Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Answer Is Blowing In The Wind

The older I get, the more often I rely on what I learned as a child.  The way we lived when I was a child just seems to make more sense now in this fast paced, break neck speed, high technology, modern convenience world.

Over a month ago, my daughter and I stared at yet another ridiculously high electric bill.  We had made great effort to reduce our energy consumption.  We turned off lights when not needed, we only washed clothes in cold water, we ran fans instead of the air conditioner and other little modifications in hopes of bringing down this big monthly expense.  Naturally the increase in gas prices ( now at 3.72 per gallon as of this writing) spurred this need to cut corners where possible.

Despite our efforts, the electric bill was again 340 dollars.  Now I could see if this was the time of year when everyone was home and more energy was being used throughout the day but that was not the case.  The house was empty for 9 hours each day.  We could not figure out what was stealing our energy and thus our money.

Then I remembered what I had always heard, the dryer will use more energy than anything else in the house.  A family of four, that is us, required a minimum of 5 loads of laundry including towels and such. So we tried an experiment.  For one month, we would line dry our clothes.

Rainy days we hung our clothes on hangers in the laundry room or bathroom.  It took a little longer but if you don't procrastinate, you can keep up with the laundry.  When the weather turned sunny and warm, I strung a clothes line between two giving trees.  I chose a location which was not visually disturbing to neighbors and made sure that undergarments were hung up in the laundry room.  I found it odd that I should have to go to my neighbors and ask them if they minded me putting up a clothes line, but I did.  No one minded and when my sheets are out there blowing in the breeze, I know they envied the wonderful smell that filled the linens.

There really is nothing quite like the sight of a clothesline and its bounty dancing in the breeze.

I love hanging clothes.  I suppose when you get the chance to do it again, the way you did it as a child, you find yourself back long ago, hanging clothes in the yard you knew as a kid.  It brings back memories and more importantly the details of those memories.  As with the passage of time, only the best memories have clarity.

Now a month has passed and the new electric bill has arrived.  What a difference.  The prior bill was 340 dollars.  The new bill a mere 199 dollars.

I saved money, enjoyed the wonderful smell of clothing and sheets dried on the line and even get to spend a few minutes moving back in time.

If you get the chance to try turning your back on the modern convenience that is called the electric dryer, I encourage you to do so.  You will enjoy the time as well as the money that stays in your pocketbook.


  1. Hello my dear friend - couldn't sleep and knew I would get a sense of peace visiting you :) Is that your pic of the clothesline? I completely love that...

  2. Glad you came by for a visit :) Don't you just love the clothes line? I do, I couldn't be more delighted with such a mundane task. Be well!