November 19, 2009

Uptight About Laundry in the Burbs

What in the world are people thinking today?
There are actually some communities that are making laws to forbid people from  hanging out their laundry!

In a nation where "green" thinking is being encouraged, how is it possible to even entertain the thought that line drying clothes is wrong?  It's insanity and one has to stop and think how government became so darn intrusive into personal life.

 I recycle, I reuse, repurpose. I use cleaners that are largely homemade to save the environment . I maintain my yard that backs into national lands in a way to be super friendly and natural.
But I draw the line at not being able to hang out laundry if and when I want to do so.
My neighbor hangs hers out all the time and there is something so homey and nice about hearing the shirts flap in the wind.
Here, I am not right up against my neighbors. There is a good bit of space between our homes filled with trees etc, which I love. But I can hear the clothes snapping in the wind on a very breezy day when I am outside.
I used to hang things out and I remember the lovely fresh smells of sheets and tops after a day in the cleansing sunlight.

One woman reports that she saves a whopping $83.00 a month by line drying laundry for her family of 5.
Thats a considerable savings.
The exercise isn't bad either if you consider that.Stooping, reaching, stretching.

As far as time constraints? Think this over. Back in the day before all the labor saving conveniences people actually had more time! Perception is everything!
Today, everyone is stressed out and on the run. Why?
"I have to .. I have to.. run here, get this, do that, etc." Again, perception is all.
When families actually sat down to breakfast together, they had a full, long day. Stress was not as great a factor.

Today, we are tethered with cell phones, blackberries and computers to be "on call" 24/7.
Years ago if you were out, you were out. Your phone, at home, rang and rang . Nothing picked it up. No messages were left. People did not get upset as they do today.
"Why didn't you answer your phone!!!!".
People just realized that you were out. And it was , in those days, none of their business where either.
Today you simply owe everyone an explanation for everything you do all the time. That's stressful.
Hanging out laundry can be peaceful. You are alone outside in the sun and breeze. You carefully hang each piece in such a way as to optimally dry and with the least amount of wrinkles. It becomes second nature after a while. You can daydream, ponder, enjoy the song of the birds, the feel of the sun on your body, the gentle breezes in your hair and you can sigh, relax and enjoy.
It's called taking time to smell the roses along the way and I believe that without that we are stressing ourselves to death. No one can be available 24 hours a day and remain normal.
We need time to think calm thoughts, breathe in the air, and listen to the sounds around us.
I think time isn't measured mentally by all that you have to do, but by how you do it and the perceptions and attitudes that go along with it.

Think back to a simpler time , to the sounds and sights and smells that make you ,even now, sigh and relax. You can, if you really think of these things, feel your shoulders loosen and fall a bit.

The article I read said people don't want to see other's underwear flapping in the breeze.
Oh, please.Talk about being uptight! Getting hyper about someone's laundry is the epitome of being  stressed out, but people get stressed out even by the holidays they love. Why? Can't shopping, wrapping, giving, crowds ,etc  be enjoyed? It's how you see things and how you choose to interpret things.
Putting a good spin on things makes life much nicer.

On the other side of my house, my neighbor keeps some chickens in the  yard.
I was sitting on the steps outback yesterday in the sun hearing them squabble and squawk. It was nice. Very natural. I enjoyed the sound of them.
It can be relaxing and refreshing to just enjoy the sights , sounds and scents of nature around you.

Things get done. There is no rush really. Better to enjoy the life you have and the time given than to rush through it and be breathless and upset  at the end of a day.

Now I am going to go enjoy the rain .


  1. Hi Annie,
    I heard about that story also. What is wrong with people who cares about people hanging their clothes outside?? I hear the homeowners associations are pushing this in many states but not in CA. Our state was not on the list :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs, Dru

  2. I line dry my clothes as well-electicity is reall high here-but it's all indoors on one of those little racks.

  3. Hi Annie :)

    Amen to that! I loved this post. You are so right about every single thing you said. I wish I could go back to the days before answering machines and cell phones too.


  4. Hi Annie: Oh, I'm so with you on intrusive government! I can no longer feed deer corn. If they eat a pumpkin, that's OK, but if I put out corn in the dead of freezing winter, I get a ticket! I love the natural outdoors.

    Are you OK after IDA? Have a lovely day. HUGS

  5. Hi Annie! I have such great memories of my mom hanging clothes and esp. sheets on the clothesline. I used to love to run through the sheets- they smelled so good. She was patient since I'm sure I had grubby little hands. ;) The other fond memory was her using a sprinking can when she ironed. That also smelled good when the hot iron hit the damp clothes. I know from my friends in the UK, that they still use cloitheslines a lot more than we do. If they can do it in their cold, rainy weather, we sure should be able to. It's a great energy saver. (((Hugz)))

  6. Hi Annie,
    I used a clothesline years ago when my boys were very young. Everything smelled so nice and fresh, just lovely. Now there are candles and air fresheners to imitate that scent!

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


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