Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Old Timey Goodness Or Progressive Modernity? Neither, I’m afraid.

Did I ever mention that I'm a genius?  I've mentioned that once or twice, right?  I'm sure I must have.  Well, just in case: I'm a genius.

Um.  Sort of.

We live in north Texas.  Which is basically to say, "We live in a high-plains, desert-like hell the likes of which could inspire Dante to further greatness."  Er.  Or something.  My point being, in summer it is hot.  Really really hot.  And windy.  Really really windy.  It's also, not coincidentally, sunny 342 days of the year (I made that up, but it's fairly accurate). This perpetual sunshine is, in fact, one of the reasons we have the only joint NATO air training base in the country.  Lots of flying days.  Which is great if you're a Turkish pilot.  Or my laundry.

See, when we moved here from New Zealand, I swore as God as my witness, I would never dry laundry outside again!  (You have to imagine, y’know, big sweeping music and me ripping laundry off the line like so many curtains from the decrepit home of Scarlett O'Hara.)  And of course in Texas, nobody expects you to hang your laundry outside so it was oh-so-easy to comply with this heart-rending goal.

Except, there's all that fabric.  Soooo much fabric.  And it's been sitting in yard bags while I get around to washing it all.  You remember the whole my-cat-has-fleas-from-our-neighbor-kid scenario, right?  Well, when I realized the cat was sleeping in my fabric closet, out it all came into yard bags.   And there it all sat until I could get around to washing it.

Because that's allotta fabric to dry, people.

Enter the Husband, a power drill and three retractable clothes lines.  Up go the yards of fabric as they come out of the washer.  And, people!  Do you know how fast laundry dries in hell??  Super fast!  Like, if it's sunny and breezy, in about 15 minutes (as opposed to, oh let's say, six days in NZ). 

Good grief!  Why didn't I ever think of this before?!   Of course, new fabric I still have to machine-dry, because there’s always the possibility that I’ll machine-dry a garment I make from it.  And we don’t wash in hot water.  Although, if we’re going to start hanging the laundry, I guess we could start washing in hot water… hmm… so many laundry conundrums…  hot or cold water?…  To bleach or not to bleach?… What about the liquid fabric softener?!  Oh, the pressure.

Anyway.  Hanging the laundry.  I like it.

And here's a bonus: It makes an awesome design board.  This is what I pulled out of the bag randomly and yet look how pretty all that looks together.


A total fluke that it all coordinates (that floral has orange and purple in it exactly the colors of the knit and denim hanging next to it).  You get such a better overall picture when the fabric's extended full-length, don't you?   Of course, if I had my way, the entire world would just be one backyard strung with clothes lines and hung with pretty fabric.

I should get my way more often.

I know, it's really dumb to be proud of thinking to hang up the laundry.  But honestly I don't know one person in this town who would even consider such a thing.  And in all fairness, hanging laundry here can pose some difficulties.  For one thing, all that sunshine and wind does produce a lot of dust and dirt blowing around.  So you wouldn't want to leave your clean clothes out for too long or they wouldn't be clean anymore.  But for 20 minutes?  Brilliant.

The Big One "posing"

TLo doing... uh... something

It also makes a great backdrop for backyard silliness.


  1. I knew you were a genius. From the time I learned your first name! ;)
    And I'm not surprised that they happen to coordinate, because we all have our favorite colors for a reason, so it only makes sense to my genius brain, that they kind of match.
    And you can keep north Texas. I'll never complain about Michigan again!

  2. For my birthday last year my Mum rounded up my siblings and they clubbed together to buy me a six line retractable washing line (we'd made do with two lines strung across the back yard since we bought the house) In my neck of the woods, that's a present worth getting really excited about! Until you mention that your washing dries in 15 mins. Mine takes all day in summer and f-o-r-e-v-e-r in winter. I can't believe no one hangs out their washing there! I am such a kiwi.

  3. You are a genius!! As a fellow Texan I would never have thought of this, although I can see that it might work. It would also require me to leave my climate controlled air conditioned house, and that would never happen. Because it's hot. Too freakin' hot.

  4. Well, I'm in Southwest Kansas. It's not much different than North Texas so I feel your pain. I like to hang clothes outside, too. For some reason I seem to get more done! I especially love hanging it out in the summer. When the next load is ready to hang out the other one is already dry!

  5. I live in a mobile home park in Florida, and we're mot allowed to have clothes lines. I wish I could, and some day I will.

  6. Over here in "hi-tech Japan" almost no one has dryers. Rich people and restaurant owners are the exceptions. It's all fine until rainy season rolls around. And the drying area is the balcony so you can do about one load at a time. Oh, and no hot water washing either, cold all the way. YOu can digitally set the temp of yer bathwater though.....

    Your color collection looks awesome flying out there for all to see. Mine usually looks like a pirate ship pulled in to the balcony, or the equivalent of a fabric bruise. Black & blue. And some occasional blood red. Naaaaaaarrrr!

  7. Oh my goodness. I love this post!

  8. I need a clothes-line. Or even just a laundry rack I can put out on my back deck, which is dark brown so it gets nice and hot even in the cruddy summers we have here.

    We have good reason for our hot air dryers up here, though. Seriously. My November laundry wouldn't dry out until March. At the earliest.

  9. Dude. Does no one actually read my blog? I've been doing this for years and it's always so pretty I blog it with pictures. :P Yep, it dries in about 15 min in OK too.

  10. Hanging laundry is, like, the hipster thing to do now. Unfortunately, most hipsters live in condos and apartments and have no outdoor space. You are living the dream! I have a canopy-type bedframe (not meant to have a canopy) that I can never get rid of because where will I hang my laundry? I put virtually nothing that I wear on the outside in the dryer.

  11. As Angie said - she's been hanging stuff out for years and photographing it! Love it. Last year I bought a new clothesline and loved it!

    there is not much prettier than yardage hanging on the line. ::love:: g

  12. Hot, dry, sunny and windy is pretty much perfect for drying laundry. Better than a dryer, as far as I'm concerned - no need to iron!

  13. Where I am in Missouri it is much more humid than your part of Texas. I dry every thing on clothes drying racks that I use inside or out depending on the humidity level. I would love to have a sunny dry breeze to dry in.


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