I like to hang clothes outside.  I do it inside, on racks, if I have to, but I greatly prefer being able to hang them outside.

In 46 years of marriage, I have owned a dryer only for about 10 years, while we were in Alaska.  It came with the house. I didn’t buy it. I wouldn’t have replaced it had it broken.  I rarely used it.

A couple of years ago, Dave dragged me into a store and made me buy a new washing machine.

There it is.  It’s beautiful.  I sort of love it.   It’s a Samsung and it sings to me when it’s finished. He built the stand for it. On the left of the machine, you can see my clothes racks.  On the right side is the laundry tub where the milking equipment lives.

No room for a dryer, even if I wanted one.

I have one of those umbrella-style clotheslines out in the back yard, but I hate it and don’t use it much.  Clothes dry faster if they aren’t all bunched up.

So Dave fixed this up for me.

This is my front porch. It extends all the way across the front of the house.  Not including the opening where the front steps are, there are six sections like this.

Obviously, I don’t want to have a clothesline on my front porch all the time. Even having it up briefly to dry clothes makes us look Amish, and that’s enough.

So it is removable.

There is a hook, like this, at each end of the porch, and the line is stored there.  When it’s in use, I run it from that hook to the next post, where there is a cleat.

A couple of wraps around the cleat and then I pull it to the next cleat.  I start at the other end and they meet in the middle on a cleat.

When the laundry is dry, and I take it down, it takes me about a minute to take down the whole clothesline, hang each half on its hook, and then you’d never know it had ever been there.

So for a little while, on sunny days, our clean laundry hangs out on our front porch.  People can see it as they drive by, although they have to look closely because we have large trees in the front yard.

But we never hang out our dirty laundry on the front porch.

It lives here.

That’s what you do with dirty laundry.

Everyone has some from time to time.

Sometimes, right after I’ve washed everything, the basket is pretty much empty, like you see there.  But sometimes, if the weather is bad, and I’m busy with other things, it gets backed up and the basket gets pretty full.

That’s normal. It’s how life is.

But what I don’t do is put all my dirty laundry on the front porch.

Or social media.

There’s a word for people who do that.



34 thoughts on “Laundry”

  1. The house I grew up in was on dock piers in the back, it was kind of a shotgun style house with a big screened in utility/laundry room in the back. It had a window and when you opened it there was a laundry line on a pulley that was way up in the air and went all the way over the carport that my grandma used to dry our clothes when the weather was good. I used to love to hang the laundry and bring it back in as a kid. Thank you for reminding me of one of my many pleasures of my youth


  2. Wow, do I love the way you think!
    Wasn’t quite for sure how it was going to end, there are so many dirty laundry
    variables on the shitstead.
    Another great job.


  3. I love this post!
    I really love your front porch..
    I have an umbrella cloths line, I usually hang it off my fence. It dries quicker.


  4. Sally, I adore you. You are absolutely correct. I’m going to forward this post to my kids, it’s a wise blog entry.


  5. I hated laundry when the kids were growing up. I love doing laundry now. It’s easy. I am so glad I have my washer, dryer and dishwasher. Makes me happy. I’m easily pleased. Lol

    I remember how my mom hung the laundry. We had a three or four line laundry that was in the back yard (mondays were wash days. Everyone washed on Monday’s and everyone hung it out to dry, it was a badge of honor to be the first one to have your laundry hanging to dry). Living on dirt roads also meant a lot of dust. If you were caught speeding down the road on Monday’s you would be chased down and choked. The woman would mark down the offending car or truck and the owner of the car would be called. Most people were good about not kicking up dust, but it did happen a few times.
    Anyway, the under clothing was always hung up in the middle lines so no one could see your panties and such. Towels and blankets were always on the outside.

    If I was to hang any of my kids underwear out for the neighbors to see, without putting it up after I had hung the towels and sheets, my kids would of died of embarrassment and probably never speak to me again, or at least for a long time. They would hate for the neighbors, their friends, and even their Grandma, their less than sparkly underwear. They wouldn’t be so mad if it was new underwear and something to be proud of (although, they would say that I was boasting and that is embarrassing to my kids), but I would still not hang the laundry out for the world to see. I have hampers that the dirty laundry goes into and no one sees that. They just see a hamper with a lid on it. When we had hogs and cows and horses, we had a special hamper for those dirty clothes, they were so special they got their own line to dry on. Yup, dirty laundry and dirty dishes are a family secret so to speak. The dishes are promptly cleared from the table and washed and the laundry is gathered, sorted, washed, dried, folded & put away.
    I hope someone got unschooled today in their laundry routine.

    I wonder how Nic mom does laundry.


  6. I definitely knew where this post was headed and I agree 100%!

    I need to know how you can hang your clothes to dry in the winter? Does it take longer to dry in frigid temps? I would have to imagine your hands would be frozen by the time you were done hanging your clothes? Just curious…


  7. Oh, Sally. I must say that I LOVE your house! Great blog post, as always, but I now love your house!!! Do you give tours? I plan on taking a trip in your direction sometime this year!

    We really are planning a trip, but the part about the tour was a joke!


  8. I need to know how you can hang your clothes to dry in the winter?

    I use those racks beside the washer. Put one of those in front of the wood stove and the clothes are dry almost as fast as they would be in a dryer.

    In winter, we have fewer dirty barn clothes, because we don’t get hot and sweaty. And I wash very frequently, generally a load every day. On mild days, I do a big session and wash sheets and towels and hang them outside.


  9. I love hanging laundry outside. Clothes last longer and linens smell fresh. I have a problem with towels, though. How do you keep them from feeling so rough?


  10. How do you keep them from feeling so rough?

    Fabric softener in the wash. But honestly, I like them rough. 🙂


  11. Nothing, nothing is better than fresh clean sheets on the bed, air dried in the sun and wind. I love them! I always hang washing out on the good old Aussie Hills Hoist, and on even a mild day, they’re dry within 3 hours, and smell so fresh. In winter, I put clothes on a rack in front of the heater, and they’re dry by morning, although unless it’s raining, I do hang them outside first. I don’t have a dryer at all – you just don’t need them here. I didn’t have one when my kids were tiny either.

    Dirty laundry, or even just normal family laundry is always best kept out of social media….


  12. ?? People love it when you lose. They love dirty laundry. ?


    ?We all know that crap is king. We love dirty laundry. ?

    Seriously, no one knows your dirty laundry, if you don’t air it.


  13. Dirty laundry and karma. Yep. I thought karma took a huge bite right out of the ass of the poster of dirty laundry but now karma has reared her lovely head again and it looks like ther may be a grandmother prohibited from seeing the babe. Dirty laundry up in the faces of the public. Geeze something’s need to be kept private.


  14. I find that hanging towels outside on a windy day gets them softer. Maybe not dryer soft, but I like the slight roughness of line dried clothing. Even though I live in the city, at least half of the buildings on my street have a clothes line in the back yard. Ours goes from the back porch, to a very tall metal post that was at the back of the yard when we bought the house. Odd because there are no utilities attached to it (they’re at the front). It’s tall enough for our upstairs tenants to have a line from their 2nd floor balcony to the post as well, so on nice days there’s often a double layer of clothes drying in the breeze. In winter, and especially in the dark, damp days of november and april, I use the dryer mostly. Clothes will freeze dry in sub freezing temps, as long as you can keep them off the snow. The colder the better, as long as you don’t freeze your fingers.

    Dirty laundry, however, should not be aired to the world.


  15. The only downside to hanging laundry out to dry at this time of year where I live are the stink bugs. You shake everything out before you fold the clothes and hopefully you’ve gotten rid of them all.

    I found one INSIDE my sock this morning. Yuck!

    When I dry our shirts, I put them on hangers. That way nothing stretches out. Does anyone else do this?

    For some reason, this reminds me that it’s bot-egg laying time too. A – if you haven’t been told what to look for and what to do, here goes. Look for little yellow eggs attached to your horse’s front legs and on her belly. You usually see them on the inside and below the knee. You can use a bot knife (it’s NOT a knife! Don’t use a knife or a razor blade – just don’t). Go WITH the direction of hair growth. Once they’re all gone, you can apply a little baby oil to minimize new eggs from sticking. Check daily.


  16. Sally, I sort of love your washing machine also. My husband is annoyingly proficient at fixing washing machines. One machine lasted 25 years until we finally purchased a different used one from a friend. This one has (so far) lasted 10 years, and it is nothing like your singing Samsung. Maybe someday. LOVE this post. What is it about social media that empowers idiots to post their (and other’s) dirty laundry for the world to see? Of course, with Nicole et al. and Cathy, they aren’t smart enough to realize that most have figured them out, and aren’t buying their dirty laundry. So they just hang more nasty stuff on their porches for everyone to see in an attempt at sympathy. They need to just keep their stuff in the basket.


  17. Where I live for 3/4 of the time if your don’t have a tumble dryer or dry inside on racks you have wet clothes. I dry whenever I can outside but it rains/showers almost everyday outside of summer here (and quite a few during summer) or the high elevation mist soaks everything. I never have to worry about our well running dry or forest fires though and the rainbows and atmospheric misty days totally make up for it.


  18. I gave up line drying when I started living with big dog shedding machines. There is nothing like my dryer to remove dog hair.

    Sigh. So much dog hair. The birds line their nests with it. The chipmunks and field mice carry it to their secret places. Sometimes when the wind is just right and I’m brushing the dogs on the porch an eddy picks the fur up and it flies in the air and the hawks attack it thinking it is some flying morsel.

    Dog hair kills every vacuum that I have owned so I sweep everyday.
    I am convinced that dog fur lines my lungs and someday I will cough up a fur ball.

    Still I love my dogs.

    As to dirty laundry. Did you ever notice that those people who hang their nasty skid marked panties in their front yard for all the world to see, are also always the ones telling you to mind your own business?


  19. Give towels a good shake before hanging and they’ll be a little softer. Tossing them in a dryer for a few minutes on air dry before putting them away helps too if that’s an option. Make sure they’re well rinsed since soap residue can cause extra stiffness. Hang shirts upside-down to prevent marks from clothespins on the shoulders. Don’t put threatening posts on social media when your grown son who lives with you is trying to get visitation of his small child. If it seems like you have a lot of rope you don’t HAVE to use it to hang yourself even though the temptation is there.


  20. One thing you never ever did where I live was air your dirty laundry on the front porch or across the internet by way of social media. On a side note, one other thing you never did was burn trash on Mondays, that was laundry day and in fact some towns near me have that law still in effect even though not many people hang out laundry


  21. Never had a tumble dryer in my whole life, never known anyone who did. It’s probably just a cultural thing, but everybody air dries where I’m from.

    I take my hat off to Sally, the alleged “tabloid blogger”, who treats a family in trouble with the respect and tact that are due to them. This is the opposite of what a certain grandmother is doing to her own flesh and blood. Appaling.


  22. Sally and all,
    I absolutely loved reading about the “art” of laundry. There probably aren’t many young people today who have any idea about the the “proper” order to do, and hang laundry. This brought back such fond childhood summer memories of running through the lines of hot sheets, virtually ironed, from the heat and wind. Of course, don’t get caught doing this or you’re in for a stern warning, ‘get your dirty hands off MY laundry!’. Or as one in a “gang of kids”, the never ending laughter at searching out the “giant” sized undies and bras we looked for properly hidden behind the sheets.
    In the winter, the miles of baby diapers and all, still got hung, but midday when the sun peaked out for a few hours, and often were frozen solid, like sheets of paper when they came in. But after laying them out inside the house, enough water had already evaporated to finish drying them quickly in the arid winter interiors. But then, except for diapers, most clothes were also ironed so that also finished off the drying process too.
    Many years back I thought it would be such a nice gift for my now 93y/o mom, to buy her some really nice towels. But upon visiting and never seeing them used, I asked her about them. Although appreciative, she informed me she liked her thin worn ones the best, “they dried faster and were softer”. Of course! Silly me.

    Personally, I am a huge fan of my washer and dryer, although I still do have a line out for “special occasions”. ?
    Today some subdivisions even prohibit clotheslines! Maybe this could become a new thing Nicole could begin to protest. And add to this, ‘no hiding anything behind any sheets’ for the Queen Exhibitionist. HER rights, above everything!!! Air EVERY piece of anyone’s dirty laundry SHE deems fit, (while also showing us her entire ass and everything else).
    Trashy and transparent.


  23. I do have a dryer but I also hang my clothes outside when the weather permits. When it is rainy or cold, I hang them on a laundry rack thingy that my MIL gave me years ago. My old fart and I generate very little laundry by ourselves but my grandkids are here daily and I wash a washer full of towels daily. My granddaughter brought her friend over to show her their gourds that they are going to make birdhouses out of and while they were looking over the gourds both picked and still growing, I began hanging out towels. Her friend asked why I was putting my clothes outside and my granddaughter said, my nana doesn’t want to hurt the environment so she conserves energy. They both came over to help and the little girl wanted to know if she could take some of my clothes pins home so she could show her mother how to conserve energy. I don’t use the dishwasher either unless I cook a huge meal. I like hanging my clothes on the line and I like washing my dishes. There’s something about the clean plates and bowls and glasses. I don’t know. Could be an obsessive thingy but standing at the sink, looking out the window, and washing dishes with only the dishes, dawn, my crocheted dishrags, and my thoughts makes for a quieting moment. The same for hanging out the clothes…I sure do think of a lot of things and mostly no one bothers me. Well, my cats follow me up and down the rows but that’s it. Wonder if old Joejoe has put up a clothesline for his ball and chain? Hmmm, likely nope.


  24. the little girl wanted to know if she could take some of my clothes pins home so she could show her mother how to conserve energy.

    Oh, golly. Her mother is going to love you. 🙂 Like she never heard of clothes pins.


  25. Most important question of all – which kitty is on the porch?

    Every so often I run blankets and sheets through the dryer for a few minutes to get fur off of them. Particularly when I know we’ll have an overnight guest who is allergic to (insert species here). We don’t want someone to be uncomfortable.


  26. I can remember back to when I was three.
    We had a Bendix front loading washer in a utility room off the kitchen.
    I would sit on the floor in front of the washer everyday and eat my lunch and watch through the window as the clothes, sheets, towels went round and round.
    I loved watching the colors slish-sloshing back and forth.
    My childhood TV.
    Every now and then I still get entranced watching my front loader through the window and have to drag myself away to do other chores.
    I also love hanging out the wash.
    The smell of fresh sun dried sheets being ironed is another favorite childhood memory.
    I still enjoy ironing flat work to this day, even though I live in one of those neighborhoods where there can be no clothes lines.
    We lived in Germany when I was in my twenties.
    We had a home in the German community. The hausfrau of the neighbor hood all had the same routine with laundry and house cleaning.
    This meant getting the laundry out hanging at a certain time and bringing it in at a certain time….
    It took me a while to catch on ( silly American?)
    I’d either hang the laundry too early and have them never dry because of the rising dew, or too late and not have enough sun to get everything perfectly dry.
    My neighbors were all wonderful and I loved them… but I know they noticed my struggle to blend in. The radiators got a workout in the winter… I was still expected to hang out the laundry, but if it froze, onto the radiator it would go to finish drying…
    I taught my neighbors how to make Southern tea and biscuits with Danish butter. And other American dishes, they taught me wonderful German dishes. Rouladen is my favorite.
    But I digress.
    The washer I had in Germany had a boiling cycle. This was for whites…
    My husband decided to help and used it to boil my favorite negligee.


  27. My husband decided to help and used it to boil my favorite negligee.

    True love is that you kept him despite that fiasco. 😉


  28. Makes me wonder if that clothesline is still up at the schittsted? Remember the one with the same clothes hanging on it in every picture posted?
    Since I’m almost positive the kids first washed them and hung them there, I guess I would give a pass. Unless it was their oldest who hung them there when he was 13.


  29. Speaking of laundry, I have two questions for Cathy.

    “I went missing from a local grocery store while my biological mother shopped. She had just given birth to twin daughters she had three very small children with her as she shopped for groceries. I disappeared while she shopped — we would not be reunited for almost 30 years.”

    “I lived with Cleo until I was 12 years old, when the police became involved in my life, although not because of my kidnapping.”

    Cathy, why no mention about your long-lost twin sisters? You wrote this in 2011, surely you’ve developed a relationship with these women since then. I’ve screen shot it, so don’t bother taking it down. Are you talking about when Cleo got into it with the local police when she kept calling them to tell loiterers to get off of her front steps? They hauled her off to the local hospital for a psych evaluation. She was a pain in the ass, but she wasn’t crazy. She did lose her case against the police department though.

    Also, you’ve stated that the man who raped you when you were working in Philadelphia was charged, convicted and sentenced. He will be in the sex offender registry. What is his name, Cathy? Why are you protecting a convicted rapist? I think the reason you haven’t named him is because you’re lying. Please feel free to make me eat those words.


  30. The shit about the mother in the grocery store and the twin daughters was just simply fabricated. Cathy’s excuse is that she made it all up because she’s so traumatized.


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