007 at 10:43 am

I FIND IT SAD THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENJOY SUCH A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. THERE ISN'T ANYTHING THAT COMPARES TO THE SMELL OF LINE DRIED CLOTHING. I CAN OPEN MY LINEN CLOSET AND NO PERFUME IN FABRIC SOFTNERS CAN COME CLOSE TO THAT FRESH SMELL. TO SLIDE IN BETWEEN LINE DRIED SHEETS IS HEAVEN. I DO NOT LIVE IN A SLUM AND OWN A WELL KEPT AND MAINTAINED BRICK HOME. I HAD A CLOTHES LINE FOR OVER 30 YEARS AND USED IT. WHEN IT RUSTED I HAD THE LINE TAKEN DOWN. I HAVE A PORTABLE LINE I SET UP ON MY PATIO WHEN I WANT TO LINE DRY AND IT IS REMOVED WHEN THE CLOTHES DRY. I UNDERSTAND THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE NOT TASTEFUL AS TO WHAT THEY PUT IN THEIR YARDS AND THATS WHERE THE ASSOCIATION COMES IN. TO NOT ALLOW A LINE OR DRYING OF CLOTHES OUTSIDE IS A BIT OVERBOARD, GUIDELINES CAN BE SET. I WOULD NOT LIVE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD WITH CLOTHELINE RESTRICTIONS.


Posted by W JEFFRIES, a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Nov 1, 2007 at 10:51 am

I WANT TO ADD THAT UNDERCLOTHING SUCH AS BRAS,PANTIES AND MENS UNDERWEAR ARE HUNG ON THE INSIDE LINE SO THEY CANNOT BE SEEN.


Posted by go for it..., a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Nov 1, 2007 at 9:38 pm


I love the idea of clothesline. It was part of my childhood, and it took years for me to get used to the smell of dryer dried clothes. Good for nostalgia, good for the environment. Go for it!


Posted by HR, a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2007 at 9:13 am

So much for going green and saving energy. I'm in favor of drying clothes outside, what better way to save energy. What would all the people do against clotheslines if suddenly there was no electricity for drying their clothes. Where would they hang them then, why, outside of course! Go for it girl, keep on doing what you are doing. Home owners associations are dictarorial, power going to a person's head. Whatever happened to the land of the FREE!!!!!!!!


Posted by Bo, a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2007 at 7:02 pm


I don't know what says "Bay Area Gentry" more... the fact that we're celebrating clotheslines, or the fact that people are complaining about it!!??!?!?!?!


Posted by Danna Breen, a resident of Portola Valley: other
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.



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