There is something sweet about the image of a mother and child hanging laundry at the clothesline together.
It reminds me of simpler times when life wasn't so complicated.The image of white linens flowing in the breeze on the line is such a classic one.
Of course the reality is dragging hot, wet laundry outside on a hot summer day is probably anything but glamorous. I don't know because I have always had a clothes dryer. I am installing a clothing line to dry delicate things and linens but I don't think I would have the energy to dry all of the laundry on the line.....Although dragging it outside and all the lifting and such is probably good exercise.
Modern housewives are so lucky to have a choice.
I have always thought it odd that in warm and mild Southern California where I live there are so few people who use clothing lines outside to dry their clothing. There are laws and ordinances here that ban visible clotheslines from certain suburban neighborhoods. Things like clotheslines and chickens roaming in the yard are considered unsightly in a lot of California areas.
But people's attitudes about these things are changing thanks to the urban homesteading and green living movements. Did you know the clothes dryer is probably the biggest electricity waster in the home besides the refrigerator?
I have been lucky enough to have lived abroad and have traveled to several foreign countries.
And everywhere outside of the US, the clothesline is seen.
My dad used to describe growing up in New York City in the fifties and this is what it looked like:
You will find clothing hanging outside small apartments in Europe, Japan,and Mexico. Few homes abroad have a clothes dryer at all.
When I was buying appliances for our place in Pezenas, France ten years ago, and asked about a dryer, the salesman explained most people didn't have dryers but pointed me in the direction of the meager stock of clothing dryers which were very expensive. I guess he wasn't on commission because he wasn't too concerned about selling us one.
We opted to dry our clothes on the line too. Electricity in France is so expensive compared to the US.
Apparently clothing dryers were thought of as a wasteful luxury.
Sort of like the big, American cars we drive. I'm not sure if attitudes about clothing dryers have changed in the last 10 years in Europe or not. However, one of my best friends moved to France and has a baby and husband there. She does have a dryer but tells me not many families have one.
I grew up in an old 1920's bungalow in Los Angeles.We had an old galvanized metal clothesline in the backyard. There were two T shaped poles with attached hooks to hold the line.
We used the electric dryer.
Homes aren't built with clotheslines anymore but I did find a steel T shaped bar online through Wal Mart similar to the one in my childhood back yard. I bought two of them but they don't look nearly as strong as the old ones.
I am looking forward to installing it. It will look so vintagey.
I can't wait to photograph my creations on it!Now if I can only get my husband to help me dig some holes and mix some cement to install it.... Pin It