Thursday, April 28, 2011
The line on wash
The other morning I looked out the kitchen window and noticed my neighbor had a line full of clothes hanging out. The wind was blowing a gale that particular morning and I thought to myself, she had courage to try keeping clothes on the line today.
It was the first time I had noticed anyone hanging a washing outdoors, but the milder weather has arrived and I expect she might be trying to save on electricity. Then as I picked up the paper off the front porch another neighbor had her clothesline full of clothes. It reminded me of when my nephew who lives at our house washed one of his prized jackets, hung it outside on the line and it too was a high windy day. He had hung it in the early evening. I mentioned he should keep a watch of it, but did he? The next morning it was gone, could someone have taken it? I told him to look down along the creek. Sure enough, the jacket was hung up on a rock in the creek. With his grandfather’s high boots he tracked down the creek and retrieved his jacket, which happened to be denim. He remarked, “I guess it is now stone-washed for sure.”
Do you have a clothesline you can use in the summertime? There is nothing more wonderful than the smell of sun-dried washing, especially your bedding. Sheets have a wonderful scent that can put you to sleep at night.
I know there are some housing developments that ban clotheslines. Even in residential neighborhoods there are those people who object to their neighbors hanging out washing. With “green” systems so encouraged, it would seem they would become more tolerant.
A gentleman went a nearby village board to try make it illegal to hang clothes outside. He’s told his neighbor to cut it out, but she continued. So he took action. The board denied his request. I don’t imagine he was very happy.
Sometimes people don’t take into consideration that perhaps the woman didn’t have a dryer and couldn’t afford to go to a laundromat to dry her clothes.
If you have ever been or if you are one that does go to the laundromat it’s a shock to those who don’t use them. The cost of doing a family wash for a week is enormous.
Time was when if you had a roll of quarters ($10) you could most often get it all done, but not today. I had a bedspread and I had to use one of the heavy-duty machines at the laundromat. The cost was $2.50 for the small machine and $7.50 for the large one to wash and 25 cents to dry.
It’s interesting to go to the laundromat, especially if you don’t have to do your wash. If you plan to stay while your washing is done, then you have the opportunity to read magazines that are offered by the owners or those who leave them for others to enjoy. Some people bring their own reading material.
There is always a bulletin board with all kinds of cards and reading material for you to examine. You can generally find a babysitter’s phone number, handyman, products for sale such as eggs, spices, baked goods, etc. It’s like an open market for almost anything anyone might need.
You might happen to be there when someone had brought one or two kids along. They can be good for a short time, but if mom has a lot of washing, they might get to be kind of noisy and a pesky.
By the time their wash is done and dried, you might find me in my car enjoying peace and quiet and sympathizing with the poor mother.
If she is smart and knows her kids, she will bring along grandma or an aunt to help entertain the little ones for the sake of herself and the other patrons using the facilities. We’ve been there ourselves.
This edition of Canastota Corner originally ran April 14, 2010.