Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Out to Dry

Okay, the laundry--that piece I didn't get to yesterday. Reading the front page section of the New York on Sunday, I discovered that there is actually a live political debate in this country about the use of clotheslines in one's own backyard. Apparently there are 60 million people living in the United States in areas where clotheslines are outlawed!

What? Is this a conspiracy by GE and other corporate giants to insure purchase and use of their energy-hungry drying machines? (Full disclosure: we dry our wash that way. Sorry!) At a time when the planet is dying as a result of our human species' increasing need for energy sources, when we even go to war to be sure we get our share, we make it illegal to hang out the wash to dry on a sunny day?





The problem, it seems, is that the sight of clean laundry on the line is offensive to the American eye. It's that same eye that requires that fruits and vegetables be without defect, regular in shape and color--even at the sacrifice of taste! It's the eye that gobbles up those glossy advertisements for unaffordable designer clothing lines in magazines, but rejects the mundane clothesline as unbeautiful. The eye that had, during the last administration, to be protected from the sight of coffins returning from Iraq.

Let us all please not be disturbed by anything unsightly. Let us please be protected from anything that disturbs our comfortable blandness. Lord, spare us from the sight of other peoples' underwear.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I loved that picture when I first saw it during your trip...I think you should make it into a card or a painting!! Mary

khengsiong said...

Hi, I had a post on clothesline too. It's here.

From what I know, some people are concerned that clothesline can depreciate the value of their properties.

I recalled that the monks of Metta Forest Monastery still dry their wash under the sun.

Nancy Youdelman said...

Clotheslines! For years I used them and love the smell of sun dried sheets and the slight roughness of bath towels that only happens when dried on a line.

I can recount many hours of stretching up to hang up clothes, great exercise, rhythmic & meditative. When my son was a baby I washed cloth diapers and hung them on a line in the sun--he never had diaper rash, apparently the sun kills bacteria. Who'd a thunk it?

robin andrea said...

We are spoiled brats.

Gary said...

The property we value should be our bodies and the air we breathe not the dirt and architecture we think will be devalued by those terrible clothes that are seen as evil and unsightly.

I heard a piece on NPR about this issue some months back and checked with my friend who maps carbon footprints at Columbia University. He tells me that washing clothes in an LG washer and drying them in the sun reduces a persons carbon foot print by 65%. Drying clothes with an electric dryer is the worst choice and gas is a close second.
He also confirms Nancy's supposition that the sun kills bacteria very well. We live in a perfect climatic zone to dry our clothes outdoors. I do it every day it isn't raining or about 306 days a year.

My neighbors think were hicks. I keep telling them to sell their SUV and buy a bike and a Hybrid.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks, Mary! Good to hear from you on TBD! The picture is Ellie's handiwork. Suggest the painting to her...

KS, always good to hear from you. I read your post from more than a year ago, and realized I'm somewhat slow on the uptake. LOVED your picture!!!

Nancy, thanks for checking in with your experience. Very visual (of course!) and very tactile! These small acts do have, as you suggest, a healing meditative quality. How sad that we have lost so many such necessities.

Robin, YES! How awful...

And Gary, thanks for adding to my impressions with some facts. Good luck with the neighbors!

Love to all...

sam_w said...

It is my 'solar powered' clothes dryer