Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hanging out the Wash Part 2

My mother-in-law always referred to the laundry as the "warsh". She did the " warsh" every day of her married life, even long after her 5 kids were grown and gone and her husband had died - it was the only way she could keep up with all the laundry with a family of 7. Whenever she visited us, she always did our "warsh" for us, which was wonderful. She pronounced the word wash the regular way while referring to what you do to the car when it is dirty, or the county in which I live (Washtenaw) etc. She died a few springs ago on a lovely May day and there isn't a day that I don't think about her still, and today I thought of her as I was hanging out the "warsh" to dry. She would laugh at my efforts to try to save the earth by air drying laundry as only a woman who for years hung out the warsh because she couldn't afford a dryer.

I have decided jeans are a load that need to be dried in the dryer, and for the kids, jeans can't be easily reworn. Trying to convince a middle school aged daughter to rewear a pair of jeans when she is sometimes interested in several wardrobe changes during the course of day is an exercise in futility. Middle school aged son would gladly wear the same outfit day in and day out if I let him, but he gets really dirty in a way that only a 6th grade boy can get dirty. Climbing trees, hiking around in the mud looking for a rumored hidden dagger in the park, etc. really isn't conducive to rewearing jeans, I needed a new load to focus on. What load is light and small enough to hang in quantity on the drying rack outside?

Underwear! Unfortunately, I am permanently scarred from viewing our next door neighbor Mrs. Ann's bloomers hanging from the line when I was a kid. I just didn't want to do that to the high school boy that lives next door. Instead, I tried towels and pillowcases outside, and hung my dress pants up to dry in the laundry room. I picked out enough items from two loads to then only have one load to dry. It's been about 45 F today in Ann Arbor, skies overcast, and little wind, and the towels are still not dry. I put them out at 1 pm, and it is now 6 pm. Luckily, the days are getting longer and I have decided to go to church tomorrow instead of tonight, so I can hang around here drinking mojitos watching the laundry dry.

Maybe this whole laundry experiment will go better with alcohol....


Unknown said...

Anything goes better with mojitos. My favorite chore while "mojitoing" has got to be dusting. Put on some Salsa music - and the evening would be perfect.

(I LOVE the website...and the recipes! Thank you!!)

Sandy said...

As a fan of completing the entire family's laundry in one day, I struggle with accomplishing this goal due to the fact that my teenage kids wear adult sized clothes now. Here is my solution...

I alternate hoodie washing and jean washing each week. This saves me two loads of time and energy each week (how green of me). If it is hoodie washing week, then the kids are forced to rewear jeans (but at least it is not two days in a row). The exception to the plan is when my son Paul splurges food on a hoodie during "jeans week".

It seems to be working so far. BTW, thanks for reminding me about Mrs. Anne's bloomers a memory that until this morning I had previously successfully suppressed.

Westwind Eirene said...

I love hanging my laundry to dry. I did so today in Cincinnati's 80 degree temps and breeziness! Love it. I save us a bunch on the electric bill, and get to go outside in under the sun. Not to mention that hanging the laundry balances out some of the use of the washer.

My stepmother always hung her laundry, my mother never did. I hand it all out - everything. I don't mind if the sun shines on the things that cover the parts where the sun don't shine :)

My mother says that when I was a teenager that I had to use a clean bath towel every day. I don't remember doing that, but I wouldn't do that now!!! I re-use my towel for 6 days since I'm only drying a clean body. My clothes, I wear twice as long as I haven't gotten dirty or sweaty (with the exception of my guchies!).