The Autumn Clothesline Switcharoo

When you’re a 100% year-round air dryer/clothesline user like myself,  one must pay much more attention to the ever-changing weather conditions.   Good thing that I’m a bit of a weather geek;  I actually like tracking the weather!  This comes in handy for determining the ideal conditions and placement of drying the laundry outside, or whether to dry it inside.

Autumn weather gets tricky; the days are shorter,and it gets colder and rainier.  Even if it is sunny, it can lull me into a false sense of drying expectation when I hang the clothes on the line.  It just has that nip in the air, the sun is lower, and there is enough humidity (at least here in the Pacific Northwest) to delay the drying a great deal.  I can hang laundry on my backyard line early in the morning, and late in the afternoon it is still damp.  Thus begins the ol’ clothesline switcharoo.  I have to take down all the laundry from the clothesline and then put it on drying racks inside the house.  Which is kind of a hassle, I must admit.

Even though it is a bit more work, one advantage is that the laundry has spent the day soaking up all that deliciously heady autumn air smell outside.  When I place it on the racks inside to finish drying, the poignant smell fills the air.  There is just something so wonderful about the outside-dried smell.  It changes with the seasons too.  Autumn smells different than summer, which smells different than spring or winter.  No man-made chemical scent could ever top Mother Nature’s!

I’m still trying to hold onto outside drying as much as I can, even though the attempt is futile at times.  Soon I will be drying inside full-time for the winter;  drying racks will be filling my kitchen once more.  But that too, is kind of charming in it’s own way.  One must definitely be adaptable to be an air-dryer!

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” – George Eliot


One Response to “The Autumn Clothesline Switcharoo”

  1. M-J

    Very clever solution you’re devised, Marilyn! I agree–nothing can compare with the fresh scent that clothes acquire while hanging outside for a while. And, I know that you realize how much longer your clothes and towels last when dried naturally. I once saw a sculpture made out of dryer-lint. To me, it represented the fiber-attrition that occurs when clothes are dried with artificial heat and machine-generated motion. If everyone dried their clothes naturally, there would probably be less particulate matter floating in the air! And God knows that Mount St. Helens’ ash is still lingering on rooftops in the state of Washington. Why add to the crud in the air, while diminishing the fiber-content of our sartorial investments?

    I love reading your practical, thoughtful and sophisticated editorials, Marilyn.

    Per Ardua,


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