Friday, August 17, 2012

Gratification in a Laundry Basket

There aren’t many household chores I relish. But today I hung small clothes on the tree-tethered clothesline. 
Grandson Sam, 8, is visiting. When he dressed for church  I discovered every shirt was dirty. In desperation I grabbed one of my white T-shirts for him. It wasn’t ridiculously big, but it was long, and when I tucked it in it made a snake sized tube around his hips. So I took the least soiled shirt from the pile, washed the worst spots by hand, and dried them with my hair drier. Bingo.

    Later, after a Sam-load of dirty clothes, I smiled to see the boy-sized swimming trunks and shirts next to my husband’s tee. They reminded me of hundreds of loads that I pinned outside under the Colorado sky. The air is so dry there that I could hang clothes out even in winter.  One day with temps in the low 30’s I hung out a load of cloth diapers that froze as soon as they hit the air. But they were dry by twilight. 
   Laundry can create enviable line art.  One neighbor had a large family and her wash was color themed--jewel tone blouses and dresses swayed one day, grey and khaki trousers danced like phantoms in pants the next.  Yet another load would be white sheets and shirts, wind-filled sails on a boat going nowhere. 

This summer we installed a new rotating contraption at the family vacation place. I was tired of trying to dry wet towels on the shady side of the barn. I can stand in one place and swing it around around to fill the lines supported by four orange arms. Quick and efficient. But living green is a minor goal.

     I love the warmth of sun-soaked garments, the matchless scent of meadow-dried sheets and the sound they make snapping in a brisk breeze. The ritual of transferring wet laundry from my woven basket to an outdoor clothesline and looking up to the sky pleases me. 
   I hope you find gratification in some simple task today.

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