Thursday, April 24, 2008

We're Poor and...

I didn't even know it*...

let me explain...

Our 12-year-old nephew spent this past weekend with us...

and when he wandered out onto our back deck where me and the Mr were discussing the cost, time and labor...and the cost...involved in the pergola we are putting up, Nephew quietly listened for a couple of minutes and when a break opened up in the conversation, he ever-so-politely enquired:

"instead of building a pergola why don't ya'll buy a dryer?"

[insert a long-ish pause as both myself and the husband ran that through our tired old brains...]

we have a dryer***...true, it is in the garage and Nephew hadn't been out there this trip...
but what prompted his well-intended remark was the line of clothes hung out to dry in the backyard...

and expounding even further...

many months ago, a friend on an Internet group remarked (or maybe linked to) about an article that said something along the lines that having a clothes line is an indicator of poverty...and I guess I never truly believed that...

I mean, after all, hanging clothes to dry is simple...a no-brainer...if you have the space**, then you hang your clothes to dry because it cuts so much energy consumption and it saves so much money on the electric bill...(unless you have a gas dryer...do they still make those? and I have no idea what the cost of that NG is these days)...how can you beat free and environmentally-friendly?

anyhoo...but differences in attitudes and beliefs came roaring home to me this past Saturday when the Innocent One assumed we put the clothes on the line because we didn't have a dryer like the Rest of Known Civilization...and because maybe we couldn't afford one...

not, because as we carefully explained, we're tryin' to consume less so that perhaps there will be something left of this world and its resources when he is our age...

******************************************
*or else we're just backwards and I have had my suspicions about that off and on again anyways...

**and when I had the pleasure of traipsing around Europe after 2 teen-age boys (son and his friend) one summer, I learned you can wash and hang clothes up to dry just about anywhere...I expect DS and his friend loved seein' my granny panties hanging all over the places...'bout as much as I loved seeing their boxers drip drying...but we survived with minimal scarring...

***note the unplugged, um, plug on the dryer...

10 comments:

DaisyJen said...

Oh my, that's funny! But you know, that was really a good lesson for Nephew to learn there can be more than one reason for something and to learn a simple way to conserve energy. I'd love to have a clothesline, unfortunately our HOA doesn't allow them (or practically anything for that matter!) And they do still make gas dryers. We had elec. but had to buy gas when we moved in the house because that's all it's set up for. Gas seems to be very popular out here, which takes getting used to because I've always been a big fan of elec.

Rebecca said...

Sheila, you make me smile. That is so funny about your nephew.

But seriously, you have brought back so many memories for me. My mama and granny always hung laundry out to dry, outside, in the sunshine. Your post has given me the most wonderful desire to do that again. I believe this summer, in an act of transformation, I will hang my laundry to dry, outside, in the sunshine. :)

Julie said...

Okay, Miss Sheila!
There you go cracking me up, again!
I want a clothes line, too.
We haven't put one up, here, however --- 'cause we haven't known how long we'd be here. But I can't wait to be finally settled and put one up!
It's been years since we've (hubby & I -- my mother would rather die than to have hung the laundry out! She thought it was beneath her?!?!) had one and I remember the clothes being very stiff (although they smelled terrific!) Do you have a trick to make them softer? Please share?!?!?!?

Your nephew is too cute!

I loooooooooooove pergolas (we haven't put up one of those, yet, either!!!) Remember to share photos!

Oh -- I've already been tagged, with that very one. You can scroll down on my blog to read how absolutely un-fascinating I am.
But thanks for thinking of me!

Many Blessings,
Julie

see you there! said...

Too cute! Seems like he was looking out for you. We have a gas dryer - works great. I also have a clothesline tho. Nothing quite like making up a bed with sheets right off the line.

Darla

Ms Dragonfly said...

lol, kids say the darndest things. tired saying i know but so true :)

The Feathered Nest said...

This is too funny! I guess we're poor too because hubby and I were discussing WHERE to put our clothesline he just bought yesterday! I figure with it being so hot in the summer the clothes should be dry in no time and save energy and money (and that's just being smart not poor)! :-)

Manuela

sheila said...

well, Miss Julie, I just sort of have learned to overlook the crunchy towel things, LOL!

and I tend to buy clothes that are wrinkle-free ...and that helps...no poplin-anything...that takes forever to iron anyway...

also, you can just hang them up and when they're almost dry, you can toss them in the dryer for 10 minutes...even if that doesn't completely dry them, it will soften them up...

some people use vinegar in the rinse...I don't care enough to do that...the vinegar scent will go away when the clothes are dry...

I don't know if there are any environmentally-friendly fabric softeners out there...if there are, I expect those would help...

Lizzie said...

I haven't had a clothes line in a few years, but loved hanging bed linens out on it to dry because of how fresh they seemed on the bed that evening. I think its a lovely idea, and its sad its not used more frequently (except in commercials for cotton).

Debra said...

It's funny the way people think. I've longed for my own clothesline for 15 years and now when we move to our little farm I will finally have room for one! And I'm so very excited about it. I've not owned a dryer (by choice) for many years. Call me crazy, but I prefer to save money by hanging clothes to dry year-'round.

The whole thing really is about attitude and the decisions we make as individuals... and I guess that's why I love the Internet--it's fun finally, after most of my life, finding people who think the same way I do. :)Thanks for sharing your great story... Blessings, Debra

Susie Q said...

So funny...and oh how I wish I could put up a clothesline. I used to love it when, as a kid and teen, Mom and Grandma hung the clothes outside. Even when we HAD a dryer.
Our HOA does not allow it (They keep saying they are going green so maybe a change will come)
I set it in delicate and still hang up a lot of clothes inside to dry.
I also put a dryer stand out on the deck in good weather and leave lots of things there when I can.

I have heard that *Poor* remark a few times myself...oh well. I am proud to be so if it means that
we have more money in the bank, few worries, are less wasteful with energy and have less house and yard to maintain.

You are such a funny lady...and always give me a smile.

Hugs,
Sue

it's all about the journey...