I've been thinking about installing a retractable clothesline when we move to the new house. I know that I won't use it all the time; northwest weather is just too unpredictable and wet for that, but on sunny days, I thought I could save a little energy and get my towels and sheets dry in the sun. My idea has met with some skepticism.
The first thing mentioned was "crunchy towels". It's true that towels get stiffer and scratchier on the line than in the dryer, but for me, that doesn't seem like a big deal. I don't wear the towel, after all - it just sucks up water, so the stiffness doesn't seem like a big deal.
Lugging wet towels outside and making sure they don't get rained on was also a concern. I agree the rain might be an issue and lugging towels isn't anyone's idea of fun, but the new clothesline won't be that far from the dryer and Lord knows I could use some exercise.
The skeptics also mentioned how the clothesline will look like the Clampetts (a la The Beverly HillBillies). The line will be in the backyard, so I don't think the neighbors will care - but that argument has some legs. Apparently, there is a legal controversy over home associations that have banned clotheslines, presumably for lowering property values. Some courts have ruled that these restrictions are illegal. The humble clothesline appears to be a line drawn in the air for some folks. Project Laundry has a place where you can register if your community won't allow clotheslines, as well as advocacy information.
I pick my battles and taking on my HOA over a clothesline probably isn't one I would launch, especially since my use is something that would have to be seasonal. I just find it interesting that something as simple as drying clothing in the sun can be an issue that folks have to fight for and about.
Hmmmm...well, we'll see if I get the line or not (and if I use it or not). I'm still researching the crunchy towels angle. Anyone using a radical, rebellious clothesline?
*Another great photo from the Library of Congress collection on Flickr
Friday, June 27, 2008