When we moved into this house, the landlords left an electric dryer and told us to feel free to utilize it. I’m used to a gas dryer (since that is what I have), but since we knew we were only going to be here for a short amount of time, we felt there was no reason to have a guy come out to install a propane tank and run the gas line to the laundry room just to put our dryer in the house. The electric one worked, and that was good enough for our brief stint here.

Despite the cost of running the darn thing (electricity is really expensive!), it has worked out well for the 6 months or so that we’ve been here. Until last week, when the thing died the death…I put a load of freshly washed sheets in, set the timer, pushed the on button…nothing. It didn’t even turn on for a split second. This was not a good thing…when you are running a household of 13, you need the means to launder, and then dry, copious amounts of laundry on a daily basis. Of course, there are alternatives to an electric (or even gas) dryer…one especially that I actually enjoy doing. When the weather is good (in other words, the sun is shining and it’s at least relatively warm), I utilize a clothesline on a constant basis. I very rarely dry the clothes in the dryer, because using the sun and wind is much more appealing to me. It’s better for the environment, and the clothes just smell so much nicer. Plus, I just love being outside in general, so any excuse I can muster to be out is a good one (at least to me). Unfortunately, it’s still Winter here in the North Country. There is no sun, and no warmth…there is plenty of wind, but it’s hardly the kind that beckons to you to come out and run through the fields with it…or to hang laundry out on the line in, since that is what we’re talking about (I did lose myself there for a second, didn’t I?). But the laundry must be done, so I put a load of towels into the washer, and waited patiently (HA! That’s only because I really didn’t want to do the next step) for it to be done it’s cycle. After the final spin, I grabbed the towels, put them into a basket, put on my really cool red hat and gloves, and proceeded to go outside. The snow was mid-boot, and the wind was making my longer skirt flap around in the wind (not a day for skirt wearing, that’s for sure), but I made the hike to the clothesline anyway. There were still diapers on there from right before the storm over the weekend…still wet, of course. I was losing hope that the towels would dry at all, to be honest, but they had to be put somewhere. So I hung them up…skirt still flapping around, my hair blowing into my face, and the towels flying up as the wind blew under them. They were beginning to get stiff as I put them onto the line too…I wonder if there is a possibility of their freeze drying? You know, like the strawberries you get in breakfast cereal now? No? Oh well…it was a thought anyway.

I’m sure I was quite a sight to the neighbors…that silly lady next door who hangs her laundry out in the freezing cold and snow. I know I would have laughed, had I been the one witnessing the scene. But there I was, be-gloved and be-hatted, trying to get the darn towels to stop blowing long enough to get them all onto the line. Which I did. And there they’ll stay until they dry. With the way the weather is looking, that might not be until next week, but at least I can say that I washed them, and then attempted to dry them. I’m actually hoping that the wind will help them along, despite the cold. If not, the next time someone takes a shower, they’re going to either air dry, or go out and get a wet towel before they jump in. I’m not really sure which one would be better, but I know I would prefer not to be the one to find out.