Wednesday, June 25, 2008

a line, a pile, a piece


Remember when I did a whole month of posts in November? I can't even manage a consistent once a week post now. Which is maybe more because I haven't officially committed to it and less about what I keep feeling is a lack of inspiration or motivation. Without commitment, what difference does it make if I'm inspired or not?

Hi, this is the blog where every week I write Hi, it's been a week.

I might re-commit to daily posting again. But right now I confess to struggling with cleverness. I write as fancy strikes (whether that's on a daily schedule or on a random whim), in an up-in-my head, for myself, free writing sort of way. So by clever I don't mean like some relevant modern day Erma Bombeck wearing thrift store aprons and smirks (erma bombeck?! what? see, it's all whatever falls off the top of my head); I just mean more-or-less coherent and not exceedingly soporific. And when I'm struggling with that basic standard, with me as my only reader in question, well, then who knows what the three of you who wonder over from some wayward google search think.

So despite my baffled, sleepy brain, I will tell you that I finally got the husband to install my laundry line in the backyard. I'm not unfamiliar with a screwdriver, but when a stool would be necessary for shorty me to get the proper leverage, well, I prefer to pass the task along to Mr. Longarms Powerdrill.

I have a rod up in my laundry room and I've been air drying some items from most loads (save for, say whites and towels) on that since we moved here. But it took us a while to get the outdoor line up and in use. I don't know why. I love hang drying laundry. I've had lines up in every house we've lived in (if not a long line, then, one of those roundy spinny poles).

There's something very calming and purposeful about shaking out the wet clothes, clipping the pins. I find it oddly rewarding to pull the sun-stiffened garments down, drop the pins back into the empty tin, clunk clink clunk.

I'm very good about doing laundry, keeping my family in clean clothes. I'm not so good about putting the clean clothes away. I'd rather scrub toilets.

Taking the clothes outside to dry slows down the process. While it's arguable that the sun, on a clear hot summer day, is often faster than an electric dryer (this was certainly the case in Phoenix), there's just a lot more hands on time, every single piece being touched twice, instead of a jumbled pile (every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn't thinking isn't thinking of, oh, sorry. I do that) being hefted as a whole. And I find that the slower pace reminds me to finish what I've started, instead of allowing it to build and grow. So I bring in the still-warm clothes and am compelled to put them away, right away. (feeling compelled does not always equal actually doing it, but hey, it's a start).

I guess it's a bit laundry life philosophy, but it's also plenty of good sense, too. It's silly to use the electric dryer when there's a perfectly accessible solar powered one strung up between the back door and our little grapevine patch.

Which reminds me: how goes the compost pile? Well, I'll tell you what I forgot to mention when I wrote about it in the first place, which is that I have an honest, genetic legacy to compost and a decent "all-in-the-family" reason to feel ridiculous for not having been composting all this time (we've been here in this house NINE months now): my father produces 200 tons of compost a day. Two Zero Zero TONS. A Day. He's something of a compost king over there in the southern half of The Land of Enchantment. My little heap is paltry in comparison, and won't be producing anything rapid enough to be measured daily, but at least now when we talk on the phone about any subject related to Growing Things, I'll be able to respond affirmatively when he touts the merits of building soil health by adding organic matter.

When it's warm out, do you feel less inclined to cook food, too? I'd like some cold wine and a piece of cake, but growing children really do require other things, summer or no. I'd better get on that. It's only in the mid-seventies, not appetite reducing temperature at all, so I can't even blame the weather on this sudden disinterest in cooking and one pesky, clamoring sweet tooth. If I thought I could get away with it, I'd blame my ugly kitchen floor, since I've convinced myself that if we had a different one, I'd be ten pounds thinner and could sing like a bird.

Our backyard has been a real eyesore, but it's starting to look so much better. So maybe it's just a matter of feeling pleased with that. Wanting to relax at the table on the patio with something sweet and refreshing, believing that this little corner of the world is, at this exact moment with my head tilted just so and my ears purposely tuning out the neighbors, just fine.


Linda said...

Ah, you've heard of Bloggers Without Obligation? ;)

I love hanging laundry too. There is just something so relaxing about it.

Deb said...

My neighborhood HOA does not allow clothes lines of any kind. Isn't that crazy? We have one on a reel, that you can pull in and out, attached to the posts of our pergola, just long enough for hanging up wet pool towels. I'm always afraid someone will see it and bust us.