Friday, September 11, 2009

Dirty Laundry


Would you consider hanging your laundry or 'washing' out on a line to dry? Why not? Texas has the perfect weather for drying washing. Sheets, knickers, and vests would be dry in no time almost any day of the year. Why, because we just don't. There are things called dryers for that sort of thing….nice manmade machines that roll the clothes around in a heated drum and toss out all the wrinkles and damp. Don't be silly!

One of my first nights out with new friends provided me with an insight into what a spoiled life I actually had with my tumble dryer over in TX. And quite frankly, how wasteful it was. One friend said her Dad came over while she had the tumble dryer on and made her come out with him and look at the electric meter, oh how it spins! Think of all that money wasted on drying clothes when you have a perfectly nice day for hanging out the washing. Another said she'd never had a tumble dryer. Ever. She has 3 small children. Just think of that, not forgetting of course that Ireland isn't known for having the sunniest, driest weather. She has one now but really it isn't so odd that she didn't. They don't really use them over here.

The second most popular topic of polite conversation is the washing. If you've hung yours out yet, what a good day it is for hanging washing, better get the washing in the weather's changing.

In the old house we had a tumble dryer. It just didn't really work very well. It wasn't like the ones I was used to with the filter poking out of a vent in the side of the house for the steam to escape through. Instead it had a tray in the bottom, not unlike one of those freezer trays filled with water or that strange blue stuff that you put in a cooler, where all the water from the clothes would go. I always wondered how the water got there. Anyway, this water thing would fill up periodically and have to be taken out of the dryer and emptied. I'd stand out in the cold in my robe and flip-flops pouring used clothes water into the bushes. And for all that, the clothes still wouldn't get totally dry. Not that nice fluffy bury-your-face-in-the -towels dry. This contributes to bitterness.

Another option is to hang your clothes all over the house on drying racks and in the hot press. What's a hot press? A press is a cabinet and it's the hot one because it has the immersion tank in it. An immersion tank being the hot water heater. More on that another day. So, in the winter and early spring when most days are cold and wet and not fine days for hanging the washing, one must decorate the house with it. Our kitchen eating area used to be the drying area, not very good feng shui I found out because that was our money corner and it is not good to have your money corner cluttered.

With all of that I do have to admit that I loved hanging out all of Paul and Rowan's white undershirts in a perfect row along the clothesline. It made me feel very organized to see them all lined up like sails or bunting at a picnic. And sheets are especially nice dried on a line. But I would never iron them. My neighbor asked me one day if I was always ironing because of how often I washed the sheets. "What?!?" , I asked, stunned, "iron the sheets?" I'd never heard of such a thing. I send work shirts to the cleaners so I don't have to iron them for crying out loud. No way, never, not a chance will you ever catch me ironing sheets!

I have to admit my horrible, lazy secret here. In the new house we have a perfectly lovely, carbon bigfoot print, meter spinning like Christmas Vacation tumble dryer and I use it with reckless abandon. Sweet, sweet joys of life.

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