I love to hang clothes outside on the line…even in the winter. There is something very gratifying about stepping out on the deck on a chilly day with damp clothes over my arm. I love the winter sun, whose beams shine weakly, but still warmly, across the deck. I see the smiling pansy faces in the pots on the table and railing, the rosemary topiaries, and the ornamental kales in their pots, absorbing the rays and teasing the winter with their brightness. I hear chickadees cheeping in the crape myrtle and then see them fly bravely to the feeder or suet basket on the deck, never minding that I am so close.
I love my pulley driven clothesline, anchored to the deck on one end and a big, old oak on the other end. I hang the heavy jeans, billowy sheets, and bulky sweatshirts and look down at the glossy leaved foxgloves below, who like their pot bound neighbors on the deck above seem to say, “Winter, what winter? There is sun and warmth enough for us!”
I love my wooden clothes rack, too. I move it around on the deck to catch the shifting rays as the sun makes its daily transit. Morning it’s near the window, afternoon, in the middle of the deck near the step. The rack is beginning to show it’s age, painted bars beginning to peel ever so slightly. It is still perfect for t-shirts. Never mind that the boys think they feel a bit stiff after hanging in the cold for the day. They smell better than any artificial fragrance can make them smell…and three minutes in the dryer will soften them up just fine.
I love to gather up the dry clothes at the end of the day, usually in the dark, to breathe in the sharp coldness of the air, to see a star or two, or the slip of the moon, maybe even to hear an owl, while I reel in the line with my catch of dry, winter fresh smelling clothes.
The folding…that’s another story. Thankfully, I have plenty of folders still at home. You know, maybe laundry isn’t so bad after all, at least as long as I can hang clothes outside. Thank goodness I live in a neighborhood that hasn't gotten around to banning clotheslines! Now, that would be sad.