Hanging Out the Wash: Green and Thrifty

It was a balmy 35°F this morning when I awoke. So—I’m hanging out the wash today on My Little Farm in Town.

I have a friend that does not own a dryer because of her green convictions. I admire her. She is a woman of grit and perseverance who hangs her laundry to dry all over inside her house during the winter and wet spells and outside in warmer weather.

I am not as noble and committed a creature. I hang my laundry outside for more mundane reasons:

1.       Economics: I might already have mentioned that our electric rates have risen significantly, and I’m tired listening to our dryer consume more kilowatts than I can afford.

2.       Vanity: I hate the sausagey way my cotton t-shirts fit when they shrink in the dryer.

3.       Senses: I just love the fresh air smell of line-dried clothing.

I usually dry only my cottons outside because I live in town and the wind doesn’t blow as vigorously between the houses. I can only get so many loads dry per day, and I only do laundry once a week. (As a teen living on a hill in northern Wisconsin, I could hang and dry a load in twenty minutes! Residing as a single person on the flats of Dubuque, Iowa, I did my laundry once a month and hung it all, with my landlord’s permission, on the expansive lines in the side yard of the brewer’s mansion converted into apartments where I lived at the time. Those were the days!)

My chickens like it when I am outside hanging or folding laundry, teetering on top of the packing snow drifts. It adds variety to their day and the anticipation of the treats I sometimes feed them between loads. (My next-door neighbor also thought it might entertain her Australian pen friend and asked if she could take a picture of me in action. I consented, thinking it might add an interesting cultural note to her correspondence.)

Today, I may need to take the last little bit of moisture out of my loads in the drier when the sun goes down,  but I will still be spending less on electricity.  Living greener and leaner by the minute, Begonia

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