For over thirty years, I lived in a house on an acre of land. Stretched across part of the wide back yard was a washing line. At each end of this was a sturdy post that held an adjustable cross bar, from which came two strands of strong (plastic covered) clothesline, each stretching for about fifty metres.
At about midpoint on these lines resided two tall clothes ‘props’ – strong, but lightweight and straight branches from eucalypt trees, culled for the purpose, with forked tops. The purpose being to lift, or prop up, the lines as high as possible, after the washing was securely pegged.
I loved that clothesline.
On warm windy days, washing would be fluttering, horizontal, flat out, quickly drying. Conversely, on rainy days, clothing would flap around furiously, only to eventually settle down and dry nicely – and so fresh and clean - once the rain stopped. Items left out overnight during a frosty winter would be rigid in the morning and almost in danger of breaking at a touch if you were not careful.
During many days, kookaburras came to perch, and laugh, on the clothesline end posts.
Now, that was a clothesline! As I said, I loved it!
I have decided that I could never live in a house or apartment that did not have an outdoor clothesline. The benefits of outdoor washing lines are many: Perhaps number one should be the saving on power needed to artificially dry clothes, and that is true. But, I also love the way, no matter what else you have to do, you need to find time to go outside in the fresh air and undertake and action that requires very little brain power and just a little exercise. Just to enjoy the air, reach up from basket, peg, to line until all is swinging in the (hopeful!) breeze,
In summertime, the dried washing can be brought inside whenever you have the chance to once more step outside into the fresh air. There you can stand, mind emptied of worries, unpegging, and folding beautiful fresh clothes, sheets and towels.
Sure, if you’re working an eight-hour job, a midday check of the washing might be well-nigh impossible, but, lucky you if you can have any bring-in-the-washing time at lunchtime.
Smell the cotton and linen. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can give that sunshiny smell to fresh washing, other that sunshine and fresh air.
I cringe at the thought of one day having to downsize to apartment living and have to transfer items from a washing machine straight to an electric dryer. I cannot even contemplate such a thought.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.