I'm in the final lap of celebrating the extra valentines in my life - things big and small that make life simpler, or more pleasurable. Lovely things like fragrant soaps, heart-stirring movies, good cleaning products, great books, and favorite foods.
My Number 26 blessing is a bit more mundane. It's something everybody has to do, and it's usually on the "drudgery" list: laundry.
Even the word is unattractive. It has too many vowels.
But, I enjoy it. I like taking messy mounds of soiled items and facilitating their transition into clean, nicely-stacked piles. I have a special partner in this endeavor: Mr. Sunshine.
Because we live in Florida, we have mostly sunny days all year round. Several years ago, for my birthday, I requested a clothesline. Some people thought I was nutty. Why would I want to return to Little House on the Prairie days when we had a perfectly fine dryer in the garage?
1. It seemed wasteful to have this top-of-the-line dryer in the sky, ready and waiting to dry things...and we weren't using it.
2. When I was a kid, my mom used to hang clothes on the line, and I remember that with fond nostalgia.
3. Things dried on the line smell good.
4. I knew it would save energy and money (we've gained twenty bucks a month.)
My husband installed my birthday clothesline in the backyard, and I've used the dryer very little since then. Of course, there are "dryer days," when it rains for 72 hours straight, but that's infrequent. Most of the time, our clothes flap in the breeze.
This was a particularly flappy day.
The breeze is my other partner in doing the laundry. We are just a few miles from the beach, so we always have a bit of wind blowing through the trees. I love it.
The wind gives the clothes personality.
The sun makes the whites whiter.
For me, it's earth-friendly and a bit spiritual to hang the laundry on the line. I appreciate nature's free gifts of wind and light to help us maintain our household. I love standing in the breeze, snapping out wrinkles and pinning socks next to their mates, so I can easily pair them later.
I love breathing in the fresh air and catching a few rays. I think about Tom Cruise hanging his own laundry in his hovel of a room in an American brothel in Far and Away. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.
Hanging clothes in the fresh air feeds my homemaker soul.
In memory of Laura Ingalls,