It’s been a long, long winter and most of us have felt the heaviness of it in many different ways.
One way that I have felt depressed is laundry. Now I love to have freshly air-dried laundry, but our weather has not allowed it since late October. The clothes have been dried by the ever-faithful laundry rack during the winter but I have been peeking out the window and measuring the depth of the snow and watching the temperatures slowly (OH! so slowly!) climb up to above freezing so that clothes could be dried outside.
These past 3 days have finally met all criteria for the necessary outside laundry. We have had 2 (count them! TWO!) days with sun and over 60 degrees. And the day before that we had mild winds, mild weather and no rain!
“It is TIME,” says I to my devoted husband. And he listened to me, for once. We stripped the bed, washed the flannel sheets and wool blankets two days ago. The sheets came in and went back on the bed. Here in Minnesota, it’s not time to take flannel off just yet.
The blankets stayed on the line for two days to whip freshness into them. We substituted with extra blankets but today the freshly cleaned ones will go back on.
And today was the first day in 6 months that we have hung “real” laundry out, as well. What an exciting day. Norm carries the baskets out and puts them on a chair so I don’t have to bend and I spend time outside, hanging clothes, listening to sounds and thinking back into the past.
The birds are singing – Mourning Doves, Robins, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Brewer Blackbirds and something that sounds like a Cuckoo; I didn’t think we have Cuckoos here but my trusty bird book says we could have them.
The ewes are bleating. Actually, Soot is bellowing; she claims she is starving because she hasn’t been fed grain since early this morning. Lulu goes along for awhile, but then puts her head back down into the beautiful green stuff and shows the twins how to eat grass.
The cats are prowling around the area looking for mice and voles. Peanut the dog is making sure that I’m not attacked by bears or any other such dangerous animals.
As I hang the clothes, I think of Nana. She taught me how to hang out clothes properly when I was first married, lo those many years ago. Whites with whites, colors with colors, shirts together, pants together, unmentionables on the middle line where no-one sees them. A tidy clothesline indicates the tidiness of the house, for the most part – but don’t count on MY house looking like my clothesline! Read an earlier post on the “old-fashioned rules of hanging out your laundry.”
And once the clothes are off the line and back in the house? I can count on the first night of fresh sheets being a night of little sleep. I sniff and enjoy, try to sleep, turn over, sniff and enjoy, try to sleep, turn over, sniff and enjoy. The fresh breeze smell is nothing that commercial clothes softeners can replicate, no matter what the ads claim.
So, now until winter, we will be hanging our clothes outside. When Norm comes home from work, I will take the clothes off the line and he will bring them back in. Then I will sit with my nose in fresh clothes while putting them away and enjoy, again, the beautiful day.
Spring IS here, finally! It’s about time!