15 April 2008

Clothesline Controversy

As spring pushes forth its greens and yellows, I'm usually found basking in the sunlight on my front porch, dreaming and scheming for this year's gardening thrust.

Though it's not a gardening thrust. per se, I've really been wanting to get a clothesline for our home.
I just had no idea they were so controversial.

While doing my research into which clothesline might be best for our yard, I encountered several interesting conversations.
Mary, my next door neighbor, cautioned me to make sure I had our clothesline out of view of the road. Apparently our community association dictates that clotheslines cannot be hung within view from the road.
I did not know we HAD a community association. No one handed me a booklet of by-laws when we moved in. No one has knocked on my door to collect dues. This phantom community association is concerned about clothesline viewage, but leaves our neighborhood sign to decay into rot and ruin... huh.
I did a little on-line shopping and discovered that there are a plethora of designs and styles for clotheslines. The standard T-shape, which strings line between two stationary cross-shaped poles. The Umbrella style clothesline, which uses a single central pole from which all the supports can by "opened up and out", just like you would with your umbrella. There's the retractable pulley system, which attaches to one wall, then to a pole out in the yard, and you can pulley your clothes in toward you and never have to leave your bathroom window (or something like that.)
There's the Versaline Disappearing clothesline, which simply folds flat to your wall when you're done. So good to have when you live in a 6th floor flat in Amsterdam and don't even own an electric clothes dryer.
I finally decided on a Roman shade design. Hubby and I mounted the retractable end onto our back shed, then sunk a sleeve for the connector pole out in the grass. When I'm ready to hang out clothing, I just plop the connector pole in the sleeve, grab the handle of the Roman shade clothesline and walk it out to the connector pole to hook it in.
When the clothes are dry, the entire thing disassembles and you'd never even know we had a clothesline. I hope the phantom community association approves.

Here's something else I read about clotheslines- to many people they represent poverty. Welfare, dirty, slums, ghetto. Dirt poor. There's a movie producer I read about who even says that she purposely adds clotheslines to her movies that have a theme of poverty. That's the first thing on her to-do list for those movies. String up a clothesline.

Clotheslines = All that is bad in the world.

To many other people, clotheslines are cozy, homey, fresh. Good. Earth-friendly. They represent good stewardship. They harness the free gifts of God through nature- wind, air and sunshine. I found a man who runs an I Love Clotheslines Fan Site.

Clotheslines = All that is good in the world.

So... I don't know if I should tell you this.
I got a clothesline.

But keep it under your hat, ok?

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Blogger Christianne said...

heh heh. that is hilarious! i know i can always count on you to dig up these very interesting controversial conversations going on and report back to the team.

just as i was finishing reading how your roman shade clothesline works, about how it folds up and you would never know it was there otherwise, i thought, 'hey! cool! now her association -- or whatever it is -- won't have cause to complain!' only to find you saying the very same thing in the very next line. i love when i tracking with you. tells me i'm doing sumpin' right. :)

you make me laugh. i love that about you.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Isn't it interesting that we're being told left and right to do all we can to save energy . . . yet let's do it in a way that keeps the neighborhood from looking like the 'hood.

I'm not a Gore fan, but I think you've exposed an inconvenient truth to us spoiled Americans.

10:34 AM  
Blogger nikongirl said...

Erin - I LOVE my clothesline...I don't know now if that makes me all White-Trashy, or what! But I LOVE the way fresh sheets and blankets feel. And with kids in the "bed-wetting" stage of our lives, it is so great to be able to hang blankets and sheets outside to let the sun do some of the work.

I remember Muffy (Dolly Jo) and I playing under Grandma Ogren's clothesline when we were kids. Hanging blankets out there to make forts as a respite from chasing Grandpa's chickens. And it was all right next to this fabulous little brook with a bridge that we LOVED to play in and use to make mud pies decorated with flowers.

Clotheslines = good times, clean, fresh, free.


4:11 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Erin I am with you - I am begging for a clothesline. At the moment we have have a roman blind one under cover in the carport but that is less than ideal really, unless one likes to park under 4 day old damp sheets. I am pining for one and the smell of sunshine on our clothes that it enables. Enjoy yours and think of those of us who are still campaigning for one!

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm putting up a clothesline now on the upper story of a two story covered front porch. I just bought two pulleys and some line. It will be under an overhang so it won't get direct sun, but I'm sure the 90 degree summer days and breezes will dry the clothes just fine.

3:55 PM  
Blogger The Golby Family said...

It's funny -- all my associations with clotheslines are positive, probably because the only time we used one when I was a child was when were at my grandparents' beach house. We'd come home from a day at the beach, shower in the outdoor shower, and hang our wet towels and swimsuits out on the line, where they'd stay until we grabbed them after breakfast the next morning. Clotheslines make me think of summer and sunshine and ocean breezes. Sigh.

I've actually been wanting a clothesline lately, but our transient army lifestyle makes buying some poles for the back yard sort of impractical (we'd just have to pull them up in two months). I think the Oahu sun would do great things for my our sheets, though... And a clothesline would've been the perfect place to photograph the quilt I just finished and sent off as a gift. Sigh, again.

5:47 PM  

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