Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Simple pleasures

For the first time, in my life, I hung laundry out on a line to dry yesterday. Now, that may not seem a huge deal to you, but to me, it was an accomplishment! For years I have poured through design magazines and they have always applauded "line drying." Yet, for me, I never could really understand all the "hype." I mean when you dry laundry in a dryer, you get to use dryer sheets and your clothes smell lavender scented. Towels coming out of the dryer are fluffy and warm, which is always an added bonus to a perfectly wonderful shower. So for years I turned my nose up to the very idea of hanging my clothes out to dry on a line. That was until my dryer decided to go on strike!

We have always had a rather civil relationship. I put clothes in, it dried them. Every now and then, I would clean out the lent tray, just so, it didn't catch on fire. However, one day a couple of years after this dryer came into my life, it suffered a casualty. The mechanism that started it, was having issues. So, off came the outer plastic knob because apparently, the knob and the "pointy thing" that the knob slid over, were no longer compatible. I ditched the knob and just used needle-nosed pliers to turn the "pointy thing" and life settled back to normal. Dryer and I lived peacefully together for 7 1/2 years, without any problems.

Yet one Saturday last October, that peaceful union, came to an abrupt halt. I followed my normal routine of taking clothes out of the washer, throwing them into the dryer and putting dryer sheets in. After I had closed the door, I reached for the pliers, and in a moment of unknown strength, I turned the pliers to the right, but the "pointy thing" broke. I couldn't believe it! After all of these years, it had, in one fleeting moment, been silenced, for who knows how long.

Thus started the time when I became familiar with other peoples dryers. Sadly mine sat unable to do what it was created for, except serve as a good catch-all. I then traveled to Russia with some very dear friends and I witnessed something extraordinary! Staying at a friends flat in the middle of Siberia I noticed that there was only a washer, no dryer. If you wanted to dry your clothes, you hung them on a line or on a wooden contraption that held clothes. On my return to the states I decided to try actually doing laundry at my house again, but this time I would hang everything to dry. Well can you believe this, it actually worked? And to be honest, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Everything came out ok.

So, lately I have been noticing that my neighbors have been line drying their clothes. With all of that in mind, and as yesterday was absolutely beautiful, I knew that it was the perfect time for me to cast off my prior prejudices and hang my clothes on the line to dry. Wow! How freeing it was to see my clothes sway in the wind. I truly felt as though I had accomplished a mile stone. I think I have grown as a person. Who knew that hanging laundry on a line could cause me to swell with a good sense of pride? Even though I didn't actually get done all that I wanted to yesterday, I didn't feel defeated, because, I had done something that I always snubbed, and rather enjoyed it. Life does have simple pleasures, and hopefully, I will continue to discover them as I go.