Jann's Pages


Laundry Time

I love the smell of clothes, sheets and towels after they are dried outside. It's such a wonderful, fresh, clean scent that really can't be duplicated by fabric softeners, candles, or cans of air freshener.  

Back in the year 2000, I moved into a house in ex-hubby's hometown while he was playing Army Soldier in Korea.  There was a hook-up for a dryer, but it needed to be a certain type of dryer--PROPANE hook-up only.  I had an electric dryer. I could have had the outlet changed to accommodate my electric dryer cord, but that would have cost quite a bit of money.  I didn't want to buy a brand new dryer knowing I would be living in this rental home for only a year.  So his folks offered to store my electric dryer and let me use their umbrella clothesline. What's ironic is the location where I wanted the clothesline installed happened to have an opening for an umbrella clothesline!  This was in Arizona, so it's sunny a majority of the time.  On days that it rained, I would use either wash and hang items up on a wooden rack in my house, or just wait until the next day. Once in awhile I would take some things over to his folks' house to throw in their dryer.  

I used my washing machine every single day except Sunday.  Monday I washed whites, Tuesday I washed light colored clothes, Wednesday I washed bright colored clothes, Thursday I washed dark colored clothes, Friday I washed jeans and towels, and Saturday I washed sheets.  I washed the load of dirties in the morning, and they would hang all day long.  Some items that didn't dry all the way were hung up in the house to dry, usually pinned to a hanger and the hanger placed on the shower curtain rod.  When it was time to move to the next duty station, that faithful umbrella clothesline went back to his parents home. I looked forward to using my dryer again at the new destination. 

It was a great system of keeping up with the laundry without the use of a dryer.  I washed one load for 3 people every day--my 2 daughters and my clothes. My daughters learned to sort their own clothes, and would help fold that one load each day. I felt my children should learn to perform laundry chores was something important.  

I learned this lesson the hard way when I went off to college.  I was lucky enough that my mom washed, dried and folded our clothing.  All I had to do was put the clean, folded items away in the drawers, or hang them up in my closet.  The dirty stuff went into a hamper in the hallway or bathroom.  The very first day I moved into my dorm, I dragged my mom down to the basement and into the laundry room.  HOW DO I DO THIS I asked her, with fear in my voice.  

She showed me the basics, which were easy to remember since these machines had very few functions on them. The machines were fed quarters to operate.  Very simple to wash and dry clothes back in college.  NOW the college students have it really easy--the washing machines are designed to dispense the correct amount of detergent, and they are programmed to send a text message signaling when the machines are finished.  Seriously?  These kids nowadays have all the good stuff! I'm sure the next generation will have the laundry fold itself when it's done drying.  Kinda makes me want to go back to college JUST for that--um, NO, not really!

In 2007, I moved to Phoenix with new hubby. We bought an umbrella clothesline for the house we rented.  It had a plastic pole kit to install into concrete to stabilize the umbrella pole.  It was a nice sized quality umbrella clothesline and it served us well. We had a dryer, but again, I loved the smell of line-dried clothes. There were hummingbirds that would 'buzz' us in our back yard.  I saw one resting on our clothesline in mid July, 2008. and got some pictures of it.  Its beak is open because that is the way it 'pants' from what hubby told me.  

At that house, the pole was installed into concrete with the plastic sleeve to set the pole into so it could rotate.  

In January, 2010, we moved to a larger house with my mother, combining 2 households into one home.  I have no idea why we didn't grab that umbrella clothesline to bring here. I guess because the concrete pad that we installed the sleeve made it appear to be permanent.  Who knows--but I really wish we relocated it.

At this house, there is a lot of concrete pool decking that surrounds the backyard pool. I wanted another clothesline, so I found one at one of the big box hardware stores.  This clothesline didn't have that plastic sleeve to install in concrete. Hmmm, where to put this new line might be a problem since the back yard consists of pool decking and pool!

I wondered if the umbrella pole would fit in one of the various umbrella hole in the deck?! Why yes it does! I added a foot long PVC pipe to the hole and placed the new umbrella pole over that pipe for stability. What I liked about this new umbrella clothesline was the ease of releasing the arms so it collapses.  I wasn't too fond of the plastic coated line and the way it was threaded, but it worked.  

I was at Ikea a couple months ago and I found PLASTIC clothespins  (Pressa Pegs, article number 30108607) at $0.99 usd for 50.  That is 200 pegs for $3.96 usd & a steal! I have been looking for plastic clothespins for a long time. I prefer the plastic style because there is a traditional coil spring in between the two peg pieces.  I don't like the wooden ones because the spring always seems to pop, and the wooden pegs get splinters.  I would put a couple of these in my mouth and get splinters. I can't find these on the Ikea.com website, but they were in the "market" area of the Tempe, AZ store.

I noticed that the plastic coated line of our umbrella clothesline was falling apart.  The coating was split, the threads inside were fraying.  It was time to think about re threading the clothesline. I found a 100 foot 1/4" diameter nylon line at Ace Hardware.  This morning I snipped off all the cracked/frayed clothesline and hopefully the end of this weekend I will have the new line threaded into the umbrella clothesline.  

I found a website that explains how to thread a clothesline properly.  They even provide a video.  Amazing what can be found on the Internet! So wish me luck as I re thread this clothesline.   

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