Country Living Challenges: Laundry

We moved from Waters Road with a washer and dryer. This house didn’t come with laundry machines, and we couldn’t imagine carting our clothes to and from Marianna (which actually seems to have a laundromat) so we purchased ours from our old housemates. There isn’t exactly a laundry closet with a convenient water hookup. In fact, running water is exclusively found at the back of the house and in the tiny kitchen and bathroom. We set up our washer and dryer on the screened in porch, which worked out fine since the washer leaked.
Pros: the laundry area didn’t clutter up our house with dirty laundry and loud noises, and the leaky washer wasn’t a big issue because the back porch floods when it rains anyway. What’s one more flood?
Cons: doing laundry when it’s really cold or windy outside is a real bummer and sometimes the washer freezes so we can’t do laundry at all. Because of constant flooding, our back porch is pretty icky. It isn’t a nice place to be.

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This winter, the washer froze solid and then completely crapped out, spilling water constantly. I’ve done laundry at friends’ houses for weeks, once in the middle of a St. Patrick’s day party. Sean and I make a lot of laundry because school is dirty and so is gardening when you get home. It’s been a pain. Sean Pulsfort, that heroic amateur handyman, got the washer fixed up yesterday, and it works better now than it ever has.
It’s a breezy, sunny day, so I put our clothesline to work. Sean and I try to line dry our laundry whenever we can. It’s a free, solar powered alternative to an expensive electrical draw. In the winter, I usually go for the dryer, so I haven’t line dried anything since fall. I had to detangle the clothesline from the fallen limb that had crushed it, along with our chicken fence, during an ice storm, and tie it back up, but it was worth it:  we actually have more line space now than we did with the old arrangement.

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I love line-drying. It makes me feel righteous, yes, but it’s more than that: I like the fresh smell and stiffness of line-dried clothing; I like folding my laundry into the basket as it comes off the line and dusting off the seeds and spiders that have caught on the seams; I like walking up and down the line, looking for a match for a single sock; I like the colors and the movement in the corner of my eye, and I like feeling the sunshine teasing out a smile while I do a usually tedious job.

Bonus pictures of chickens! Freckles is sitting on eggs right now, so keep your fingers crossed for chick photos in three weeks!

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