Friday, April 13, 2007

Bring back the clothesline

Okay. I have to admit that this is an energy saving method I don't use. I don't even have a washing machine - much less a clothes drier - and so I take my laundry out to get it done at a nearby laundro-mat. But I well remember years ago hanging out tons of laundry when I was a girl. In fact, my family had one of those old wringer-washers and washing day was quite an enterprise.

Here's something from the New York Times about hanging out your laundry called "To Fight Global Warming, Some Hang a Clothesline":

As a child, I helped my mother hang laundry in our backyard in Tamaqua, Pa., a small coal mining town. My job was handing up the lothespins. When everything was dry, I helped her fold the sheets in a series of moves that resembled ballroom dancing.

The clothes and linens always smelled so fresh. Everything about the laundry was fun. My brother and I played hide-and-seek in the rows of billowing white sheets.

I remember this as I’m studying energy-saving tips from
Al Gore, who says that when you have time, you should use a clothesline to dry your clothes instead of the dryer....

That simple decision to hang a clothesline, however, catapults me into the laundry underground. Clotheslines are banned or restricted by many of the roughly 300,000 homeowners’ associations that set rules for some 60 million people. When I called to ask, our Rolling Hills Community Association told me that my laundry had to be completely hidden in an enclosure approved by its board of directors.

As many of you know, I just bought a little house and I'm in the process of moving this week and next. I'm quite sure my new home owners association forbids the hanging of laundry in the yard. Interestingly, someone before me put clothelines on the screened back porch. Unfortunately, they are too high for me to reach and I can't see a way to hang them any lower. For the time being, I'm going to need to keep taking my laundry out to get it done as I can't afford a washer at this time. But maybe before too long I can come up with a plan. I always hung out my clothes when I lived in Ireland and it didn't hurt me any!

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