Clotheslines and Laundry

Clothelines are definitely an important part of my life in New Zealand. I grew up with a rotary one. Dad built a step underneath it as my mother was rather short. Laundry (or washing in NZ) is a vital chore as most people hang their clothes outside in fine weather.

I lived in Wellington when my children were babies. The city is known for many things such as its iconic cable car and fine harbour. Also wind from every direction. We bought a cabinet type dryer as i got tired of untangling wet diapers from the clothesline. They tended to slap me on my face. Mum thought the dryer was an unnecessary expense until she came to stay with me and saw how much trouble I had drying clothes in the wind.

Our house in Canada came with a long clothesline in the backyard. I was amused when the real estate agent told me that it was socially unacceptable to hang out clothes on a Sunday. My immediate neighbour had no such qualms about the right days for laundry and I followed his lead. Besides, my line was in the BACK yard. Above it was a large oak tree and I swear that squirrels took great delight in dropping acorns on my head. This clothesline had to be replaced twice. Once it was flattened by the spectacular collapse of the aforesaid giant and elderly oak tree. The other cause of its demise was a lightning strike. The charge carried along the line, burning off the insulation and entering the house near the back door where it killed several electrical devices.

Leaving the house meant leaving behind outdoor drying as the condo building had a no laundry outside policy. So I enjoy the clothesline in New Zealand. It is a little high for me as the woman who lived here first was taller than I am but I hope the upward stretching is beneficial for my back. When the weather is fine, I get much satisfaction from watching my laundry flapping gently in the breeze. It dries quickly now that the trees behind us have been removed or trimmed. And of course, the line is eco-friendly. If the weather is wet, we have racks in the garage where we can hang clothes.

I feel happy about taking clean and dry clothes off the line. I don’t know why it is preferable to completing other house chores but it is . Just as well I suppose as I have a bad habit of dropping food on the front of my clothes. This obviously involves more laundry and more visits to my clothesline.