Monday, July 7, 2008

Hang 'Em High

Some lady is in trouble with her homeowners' association for hanging out her laundry to dry. I guess that's one of the expressed covenants included in practically every agreement you sign when you decide to live side by side with a bunch of Neighborhood Condo Nazis. No damn clothes hanging from the line like you're -- what? A person who likes to hang your laundry on the clothesline?

Methinks there are a bunch of upwardly mobile condo type people who feel that hanging out laundry is somehow lower class. Mainly because that's what their moms and grandmoms did when they were growing up in a not very fancy part of town. And now they don't want anyone to think that the place where they live these days is anything but swank.

Obviously, the woman is hanging stuff out to dry to make a smaller carbon footprint on our planet. She also washes her clothes by hand, I might add, claiming it's not only green, it's good exercise.

But she's not alone. Apparently there is a movement afoot to challenge the association's right to prevent anyone from doing something that is good for the earth. Watch this one go to the Supreme Court.

In the eighties I didn't hook up my electric dryer for two years. It started when I moved into my house. The dryer hook up was for electric and I had gas.
Even though I had two kids and a lot of laundry I started hanging the clothes, including towels, on a backyard clothesline. I thought it would be a nuisance, but it really wasn't.  In fact, on a hot, sunny day, the clothes dried about as fast outside as they would have in a dryer. Without so much wear and tear.

They also smelled better.  And I found that I liked the process.

At night I would do a load or two. In the morning I would get up early, take the clothes outside and hang them on the line. There was something about walking barefoot in the grass and smelling the early morning air that I not only found very pleasant, but relaxing and comforting as well.

After work I would bring the wash in. I would take it off the line and fold everything before putting it in the basket. This was easier than using the dryer. I didn't have to bend down. And the clothes folded better because they had been hanging straight and smooth on the line.

Also with a dryer, there's a tendency to pull everything out of the dryer straight into the basket without folding it.  Then just leave the clothes in the basket for people to take as needed.

In the winter I would hang the wet clothes on a line in the basement, next to the furnace. They dried quickly there, too.

I also washed my underwear by hand in the sink each night. But that was something I'd started years before and just continued. 

I still liked using the clothesline, even when I got my dryer hooked up finally.

But I'm also a person who didn't move back down into the city because I like coming home at night to the smell of grass and the sounds of birds singing their evening songs. When I get home late, after dark, I continue to marvel at how sweet the air is and how quiet it is when I open the car door.

No constant sounds of buses, cop cars, traffic or the smell of exhaust. Along with the deafening white noise that goes with living in the city.

So even though the clothesline lady has since complied with her homeowners' association and moved her hanging laundry to the porch where it can't be seen, I hope she and her fellow protesters eventually get their way.

Or, next thing you know some group will be telling you what to wear and when to have sex. Oh wait, they already do that on the morning shows.


redsneakz said...

These are the same people who don't put garbage cans around buildings for risk of implying human habitation.

screaminremo303 said...

They recently changed AZ law to prohibit HOA's from restricting an owners ability to install solar units on their homes. Try Googling a search of HOA abuses sometime and enjoy the reading.

blossomcat said...

I heard a spot on the news where a retired GI (female) got into a tiff with a Home Owners Assn. because she had put out an American Flag.  It was going to court, but what kind of crap is that.   It was an American flag for goodness sake.


ber144 said...

Don't get me started!  We live in one of these gulags right now and the association drives us nuts even though we have little interaction with it.  I can imagine the uproar if someone tried to hang their laundry outside-they'd probably be arrested.  

The latest issue is landscaping-the asoc. wants everything "uniform" and residents want to be able to plant their own flowers etc in the front of their homes.  The assoc. has threatened to spend $15,000 in assessment money to hire a landscaping company to go around and RIP OUT any planting that they did not authorize.

Needless to say, we can't wait to get the heck out of here.

jevanslink said...

I found a site that has DOZENS of suits listed against condo associations just for MAY.

Mrs. L

mombzbe said...

I love the smell of clothes off the line.  When I was growing up, my Mom used to have me go out and hang the clothes for her; and in the summer it was no small feat, in our weather.  But while I'd grouse on my way out the door, once I got into the rhythm of it, it was quite soothing.  My favorite thing would be to hang bedsheets, and stand in between them...the cool cleanness of them all around me was a little breather before I went back in.

Ha, in our summer, it would take like 20 minutes for things to dry.  LOL