Using a Clothes Line Provides More Than Saving a Few Dollars on Your Power Bill

I was originally excited about the fact that we were about to save huge amounts of money on our electric bill this summer by using our new clothes line to dry our clothing instead our electric dryer. But something else wonderful happened. After washing the laundry, I carried out a wet armful (I haven’t purchased a clothes basket yet) to the back yard where our new clothes line was. I then carefully draped the wet clothes on the line one by one, until all items were hung. Being a very busy stay home Mom, I was amazed at how quickly it all went, and amazed at how fast the clothes began to dry in our Colorado climate. Within 15 minutes, the clothes were almost all dry – for free.

I brought the armful of clean, freshly dried clothes into the house and began to put them away. A strange thing happened as I repeated this process. I am not sure if it was because of the wonderful fresh smell that the clothes now had from being air dried, or the process of simply hanging laundry outside in the fresh air and sunlight, but some very vivid memories began to immerge in my mind.

Like the wonderful scene in Ratatouille when the food critic was transported back to his childhood after tasting a meal, I too was transported back to my youth. I suddenly remembered standing next to my grandmother handing her wooden clothes pins as we hung the laundry together. I couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 years old. I could see my grandmother clearly standing there in her pretty floral apron hanging laundry, and smell the laundry in my memory as it smelled today. It was as if my grandmother was with me again, sharing this moment and my heart fluttered with joy at the thought.

Later that day, the sheets were ready to be hung on the line. More memories emerged as I remembered hiding in the damp sheets as a young child in my own back yard after my mother hung them. I remember how much fun it was to run through and hide in the sheets as a kid. I was so young at the time, maybe 5, or 6 years old. I remembered it as clearly as if it happened yesterday.

As the thought crossed my mind, my own little kids came running out into the back yard. Straight to the sheets they ran, like little magnets. I just watched them as then walked between the damp sheets on some new exciting adventure, weaving between the rows while they followed each other giggling. What is it about a simple clothes line that can transport a Mom back to her childhood, and cause kids to find joy, adventure and happiness? It is the most amazing thing.

So in our quest to save a few dollars on our electric bill, we have discovered that the simple life is a much sweeter way to live. Slowing down to hang up clothing and spend time with your children is priceless. I hope that you can find the joy that I have found in doing a simply daily chore. It’s more than a chore, it’s a trip back to happy memories, and an adventure into making new ones.

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