Lost in Laundry


I miss hanging laundry... There is something so right about hanging clothes out on a line on a sun-filled day. There is nothing like the fresh smell of clothing that has aired-dried out in nature. My mother hung clothes for 9 of us and so I spent a lot of time watching her do so as a child, or helping her by handing up socks and underwear at the bottom of the basket. In one of our homes we had an opening on the side of the house, so mom didn't have to go outside, as the pulley mechanism was right in the house... that helped on winter days. I recall her pulling clothes in that were frozen stiff.

When I lived in The Bahamas I would put on my bikini to hang the laundry, as it would take some time with my family of 6, and I felt I may as well take advantage of the 'me time' away from the kids when they were young.

Laundry hanging in The Bahamas had certain challenges, as on very hot days you'd have to watch that your clothes didn't get sun bleached. I've ruined a few pieces like that.  Then there's nothing like a sudden torrential rain that stretches out those lines, in particular if you have towels out.  I remember many times rushing out when hearing thunder claps to see how fast I could get the clothes down without spraying my clothes pins across the yard, which would mean more work later.

I loved particularly windy days as the constant flapping worked like a natural fabric softener, removing that hard tough feeling that some fabrics hold when air-dried.

I always thought 'laundry hanging' could become a national sport in The Bahamas, or at least a fun one at festivals etc. A friendly competition to see who had the fastest hands hanging and pinning up clothes. OR who was fastest at taking clothes down and returning the pins to the line.

There's something magical for children about seeing clothes or better yet, sheets on a line, and it easily becomes a place of play, magical worlds and daydreams. But I miss it most because I would get lost in my thoughts, and it became my daily meditation that I always looked forward to.