In yesterday's column, I wrote about a movement (okay, maybe a mini-movement) back to clotheslines.
So many people commented so rapturously about the benefits — everything from the fresh scent of the clothes to memories of moms to thoughts of peace — that I just had to share a few more that I didn't have room for.
First, however, a cautionary note that had not occurred to me:
Kathy Ann Baus of Elkins Park writes that she used to wake up with headaches. "It wasn't until I spoke with a colleague whose daughter had asthma that I made the connection. I have a lot of allergies, including every grass and tree native to Pennsylvania, and the pollen that was in the air would get on the sheets and pillow cases. I was breathing them in and getting a headache. Now that I use a dryer I do not have that problem."
Now, on to the benefits!
From Peggy Hartzell: "I've always equated wash wafting in the breeze with peace and have photographed many colorful wash lines especially on Mondays in Amish country."
From Clare Cosenza: "I was raised during the 50's & 60's in a household of nine with a "stay at home mom" who took her career as a homemaker very seriously. Wash was on the line daily, except Sundays, and she touted the benefits such as the bright whites due to the bleaching of the sun and the fresh, clean smell. When I married and began my family, I carried on the torch. My next door neighbor and I became very close friends, sharing joys and sorrows as we hung our laundry each morning. I now live in an older Bucks County neighborhood with clothes flapping in the breeze in very few backyards. Yes, I'm sure I've saved lots of money in the last 28 years, but, for me, nothing beats the smell of fresh hung laundry!"
From Mary Jordan of Burlington County: "I'm hooked! Here's why:
-it gets you outside. I'm actually listening to birds sing in the morning. Very relaxing.
-while outside I've been inspired to plant a few flowers.
-I've shared a laugh with my daughter, who asked if we were going back to "pilgrim" days.
-I've heard a neat story from my dad, who was raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, (coal country), along the railroad tracks. Apparently, when a train would come along on wash day, the engineer would let fly with a great puff of smoke and ash, which would rain down on the clothes hanging out, prompting mothers up the line to come out shaking their fists. My grandmother probably would have killed for a dryer on those days!
-the clothesline (and sunshine) do wonders for workout clothes, which don't always smell much better after coming out of the wash.
Sherrie Jenkins of Havertown made me laugh when she wrote about how she used to hang out her children's diapers: "I didn't have a dryer rack outside, so I used to clothespin them to hangers and hang them across the monkey bars on our backyard playset, which got odd and unhappy looks from the neighbors."