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Note the Hammock Attached at One End

When I lived in the country, I always had a clothesline. Even in town I have contrived to run lines across my back porch and to use my folding wooden clothes dryers outside. It’s just not the same though.

I find hanging clothes out on a line to be very satisfying in some primal way. And there are other, more practical concerns to bolster my case as well.

We live ‘in town’ high on a hill with a nearly constant breeze. Heavenly in the summer, drafty in the winter. It seems like a shame not to harvest some of that energy to dry clothes. I am always looking for ways to try to save energy and improve our carbon footprint.

Clothes hung on the line, seem to have less wrinkles than those bounced around in the dryer.

Of course, there’s something in the breeze and sunshine that seems to linger in the fibers of the fabric hung outside to dry, a fresh summer scent that is so evocative of outside air.

I’ve been bemoaning the lack of a ‘real’ clothesline for years. Patrick has been missing the hammock we ‘lost’ when the old apple tree it was attached to finally gave way and had to be removed.

There had to be a way to take these 2 negatives and make a positive. I dabbled a bit on scrap paper and designed a clothesline, of the proper dimensions and sturdy enough to hold a hammock when it wasn’t doing clothes drying duty. Pat agreed to consider it, as long as it wasn’t visible from the road. We had the perfect spot behind our evergreen hedge.

Soon, we picked up 4 sturdy posts and 2 rugged cross pieces. We sunk the posts deep and reinforced them with concrete so they would not be inclined to lean under the pressure. Then we added eyehooks and rope for the clothesline and extra durable hooks with detachable hardware for the hammock. Meanwhile, we’d picked up a heavy-duty hammock to string across.

Voila! A triple duty structure soon emerged and proved itself up to the tasks expected of it. Triple duty because we added lattice and planted perennial sweet peas to one end, not wanting to waste an opportunity. It’d prove to be a good plant support as well as hammock stand and clothes drying system.

Using a clothesline, forces us to slow down a bit. In a world of rush here and rush there, it is nice to find that a chore I normally despite, doing laundry, has an element of pleasure in it. While hanging out the sheets and towels, I am aware of the birdcalls around me. I notice where several of the nests in nearby trees are, as the denizens fly to and fro. I can tell who in my neighborhood is mowing their lawn and who has fired up the grill. I like to guess what they are having for dinner based on the enticing aromas that waft by. These are all things I would have missed, in the basement feeding wet clothing to the ever-hungry electric dryer. It’s sort of forced relaxation. A good thing.

IMG_8758Clothes Drying Behind the Oceanic Hotel, Star Island, Rye NH

With our wind volume, most days, we are able to dry a couple of loads of laundry in about an hour. Wow!

The Hammoc


Now I’m thinking about a windmill!