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Airing [clean] laundry

September 23, 2008

I don’t know how old I was when my family got our first “regular” washing machine, but until then we used a wringer washer —

— and a clothesline. I remember having a great time running through bedsheets and towels in the summer, and knocking sheets of ice off of frozen clothes in the winter. Eventually I was old enough to be assigned to pinning up the laundry and taking it back in folded and dry, but even as a chore it wasn’t so bad.

Since then, I’ve always considered clotheslines a quaint and bucolic, energy-saving alternative to the dryer. According to this recent post to the New York Times blog, By Design, that’s an unpopular sentiment in much of suburbia, where air-drying one’s laundry is tacky and unsightly (and laundryless backyards are worth the extra energy). Who knew?

Well, I guess it’s a good thing we’re too rural for homeowner’s associations (or even building codes or permits!), and our neighbors would have to use binoculars to be offended by our unsightly landscaping. D and I don’t put it all on the clothesline, but since UV rays are the easiest way to sanitize cloth diapers and bleach them white, we hang them out on one strung across the deck.

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I know it’s country, but I prefer quaint.

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