No matter where we’ve lived, I’ve always had a clothesline, because I love hanging laundry outside. Not so much because it’s the “green” thing to do. It is, and I love that it is, but because the scent of clothes and linens dried in the sun and fresh air is just another wonderful benefit of warmer weather.
This is my clothesline. A retractable model that I can uncoil about 20 feet and attach to a hook on the front yard fence. It doesn’t hold a whole lot, but in the summer, when the weather is hot, I can hang consecutive loads and not use my dryer at all.
Can you see how it looks a little burned on one side, and cracked on the other?
Once upon a time, my clothesline was attached to this tree…
We were living in western New York, in the small town of Alfred. One clear and sunny summer afternoon, Stuart was just about to take Amy-who was two at the time-out to her swing in the back yard. I don’t remember what delayed them for several minutes, but whatever it was was, thank goodness, because a bolt of lightening came down out of the blue and shattered the tree that had both Amy’s swing and my clothesline attached to it. To this day I remember how deafeningly loud the boom was when the tree was struck.
Even now, I don’t like to think about what the outcome might have been if Amy had been in her swing. I’m just thankful all three of us were inside the house.
There’s Amy’s swing-and my clothesline, still on the trunk to the left of it.
When the lightening hit the tree, the tree exploded, and shards of wood flew so far and wide that some went up and over the house and landed in the front yard, while other shards impaled the surrounding lawn.
The lightening peeled the bark down to the ground on one side of the trunk-
and exited out through the tree’s roots.
After that, I was surprised that my clothesline was intact and functioning. Fourteen years, and hundreds of loads of laundry later I’m still using it, too. I hope I don’t ever need to replace it. A clothesline this reliable is hard to find!