Thursday, October 1, 2009

Learning to love the work of my hands...

My dryer is broken. And I have a LOT of laundry. During a typical week I run at least 10 loads. It's those boys. The gigantic dirt pile in the back yard doesn't help. And the potty training toddler. *sigh*

I grew up in the city and never had nor used a clothes line. Clotheslines have always presented a romantic image to me. Mother hanging linens on the line while her dress blows prettily in the wind. 

But it's raining here. A lot. So my family's clothes are strung from one end of the basement to the other. And their unmentionables are on a rack in my living room. Very unromantic. And crunchy. I didn't know that air dried clothes would be so stiff when they dry. And really it does take an awfully long time for them to dry. 

All things considered, I rather think that dryers are more romantic than clotheslines. I love pulling warm towels or blankets out of a hot dryer in the middle of Winter and cuddling with them for a while before folding; or hearing the kids squeal with delight when their pajamas are freshly dried, warm and ready to wear on an Autumn evening.

I really like technology.

My vacuum cleaner is broken, too. And I haven't the slightest idea how to clean carpets without one. I thought of wrapping Crash in duct tape (sticky side out) and rolling him around the living room; he seemed to like the idea. Or maybe I'll just Google to find out what hardy American women do in times like this.

I'm sure this all started with my rag rug. But really, there is something beautiful about keeping the home creatively. I attacked the laundry with unusual vigor today; with that part of me that imagines myself an Amish mama and all the beautiful things that come with a life of creative and productive service. Sacrificial love. Beautiful and sanctifying work. 

Ora et labora.


  1. Haha! Do you use fabric softener in your wash?

    We hang dry our clothes all the time. Helps save on the bills! Mostly we hang dry things that we don't want to shrink, and nice clothes so they don't get wrinkled in the dryer or messed up with the heat.
    And we have clotheslines hung in our basement permanently.

  2. Oh - so sorry that you are having so many inconviences! Hope these hints help =)

    I use a close rack to hang my clothes on. I hang shirts on a plastic hanger and when they are dry, they go directly to my closet.

    Cut back on your soap and use a double rinse cycle for your laundry. Also, dump about a half cup to a whole cup of baking soda in each wash load - right in with the soap. It makes your soap clean better and all of those things will help to take the stiffness out.

    Sweep your carpet with a stiff broom. I know it sounds funky - but it really works! Of course, not as good as a vacume, but it will get some of the dust (and pet hair if you have any). And, I think that duct tape would work the best for Crash *winks*

    Above all, smile and thank God that you have carpets and laundry and water =)

    Love, (((hugs))) and prayers are coming your way!

  3. Thanks so much for the tips! I'm going to try them with my very next load!

    My MIL is also being wonderful and letting me use her dryer for a couple loads a week. I don't have the hanging space to do more than one load a day and that isn't enough for what I have to wash.

    Yes, Kathleen!
    Thank you, Jesus, for the innumerable blessings in my life. I am so grateful for Your loving care.

  4. White vinager in your rinse cycle will help with the stiffness. Also simply give those clothes a firm shaking before hanging up and it will help them dry faster and it will help keep them softer. Not sure how it works but it seems to be true. I have found certain air dry better than others. I now look for them when I am at the second hand stores and garage sales.


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