White towels hang neatly in rows. They catch the breezes and flutter gently. The sunrise lights them with an orange glow…
I never was much of a laundry lover... (some folks take so much enjoyment in it)… that is, until I started doing laundry outdoors in Topanga Canyon!
My little wooden house came with an outdoor water hook up, not an indoor one. So, I bought a washer/dryer and set it up. It wasn’t long, maybe a year or two, before the dryer broke, likely from being outside in all kinds of weather.. including rain. No matter: I had a clothesline! That is much more fun anyway. No need to replace a dryer, just to have it break again, I thought.
Now, I take my time hanging up the clothes, pausing to feel the sun on my face, or take a glance at a new rose bloom. My sheets smell like the Canyon, not like some generic perfume smell. How neat is that? Now doing laundry is a welcome excuse to spend just that extra bit of time outdoors and drag me away from the computer.
When my mom came out for a visit, the first time, I said she could use my washer if she needed to. Say no more: Mom was hooked. Suddenly, she had to wash her & my dad’s suitcase-size load of clothes seemingly every other day!
Next, my sister got jealous and during a remodel jumped at the chance to move her W&D outdoors, too! Now here is a woman that has always looked forward to washing clothes for her family. Still, she hasn’t moved up that one more step to ditching the dryer altogether. I can appreciate that.. it IS a hassle in winter trying to plan laundry loads between rainstorms!
Using the clothesline instead of a dryer: what a great way to conserve electricity. I use the sun instead; we have plenty of it after all in Southern California. In case you wondered about the laundry water run-off, not to worry, my green, eco-minded friends. I can use the gray water on fruit trees with no negative impact on the native plants. (Of course, you have to use organic soap to make this work out.) So, my laundry does not interfere with any of the natural ebb & flow of life in the Canyon for either the plants or the critters who share my yard with me.
Okay, so there is a down side to outdoor laundry in Topanga Canyon... Here come the Santa Ana winds and then, where are my socks? Blown all amongst the cactus and succulents on the hillside. Okay, who is going to go down there & collect them?
I walk between the rows of white towels, and they make me smile.