When I was a young wife with a four-year old and a 4-month old baby, I used to hang our clothes out to dry on a clothesline. I never minded this chore, even in chilly weather when my fingers turned stiff and white I hung child-sized shirts and pants, colorful towels and baby blankets in straight rows to watch them from the kitchen window of our tiny duplex swing back and forth in the light breeze.
Then when the sun soaked everything dry with warm light, I unpinned them from the rope line, placed them in a basket, and carried them inside where I folded each familiar piece of fabric into a perfect little square.
What was there not to like ?
They say women have lost the sense of community they had throughout much of history in part because they no longer meet at the water's edge to wash clothes together. It's true we have come a long, long way from that. But the sun and the sky and the Tennessee breezes I once enjoyed weren't a bad substitute.
Today I washed three loads of laundry and dried them lickety-split in a hot drier. It was quiet and efficient. My fingers were warm and dry. I carried what I folded upstairs to the linen closet, and carefully placed two perfectly-squared stacks of linens along the edge of a shelf. The sun's light fell in even slats on the door and hallway floor as I turned to open the window...the same air I smelled in Tennessee, the same breeze I felt from that tiny duplex window.
The road can be long at times, but the view is often the same.