Sunday, July 17, 2011

Airing Laundry.

I love clotheslines. Exactly why I can't pin down; like the canyon winds, the whys are always changing, directing thoughts elsewhere. Perhaps it's the memories of hiding among eggshell-white Egyptian cotton sheets at my Grandmother's house. She always had matching sheets. When I grow up, I'll have matching sheets too. But now, do I? No, no, no. That would be far too domestic.


Perhaps it's the somewhat fiendish feeling I get remembering how my sister and I would hang our naked baby-dolls on my mother's umbrella clothesline. Round and round they'd go, faster and faster until the dolls vaulted off. We laughed. Sometimes we'd pin them back on, and sometimes we'd call it a day for doll torture and move on to cutting all the hair off our Barbies. 

Perhaps it's the scent of pine I don't have to pay for in detergent. Or the canoe laid up behind -- like an actor behind the curtains, waiting for his next part to play. 


Or perhaps, it's the unknown. The chance factors involved. Like bailing hay, there's always that possibility that it will rain, molding the cutting. There's that possibility that a storm will soak the t-shirts. Or a bird might poop on the pillowcases. Will I later find a grasshopper in bed, tucked into the sheets? To hang out laundry is to take a chance. To gamble if it will work this time, or if it will be drenched in failure. 

Thunder threatened all afternoon, like a father scolding me for even having had the thought of putting it out...

...and yet I did. I disobeyed. Chanced it. And ended up winning the bet. Although, there's still always that possibility I'll end up tucked into bed with a grasshopper. An apt punishment in the end. 

24 comments:

  1. There is something innocent and pure about hanging out laundry... prairie days, or June Cleaver-esk. Ahhh, a simpler time. bhive

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  2. bhive - Definitely Laura Ingalls...my hair was in two braids!

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  3. Ah the Little House on the Prairie, such innocent times :):)

    You cannot beat freshly aired laundry, there is a cleanness about it that no company can manufacture or replicate, there is a coolness to the touch that gives the senses a slight tingle.

    Lovely stuff as usual Erin.

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  4. Getting pleasure from washing day? You are an unusual girl Erin ;-)

    But you tortured dolls so the balance is redressed.

    Keep 'em coming Canyon Lady.

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  5. I like the photography in this one. Black and white. The words flowed so nicely, I couldn't decide whether to pause and ponder, or just go with it. This time I'll just enjoy your creativity. Maybe next time,I'll think a little more, maybe not. Anyway, it's a wonderful piece. Thank you.

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  6. I love the perspective of the first picture. As if seeing through a small child's eyes as she plays within the sheets. I remember as a child always being drawn to the inner world of heavy laden clothes lines.

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  7. Tom - you're so very right about the lightness and 'coolness to touch'...driers make everything heavy...they are to clothes what microwaves are to food. Thanks as always for your comment!

    Dave - Only pleasure from the clothesline...not the washing. ;) haha! I can rest easy now, my sins being redressed. Many thanks! And thank you ever so much for the comment. Made my day.

    Herringbone - Ah! I'm glad you liked the black and white I played around with the photos for a good long while, and thought in the end that b&w just seemed fitting. Plus, I have silly colored sheets and towels and I found it distracting! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments....writers sharpening writers....I love it!

    sgb - I am just short enough to still have a child's eye view in among hanging sheets. :)

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  8. The photos were perfect for this post. I felt like I was reliving some childhood memories myself. Really well written, enjoyed this one a lot!

    any grasshoppers?

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  9. Sanders - Thank you! And I'm glad the photos took you back too...there is just something about black and white. I was lucky...no grasshoppers! ;-)

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  10. This is an example of blatantly reckless behavior. Clearly you run with scissors, too. Don't you?

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  11. Kirk - Maybe...*said looking down sheepishly.

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  12. This brought back many memories for me as well. I remember so well my mom hanging clothes on the clothesline...and invariably, me knocking them accidentally to the ground.

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  13. Cofisher - oh yes, these "accidents" do happen!

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  14. Eve and I are laughing loudly in a public place!!!

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  15. Hart - Yay! And I miss you two!!!

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  16. And we miss you and all your attachments.

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  17. The stylist at the $7 haircut place asked, "What's that perfume you're wearing?" I don't wear scented anything but we went through the list anyway. "No, no, nope... Well, I just grabbed this sweatshirt off the line so mayb-" "That's it!! You smell like outside!" No pines in my desert backyard so it must have been that clean, warm dirt scent. Haven't seen that in a Downy bottle. Fun post & nice B&W picture.

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  18. LoARSqred - That's great! "You smell like outside." ;-) Some days I actually think "warm dirt" smells better than pine....

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  19. I hope the comment of how you can't pin down why you like clotheslines was a pun. Otherwise my snickering could turn awkward. Toss some wintergreen in the wash next time! Works like a charm!

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  20. backcountryfishnerd - Your snickering is perfectly appropriate! And I'll try the wintergreen thing!

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  21. It never really goes away, so maybe try it on something you aren't too attached to at first.

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  22. haha! Ok, and my first thought was that I'd smell like gum... ;)

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  23. It's closer to pepto bismol. ...but earthy. Does that even make sense? I don't know if you have been to the south side of the RMNP in late summer, but that is what it smells like.

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  24. I have been there.....smell of sage...?

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