“Do you really hang clothes out to dry?” friends ask when they see my clothesline in the backyard.
“Nothing like sleeping on sheets that have dried in the sun,” I say. A clothesline was a must-have when we were looking at houses.
I did the laundry early so I could hang it out before the temperature reached the weatherman’s predicted, blistering 92°. But I forgot about the wet things, and didn’t take anything out until 11:30. Then I rushed to “peg it out,” as Peter’s old granny would’ve said, so I could retreat to the cool of the house.
Half an hour later, upstairs tidying our bedroom and bathroom, I glanced out the window and saw my husband taking everything off the clothesline. Oh no, I thought, the laundry can’t be dry yet. I opened the window and yelled, “Leave all that there, please.”
“But it’s dry,” he yelled back. He continued folding the sheets.
I ran downstairs to try to short circuit the process, but he was already inside. The sheets, dish towels, and tablecloth were all folded neatly. He had left tee-shirts and a few other things on the line. “I wanted this stuff to hang out in the sun,” I explained. “It makes everything smell so good and bleaches the whites too.”
He plonked the basket down and stomped off. The sheets were still quite damp, so back out I went to hang them out again.
I walk a fine line trying not to hurt my husband’s feelings when he tries to help, but in this case, I really needed the sun-dried sheets to promote my sense of well-being.
I decided all husbands, not just mine, have trouble with Laundry 101. And most wives don’t understand why they must heed the oil warning light in their cars. In the end, it all comes out in the wash.
National Society of Newspaper Columnists 2016 contest winner —
online, blog, & monthly under 100,000 unique visitors category.