Singin’ The Laundry Blues


In the late ’60s, maybe early ’70s, one of my dad’s cousins fixed up an old, historic home. His wife, Merry, made a second floor bedroom into a laundry room, and I remember listening to discussion among women in the family.
“Oh, think of lugging those heavy appliances all the way up there!”
“Oh, think of lugging those baskets of wet laundry downstairs and out to the clothesline.”
This second floor laundry brought some strict scrutiny.
As I spent a recent laundry day endlessly tripping up and down our steps, I thought of the homes today that boast a first floor laundry. It sounds very convenient, but it seems to me that the most efficient laundry is located on the same level with most of the clothes – probably where the most bedrooms are, because that’s where they’ll need to be put away.
Now, one can argue that Merry’s upstairs laundry room would be troublesome if she used a clothesline to hang out her wash, but, at the time, perma-press had arrived. Although I know it saves energy to hang out the wash, and it is good for me both physically and emotionally, it leaves a lot to be desired. Making a longer process than my dryer, after spending the extra time getting everything arranged, just so, on the line, it’s disheartening to have to gather things in quickly if a storm blows in. If you’re not careful, the clothespins leave marks, can stretch things the wrong way; insects might leave marks; worse yet, birds can drop larger splotches or the clothes may blow down completely, becoming soiled or grass stained, and you’re worse off than when you began.
These days, we have many items made with blended fibers, (some natural; some man-made) that are best line dried to preserve fit and shape. With uncertain outside conditions, musty basements, and limited space elsewhere, what do we do?
Have you seen the new dryers with a double door arrangement above the usual front- loading drying cubicle. It’s supposed to address this problem of the special needs laundry of today. Its designer was evidently on top of consumer needs. I’m not sure how it all works, but with our many teenage stretch fitting jeans and clingy tops that don’t dare shrink even a quarter inch, my girls and I have the new dryer on our list of gadgets to be investigated.
It may be my answer to our many items that need special attention, but I’ll still be climbing steps carrying clothes baskets. Merry had the
right idea.


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