Hanging Out Laundry

There’s something peaceful about hanging out laundry. Standing in the sun attaching damp clothes to a rope with wooden pins is my favorite chore.

It is not drudgery, not like digging an asparagus bed or scrubbing the kitchen floor.

Standing in all the green looking up at the cottony clouds scudding across the sky, touching the white cotton t-shirts smelling fresh as the wind blowing them dry.

Sharing words with the mockingbird who provides the music as the breeze bows to the billowing pillowcase and they all waltz together, the windy pillow clouds.

I lean on the porch railing and long to fly like the mockingbird, the pillowcase, the clouds,

but it is well enough to be here, now, rooted to this spot in the country where I can hang underwear on the line and not worry that the birds might malign the whiteness of my clothes.  Though the mockingbird has tired of waltzing and now composes for my listening pleasure a raucous ditty, a laughing cacophony,

making witty fun of the paint-stained gloves, but I can laugh with him because it is greensummerwarm and there is time to hang the laundry out in the sun. 

15 thoughts on “Hanging Out Laundry

  1. For years my mother refused any offer of a dryer. I grew up hanging clothes, towels, and sheets, and loving the scent and feel of them freshly dried, as nature intended. I cannot fathom the idea that laundry on a line is the “visual pollution” suburbia has made it out to be, especially in a time when we’re supposed to be conserving energy.

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  2. Give me stiff towels. Give me clothes that smell of the outdoors. I love that occasional experience where you run into someone, and note the clothespin dimples on their shirt’s shoulders, and you know you’ve met a kindred spirit.

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  3. I love the smell of sheets hung on the line! But we have been advised not to because the pollen is trapped in the sheets and pillowcases. Then you breathe in the pollen all night. Curse you, Allergies!!!


  4. Ahhh, this brought back memories of my mom hanging out laundry in our back yard when I was a girl. My sisters and I would swirl among the clothes. I loved their slightly rough feel against my skin. I love the peace in your post today. :)

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  5. This lovely bit of writing took me back to my childhood and youth when i stood in the sun bathed by birdsong and hung clothes on the line for my mom: diapers, lots of diapers. I remember when I loved nothing better than crawling into a bed newly made with line-dried sheets. i used to think I could smell the sunshine. Your words are magical in their power to produce memories for others.


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