It's a Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood

And the neighbors behind me are renovating the "government house" [long story that] into a dwelling almost twice it size and surely 3 times it's original value.

The birds are tweeting, the sun is shining and the children have played outside uninterrupted for the first time in a long time. School is out today and so I took advantage of the opportunity to kick them outside, lock the gates and let them run crazy. The weather has been so weird here lately [sub freezing in Central Florida???] so it was nice to get some sun that wasn't liquid or frigid. While the children played, I was able to run two loads of laundry and hang them on the line.

I'm not sure if I've ever blogged about the clothesline before. When we bought our house, there was a decrepit clothesline roughly where the chilrens' swing set lives today. Almost a decade ago, I would NEVER have dreamed of hanging clothes on the line to dry. That was for people who couldn't ~afford~ a clothes dryer. La jeunesse... I can't say where I got that notion from exactly. Perhaps it was subconsiously transmitted from my mother to me. I know my own mother would NEVER hang clothes out to dry, not even when her dryer malfunctioned recently. Perhaps that notion came from her own mother - the queen of narcissists. Nana has always had hangups about being one of the upper class. That's a long story in and of itself, and not one that I'm really at liberty to relay. Perhaps one day...

I don't know when exactly it was that I came to appreciate the clothesline. Perhaps it was the fresh from the sun laundry at my mother-in-law's house where everything is hung to dry and then ironed while slightly damp. Our clothes NEVER have felt nicer to wear than when we visit her. She has a washer and dryer but never uses them. In fact, I don't think they are even hooked up. She says it's better to hand wash everything because it lasts longer. I can't argue with that reasoning. It's true. But then, I don't have a daily washerwoman who comes and does the household laundry every day. I guess that's one of the benefits of living in a developing nation and being a business owner. You have access to things that those of us who work for other people in a first-world country don't. Unless one is in that very small percentage of people who can pay US wages for domestic help.

Maybe I fell in love with the clothes line out of necessity. Once upon a time, our clothes dryer gave up the ghost when we were short on cash to replace it. So it was either send the laundry out (spendy-ish), use the laundromat (even more spendy) or hang it up to dry (free).

One thing I do know, it wasn't necessarily the budding environmentalist in me (or my oldest child) that made the switch, although that would figure into it later. I think, at the end of the day, it's because I'm cheap [frugal, whatever]. I like not paying for something. Sunlight is free [for now]. And free is good. And since we live in the Sunshine State, why not take advantage of it?

Beyond all that, it's a lovely opportunity to get outside and smell the clean air and get some sunshine on my skin and ramp up the absorption of Vitamin D. And that's always a very good thing. There's something calming about the sound of the wind in the oak leaves and the sun filtering through the moss while the cat romps in the yard.

Of all the appliances in my household, the clothesdryer is the one thing I thought I could never live without and now it's the one that I really could do without. Funny that... I mean, I've got a microwave and blender and coffee grinder and juicer and 3 computers and tv and game consoles and whatnot that you'd pry out of my cold dead fingers. But the clothes dryer? It's nice in the winter time. Except for the fact that I have to go ~outside~ to use it. And in the summer, it's way too hot to run it [burns up the clothes]. And when the old one really did die for sure and certain last year [or was it 2007 or 2008?] we did replace it because it's nice to have when you've got sick kids or are potty training, by and large, I use it only about 50% of the time. And if I've got to go outside to do laundry *anyways*...

Which reminds me... I need more clothespins. Mine have mysteriously ~disappeared~.

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