I don’t want to air my dirty laundry, but clean laundry, now that’s a different story.
I can remember being a child, running through sheets hanging out to dry. They were magical, those impromptu tents, flapping above the ground, with me, standing inside the light colored shade, darting from one cool shelter to another.
As a mother, I’ve always hung at least some of my laundry out to dry. At first it was just the cloth diapers, so the sun could bleach them white. We had our duvet cover stolen off the communal clothesline at our student housing complex at UCSD, but no problem with diaper pilfering. In New York, I continued hanging diapers out, season and weather permitting.
Now we live in Utah, which may well be the perfect place for line drying. Our yard did not come with clothesline posts, so within my first week here, I bought collapsable drying racks from Ikea. The electric dryer that came with our house worked so poorly, that it just made sense to dry things outside during the hot summer and the crisp days of fall.
Then, last winter, the dryer finally gave out. Instead of repairing or replacing it immediately, I set up my drying rack inside. Jeans take a day and a night to dry inside, in the winter. I had to rearrange my laundry schedule to accomodate drying time and rack capacity, just as I had to rearrange the furniture to have a designated indoor drying area.
And it worked. Even with three kids, my husband working long hours and traveling, and me juggling classes, homework, housework, church calling responsibilities, and volunteering at the school, even with all of that, I still had time to hang all of our laundry to dry. So we gave away our dryer to someone who could use it (it only needed a small fix), and we haven’t missed it.
One day, I’ll have clothesline posts, so I can hang my sheets outside for my kids to run through. But until then, I love being outside in the morning, hanging the laundry on my little drying racks, while the children play around me. Sometimes they help. Other times the clothes get caught in the cross fire of water battles. But every sunny day we do laundry, we get to be outside, waving to our neighbors as they go past, and enjoying being alive on God’s green earth.