Monday, April 16, 2007

National Hangout Day

Hullo fellow members of the laundry underground! What's that you say? What is the laundry underground and who is a member? Well, I'm a member. I didn't realize I was. In fact, I didn't realize there was such a thing as the laundry underground until I read this article in the New York Times. The laundry underground is made up of frugal people, people without dryers, and people from other countries where hanging laundry outside is a cultural tradition.

Who knew!

According to Alexander Lee, a CLOTHESLINE ACTIVIST from New Hampshire, this April 19th we can make a statement on National Hanging Out Day and encourage others to join in our laundry underground ways and dry our duds outside. I must confess that I am not a die hard clothesline activist. I don't do it in the cold. I prefer to be warm. And I need to polish off my sheets with a tumble in the dryer because otherwise they would be coated with dog hair. But otherwise I pretty much use the clothesline for curtains, other bedding, rugs, and all my clothes in the warmer months. Thankfully we purchased a very energy efficient dryer, so it lessens the guilt when I push the on button during the dead of winter or on rainy days.

A good concept, good thoughts, but seriously....clothesline activist? laundry underground? It really makes you wonder if these reporters for the NYT ever go anywhere other than New York or LA. I hang out laundry, all my neighbors hang out laundry (except for the assholes nextdoor that think they live in a development), most towns around me are filled with little houses with clotheslines out back....ummmm....most people never stopped hanging out their laundry as far as I know. It makes me laugh to think that some hipster standing with a clothesline at the statehouse in N.H. has totally been whupped by my dutchie neighbor lady down the road who been 'hanging out' for the last 50 years.

But I guess it will be nice next time I'm standing at the clothesline to feel edgy and anti-establishment as I pin up my panties.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohmigosh, I'm breezing in with the laundry and see I am a member of the laundry underground as well! I have been in love with the clothesline for a long time. I admit to not always being faithful--in summer when I live at my cottage on the bay, I hang my laundry out for the seagulls to fly over. The scent of laundry hung out near salt water is heavenly. Back in civilization, where I live most of the time, I have not been faithful to the clothespins--although I do have proof in old photos of my kids when they were little and posing with frozen pants we'd hung out on the line in winter that the clothesline has reigned bigger than the dryer at times. Two months ago I decided to give up the dryer entirely, no matter where I live, and wanted one of those umbrella clotheslines (to use in 'civilization')--not easy to find a quality umbrella style clothesline but I did find one (& since then the weather has stunk for hanging out clothes). Too much about the your post.

5:15 PM  
Blogger keryn said...

A clothesline is just a solar-powered dryer. I live on one of those countries where it's 'a cultural thing', but we don't realise that because it's just what we all do.

I have noticed on TV shows where they make-over backyards that the clothesline is the first thing to be ripped out, and it's not replaced. I would hate to live without one.

I like hanging clothes on the line, it's meditative and a good way to get some fresh air. It's free, and I'm nothing if not cheap....

6:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

LOL! I wish I could be a member of the underground. Living in a very windy and rather dusty city, I just can't bear the thought of what my clothes would pick up outside. *sigh*

11:15 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

It's funny you mention this -- I've been toying around with putting up a clothesline to hang my clothes out. We have a nice size yard in the house we're living in now (even though the house is divided into three apartments). Unfortunately, I don't think it would work -- the neighbor downstairs has a dog that she leaves tied out in the yard, and my clean sheets would be dirty in no time. I do miss hanging out my clothes, though.

My sister lived in a development in Virginia and they had to follow all sorts of rules and regulations. One of the conditions of living there was that they weren't allowed to hang laundry out to dry. It seems that's the way it is in the newer developments. We're lucky to be living in Lancaster county, where old-fashioned is a way of life.

(This is wurwolf, by the way. I changed my sign-in.)

8:25 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

Also, love the picture. Makes me want to pull up a lawn chair and drink a big glass of iced tea. :o)

8:27 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Hi Judith! Long time no hear!

The picture is from last year as God knows we have not seen a day like that in some time. In fact there will be no haning out today as it is rainy but at least it will make it into the 50s maybe.

I could never live in a development with rules that banned things like hanging out your clothes. So ridiculous. I would be a troublemaker and run clothes out the second floor window to a telephone pole like the Amish...just to make my point.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a confession to make.

When we lived in NJ (this was about 10 years ago), we... um... took the clothesline down. I know! I can't believe it either! I don't know what we were thinking, other than our teeny yard needed more room for growing things.

I like to think that I make up for it now, still hanging out when it's below freezing. I'm still sorry we did it, though.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mean we lived in NJ ten years ago (more like five), but that was when we took the clothesline down.

10:51 AM  
Blogger cyndy said...

I have not owned a dryer for 10 years. When people come to visit me, they can't believe we don't have one. It wasn't a "decision". When the dryer broke, we just never got a new one.
Sunshine in the summer, woodstove in the winter. Works for me! Oh, and fabric softener...

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... that just feels so relaxing looking at it. That beautiful blue sky with those crisp white sheets...perfect!!
We used to have a clothes line here, one of those pully types. Unfortunately the tree one end was hooked to had to be removed and we haven't put it back up. I miss the smell of sheets hung on the line. =(

10:05 AM  
Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Love the smell of that picture! I grew up with open air drying in the midwest. Not sure how many drying days we'll have here in the NW but I hope to put up a line.

Tomatoes and lettuce salads! You are set. I hope to start munching on salads of greens & herbs soon, but it will be some time for the tomatoes.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Suse said...

I live in one of those countries where it's just what you do (hang out your laundry). I visited the National Hang Out Day page (or whatever it's called) and noticed that they are encouraging people who live in those developments that ban clotheslines, to lobby etc. America is meant to be a free country after all. You'd think you would be free to dry your clothes the way you please (and the way that is cheaper and better for the earth).

I love my clothesline.

1:36 AM  
Blogger EFB said...

i'm not a member YET. first i need to get a washing machine. then we'll talk drying options.

2:47 PM  

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