Monday, January 08, 2007

Thoughts on Hanging Clothes

Tonight when I snuggle into bed, its going to smell like the great outdoors. The sheets will be cold and crisp, scented with the fresh winter air. I thought a lot today when I was outside bringing in the clothes, that I don't know how to describe the way the air smells in winter as opposed to the summer air. It is different, but words escape me in explaining it.
I was in no hurry to come inside so I folded each piece as I put it in the clothes basket. Mindless work that allowed me to gaze around and see the way the cats looked snuggled up in the hay in the sun, or the way the morning doves brown feathers reminded me of the woods. Seeing the collard greens growing in the garden, stopping to remember in detail how sweet and good they tasted last night for supper. Steamed soft but not so long that they lost that bright green color.
The red sheets blowing on the line as if they were some great sail. Hard to bring in, taming them and making them conform to the size and shape I wanted. I held them up to my nose. The scent so much like comfort. Today I knew that if we had a clothes dryer, and it is always me that says NO to the idea of getting one, I knew today that I if one sat next to the washer, I may have reasoned, "well you are sick with this cold, its not warm outside so use the dryer". And I suspect I could find reasons many days to not bother lugging out heavy baskets of wet clothes, hang them up when the sun is too hot or when the air is too cold, but by doing that, I would miss so much. The smell of the air, the clouds floating by above me, the sound of the chickens, or the birds in the trees. The way the earth looks as its bare and the way it looks as plants spring forth in amazing speed. I would miss the way the chilly air kisses my face or the way the suns heat reminds me of sitting in the sand at the beach as a child. I would miss way too many things by having a dryer.
Tonight, when I pull those covers up over me and plop my head on my pillow, surrounded by the smell and feel of this winter day, I will know that for me, its best to be simple and not have a machine that would rob me of all this

Morning dove sitting on the fence

A basket of folded clothes, with Ling Ling looking on

Collard greens in our garden


Amy said...

What do you do when it's freezing outside? (city dweller dreaming of the day I can have a clothes line). Don't the clothes freeze and not dry when it's really cold?

Kelli said...

Patty, I have to admit I have never smelled fresh winter air on sheets but it must be wonderful! What a lovely post and I like your little hanging clothes helper too. :0)

Little Jenny Wren said...

I hopped into my summer smelling sheets last night. My bed was freshly made and the sheets had come straight off the line so I wouldn't be deprived of the lovely fragrance.

Anonymous said...

Patricia, I'm so envious of your clothes hanging! During the winter when we visit family in Arizona we usually spend several weeks. We always hang the clothes on the line and they smell SO good! I have a line at home too and use it in the summer --- but every winter when I try to use it here, the clothes stay wet all day, all night, all the next day, all night, and so on until I finally bring them in and put them in the dryer. I guess there's just too much moisture in the air. There's nothing nicer than the smell and feel of line-dried clothes and towels and sheets!

Anonymous said...

Patty, the picture with Ling Ling peeking into the laundry basket is priceless! That is one I would frame.

Hasn't it been nice to get the laundry on the line? I took our laundry in last night after the sun went down and I was able to see all the beautiful stars. I thought of how I would have missed such a beautiful sight if I used my dryer.

Hope you feel better soon!

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