ON A RECENT AFTERNOON, I hustled outside to pull laundry from the line during an unanticipated downpour.
I rushed along three lengths of clothesline, unclipping clothing I’d hung hours earlier when the sun shone with the promise of a good drying day despite the intense humidity. Now I was hauling everything inside to dry in the dryer or on a clothes drying rack. In the process, I was soaked.
I am a clothesline drying devotee, choosing to hang laundry outdoors any day, even in the cold of a 30-degree Minnesota winter morning. It’s therapeutic—the methodical lifting of wet laundry, of clipping it to the line. I delight in the shifting light of morning, of being outside, of solo time to think, of an aged rite that celebrates the beginning of a day.
So I wondered, when I spotted colorful laundry draped over a second story railing behind an historic building in downtown Faribault, whether the immigrant woman I saw there felt the same as me. Does she delight in hanging out laundry? Or is this, for her, a matter of simple practicality, of saving money?
Whatever the reason, I was pleased to see her hanging laundry outdoors, in the heart of my community, making this place her home.
FYI: Check back tomorrow for a second clothesline post, this one about an entirely different purpose.
Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling